More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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James Croom, Google's head of marketing for Google My Business and AdWords Express at Google spoke at BIA/Kelsey?s Leading in Local conference Monday.

James shared lots of lessons the Google team learned trying to sell into the SMB market. He said Monday that the new Google My Business product builds on lessons learned on from the company?s Get Your Business Online program. He stated that that campaign, while it was successful for its scale, really didn't change the course of SMBs that remained reluctant to invest and maintain a digital presence.

I thought the lessons Google has learned trying to sell to SMBs would be helpful to consultants here.

I picked up 2 news stories recounting the talk James gave. Here are some snippets.

Google Recounts Google My Business Mistakes
(Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

Even the biggest players looking to provide digital services to small and medium-sized businesses can stumble, and Google concedes some erroneous assumptions it has made with SMBs. ?We assumed small businesses were pretty different,? says James Croom, head of marketing for Google My Business and AdWords Express at Google. ?We got this extremely wrong.?

Google?s reps also have learned that SMB owners tend to have no conventional notions of schedule, rather staggering from one crisis to another with little regard for the clock. Therefore, sellers pitching them are advised to keep it focused and short.

<a href="">Five Lessons Google Learned About Selling to Small Businesses | Street Fight</a>
(Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post.)

For Google, the shift to mobile presents an opportunity to learn from mistakes made during the desktop internet boom. The company has struggled to simplify its search management and marketing products, and confused many in the local search industry with the introduction of Google+ Local in 2013...

A lack of virality: Croom says the company made the error of lumping all small businesses together, marketing to them as a part of a general segment... The resistance to segmented messaging not only led many small business to reject the company?s product, but also stymied any virality within the market. Business owners simply did not want to share with their competitors.

15 minutes or less: Croom added that the company also misconceived the way in which small business owners managed their time. ?We had this perception that small business owners were scheduled for busy in the traditional sense,? he told the audience Monday. ?But the reality is that they do not have a concept of schedule. their entire life is interrupt-driven. Tasks over 15 minutes are never going to happen.?

Lots more info inside both links. Read up and then share your thoughts below.

What do you think???
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Good links, thanks

"Croom says that Google has realized small businesses generally survive because they have a niche, and they?re turned off immediately if they feel they?re being marketed to as a group.Croom says there?s also a notable lack of virality between small businesses, who see themselves as very different from each other.
Another false assumption was that small business owners weren?t very technical. Wrong again, says Croom.
?Half are very savvy and the other half are very terrified,? he says. Actually, 63% say they?re overwhelmed by the tech solutions available to them, he qualified."

As a SBO owner it amazes me how many think we are the same, in the contracting business I see this every day. I have my own company rules and goals.

Yes I have to be tech savvy for many reasons.

Just make it simple like print advertising.
Just when you get used to something it changes.
e.g I have cable tv, one year ago I was updated to the new box a few weeks ago they updated again, nothing but problems with this new cable box.

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