Google Graduate Day


Lauren Nolan gives her view on Google's creative culture and their role in the digital marketing landscape.

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'Google aims to organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful'. If there’s one thing I took away from Google’s graduate day, it’s that Google is so much more than just a search engine.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to represent Carat Manchester at Google's annual graduate day. The day is designed to give media newbies like myself an insight into Google’s highly creative culture whilst demonstrating their crucial role in the digital marketing landscape.

As far as first impressions go, Google did not disappoint. The day commenced with a visit to their all you can eat (free!) canteen, which was stocked with every breakfast item imaginable. There was a genuine buzz around the place and we were given a warm welcome which made me feel prepped for the day ahead!

After breakfast and a brief introduction, we were given a presentation on Google's latest projects which perfectly demonstrated how search is just one facet of what makes Google one of the leading pioneers in technology. One of the projects that stood out to me was Project Tango – an augmented reality platform that enables mobile devices to map the environment around them with 3D tools. The wider idea behind this project is to provide a richer, deeper visual experience to the things we do every day, which is clear from the series of apps they have launched such as their virtual Satnav that overlays directions to your surroundings. I think this project epitomizes Google’s aim of using technology to improve the way we receive information and I can’t wait to see how it develops!

It was then time to discuss what pays for these innovative ventures; Google’s digital advertising formats. The first discussion was about paid search, which is a way of generating visits to your site by paying for a position on the search page rather than generating them organically. Search remains one of the most popular places to advertise for the simple reason that a search query suggests purchase intent, so it enables you to storm in an influence a user to consider your product or service at the point of purchase. We then moved on to YouTube and the various formats that are available such as TrueView in-stream. TrueView in-stream is an ad that plays before or during a video that gives the user the option to skip after 5 seconds. The great thing about this format from an advertising perspective is that you only pay when a user watched the ad in full or for at least 30 seconds, and you are able to run longer ads that go up to 3 minutes in length. While TrueView provides a longer ad length than traditional formats, it was interesting to see that successful ads are considered to be ones that get their message across in the first 5 seconds or so. This is aptly illustrated by the Geico ad below:

To finish, we were put into groups and asked to come up with a marketing strategy for the Google Home by focusing Google’s advertising models. I really enjoyed working with people from other agencies and seeing how our minds worked together to create a strategy, and while we only had 30 minutes to prep before presenting there were some really good ideas pitched by each group. Members of the winning team (not me unfortunately) were each given a Google Home!

All in all I had a brilliant day at Google and feel lucky to have gained such useful insights from some very talented people. Thank you Google!

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