Google Squared: Not an Average Day in the Office


Google Squared throws students into the deep end of the digital marketing world, immersing them in creative culture and technical wizardry. Vikki Willis, Communications Planner at Carat and recent Google Squared Graduate, tells us what she learnt from the experience.

Vikki Willis Communications Planner UK Google Google Squared
We taught Shakespeare to children, worked with a mental health charity in Brixton, pitched an online business, planned a L2m campaign for Coca-Cola and heard from some of our industry’s most influential experts. It’s safe to say that the six weeks at Google Squared were anything but an average day in the office.
Promised to equip us with the leadership and technical expertise needed to drive change, Squared prides itself on creating a Safe to Fail culture. A culture which meant emotions were confronted, comfort zones were disregarded and teams were built. 
But what did I learn?
  • People buy from other people, so let’s start thinking about our consumers as individuals rather than audiences. Given the wealth of data available to advertisers today, people expect messages to be relevant and personalised. Simply assuming that people want to engage with a brand is a recipe for failure. In fact, assuming that people don’t care that much about brands might serve us better. It will set the creative bar higher and force us to take notice of what people are really interested in. As Bruce McColl, chief marketing officer of Mars puts it: “Most of us go through life finding it hard enough to have good relationships with the real people in our life, let alone all the brands we buy.”
  • It’s going to take more than a well-timed tweet to convince us to part with our cash. Sometimes as an industry we guilty of creating high involvement campaigns which. if we’re lucky, pick up an award or two and do the rounds in the trade press but does this equate to more sales? Not necessarily. The challenge for brands is to weigh up the costs associated with acting in real time vs. the amount of incremental sales achieved as a result. 
  • Mesh networks are transforming our lives in new (and slightly terrifying) ways, from the insurance companies who now have the ability to track the speed at which you drive, to the employers quantifying their employee’s productivity. But it’s not all bad news. On the opposite side of the fence are examples of how mesh networks are able to improve our lives, through automated thermostats such as Nest or fitness trackers such as Jawbone. Either way they are raising concerns around the security of personal data which will have to be addressed in order to build consumer trust. 
If you want to know anything more about the course, drop Vikki an email -


Vikki Willis Communications Planner UK Google Google Squared
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