Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

Paul Gunning, Tribal DDB

Paul Gunning
Tribal DDB Worldwide

Which of my lessons resonates with you the most and why?

[Number] 10 [Let the Data Decide] but Google refers to that as “Data trumps opinion.” I love this phrase. How true it is, especially in a creative agency where you can, and almost always do, have varying opinions. More importantly, within the client organizations, you have a wide swing of opinions. The only true way to back up your story is data. I can validate your message was shown to the right audience. I can prove your target liked the message. I can show you sales. Those 3 foundational statements tend to void singular opinions.

How have you put one or more of these lessons to good use for your clients?

Every one of them. But, number 5 [Be Where Your Audience Is], McDonald’s describes as, “Fish where the fish are.” A majority of our clients do not have an online sales model — therefore their sites tend to be re-enforcements for a retail purchase. Given that scenario, it does not discount the importance of the Web site, but it does add a sense of urgency to carry your message digitally far outside the brand site. Social media has enabled us to dramatically increase this reach in a cost effective and targeted manner.

What makes Google such a unique company? Why has it been so successful?

3 core reasons in my opinion:

1) They broke new ground in the advertising model with paid search. Deliver relevant results to an interested party and only pay upon action. Brilliant.

2) They are an advertising company, but boy where they smart not to act like one. [Google created] a unique culture of experimentation and risk taking.

3) The people. Clearly Google’s second most brilliant move after the business model was to hire only the best and the brightest.

What type of person is well-suited to thrive in an agency or client-side in today’s marketing world?

A self-starter. Neither agencies mor clients have budgets to train, nor have the capacity to centralize the innovation that occurs daily now in or industry. Those that seek to understand new opportunities, new ideas, and new technologies can thrive.

In less than 140 characters, what’s the single most important thing you’ve learned from Google?

You still can change the world.

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