Thursday, October 7, 2010

Google's Marissa Mayer and Social Marketing

Marissa Mayer has been on the cover of Newsweek as “one of the most powerful women of her generation.” Mayer, vice president of search product and experience and the first female engineer to join Google, returned to Wisconsin last week as a keynote speaker at the 12th annual Business Best Practices and Emerging Technologies Conference.

Mayer told the group of approximately 550 business, technology and marketing professionals about creating an organizational culture of innovation and how such a culture developed at Google. Mayer is responsible for what you see, use and experience on Google. Mayer also received the 2010 Distinguished Fellow Award from the UW-Madison E-Business Institute. The award is presented annually in honor of significant achievements and advancements in information technology and e-business. Award winning journalist Charlie Rose interviewed Mayer early this year about her first 10-years at Google and her experiences on the growth of Internet search and watching Google grow and innovate.

The conference attracted a diverse and eclectic audience ranging from social network and brand professionals, information technology executives to C-level suite business leaders. This mash-up of attendees was intentional by the conference organizers and illustrates what is going on in today's leading organizations where the silos of divisional, brand or product management, IT, supply chain and marketing are breaking down and are collectively collaborating with the common goal to integrate business strategies and grow the company. Social networking was not only discussed, but also practiced during the conference as many attendees used Twitter to record their reactions and network about their experiences.

Bob Grawien, senior vice-president and chief information officer for School Specialty Corporation said, “The insights provided at the Emerging Technology Conference were both visionary and practical.”

Mayer has had the unique opportunity to watch Google grow from 20 employees to one of the most watched companies and leading corporations in the world. The company has a reputation for a culture fostering innovation and allows its employees to use 20% of their time work to work on innovation projects of their choice. “These projects have enabled Google to launch products early and often.” Mayer said. User feedback and customer experiences have been essential to Google's development and user acceptance, Mayer added. “When you launch early and often your users can give you immediate feedback,” Mayer said. She referred to loyal evolved and engaged users as “Google Citizens.” “User contributions enabled Google to translate its web site to 140 languages,” Mayer said.

“Google tries to show the user the unexpected,” Mayer said in reference to their usual home-page simplicity to one-day creative plays and variations called “Google Doodle's.” Their logo variations range form Salvador Dali treatments, to pumpkins as “O's” on Halloween. The day of the conference Google added the Flintstones logo on, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Flintstones. These variations drive huge user visits to Google's home page, and as news spreads all over the web user flock to the web site.

In addition to Mayer, the conference featured talks from many well-known thought leaders, including Dr. Raj Veeramani, Executive Director of the UW- Madison E-Business Consortium and conference producer. Gordon Bell, principal research at Microsoft;, Kelly Goto, principal and CEO of gotomedia as well as Kristin Kirkconnell, vice-president of information service of American Family Insurance. The conference provided an opportunity for business community members to meet and discuss innovative practices and emerging technological trends in marketing and customer experience, information technology and supply chain management.

Dr. Raj VeeramaniDr. Veeramani delivered the opening keynote address in a presentation in which he addressed how power, speed and accessibility of computing has fostered consumer empowerment and radical changes in consumer behavior. This has created significant challenges and opportunities for business to engage with customers. "Brands are being defined not by what you say about yourself, but rather what others are saying about you," Veeramani said. . The fast pace of change and growing adoption of new channels such as social media, mobile devices and user-generated content is transforming customer behavior in terms of how they access information and interact with businesses, Veeramani said. “

“Successfully engaging the customer in this era of fundamental change will require companies to be more relevant, personalized and nimble in how they interact and serve with the customer. To do this, the biggest opportunity and challenge for companies today lies in being able to break through the traditional business silos of marketing, customer service, IT, and supply chain operations, and achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and synchronicity across the entire business and all customer touch points. Veeramini Said. ”

Fan of the conference and regular attendee Marsha Lindsay, CEO of Lindsay Stone & Briggs said, “New communication technologies are allowing people to do things in a whole new way and to do whole new things altogether. For marketers engaging and serving customer will require innovative ways of doing business.”
“Marketers don't need a social media strategy, they need a brand strategy that leverages social media. And without a jumpstart of awareness and engagement from traditional media, most everyone who has a blog or social networks will have a long slow climb to reach any critical or sustainable mass of followers or participants,” Lindsay said.

No comments:

Post a Comment