Yesterday I attended the Google Engage conference in Vancouver attracted more than 200 digital marketing professionals from across Western Canada and beyond.
The morning keynote was delivered by Chris O’Neill, Director of Google Canada, who shared his predictions and insights on the future of digital marketing in Canada. According to O’Neil, “Only 40% of Canadian businesses have a website.” He encouraged those businesses that don’t have a website to participate in Google Canada’s “Get Your Business Online Program”: http://gybo.ca.
Some other juicy Canadian statistics and quotes included:
- “The shopping experience on mobile will eventually be better than desktop”
- “Within 18 months 15%-30% of traffic will be from mobile devices”
- “Only 14% of SMB used search advertising last year”
- “16% of advertising budget is spent online”
- “3.7 billion searches per month in Canada in Google”
- “86% of Canadian consumers research online before purchasing”
- “There are 6.7 billion mobile devices worldwide”
- “1 in 5 people on a smartphone globally. Last year it was 1 in 10”
- “In Canada 1 in 3 mobile devices are smartphones. By the end of 2014 half of all Canadians will have a smartphone”
More Canadian mobile statistics can be seen in some of the photos below. The main focus of Chris’ presentation was on the future of mobile marketing and advertising. We share many of the same viewpoints as I also believe we are on the cusp of a mobile marketing revolution.
Nectar Economakis, Agency Lead, Google Canada, then delivered a presentation on Google Engage and how SEO and SEM professionals can benefit from it. He also informed us of an invite only conference happening in February 2012 that occurs on a cruise ship. You must be a member of the Google Engage mailing list to be invited so if you needed a reason to sign up for Google Engage, this might be it. As a side note, I went to the Summit Series Conference on a cruise ship last March and it was an unbelievable experience which you can read about on my Summit at Sea blog post.
As the President of the digital marketing agency 6S Marketing, I was on a panel of experts that included Chris Pinkerton, Senior Account Director, from Mediative (formerly Enquiro) and David Eckman, Senior Partner, Cardinal Path (formerly VKI Studios). We answered pointed questions about the SEO and SEM industry from the MC, Google Canada’s Niko Downie.
My colleague Phil Caines and I captured some of the video which you can view in the YouTube video embedded below or watch at: http://youtu.be/xiQhdyA0Ypo
The afternoon session included a Google Adwords Fundamentals Workshop that covered; campaign management, bidding and budgeting as well as pitching Google AdWords to customers and/or senior level executives. On a separate track there was a Adwords Advanced Workshop that included; optimization reporting, My Client Centre, and excelling as an Adwords agency.
The last session of the day was the Adwords 1:1 (one-to-one) which allowed you to get your questions personally answered by Adwords experts.
Wrapping things up at the end of the day was the Google product demos (including Google Plus) and of course networking and mingling around the open bar..
A key take away, and your reward for reading to the end of this blog post, was learning more about the Google click-to-call functionality for Google Places and call metrics which launched in Canada less than 2 weeks ago. This mobile marketing product allows you to embed phone numbers into your ads that can be viewed and called from mobile devices. Google tracks the area code, call length and a bunch of other cool features. Also, because it is such a new product, the competitiveness is extremely low for most industries and in most cases its only $1 a call. Find out more about Google Click to Call Phone Extensions and call metrics at http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/ctc.html
If you are a digital marketing professional and you want to find out how you can attend future Google Engage Events in Vancouver and beyond, sign up on the Google Engage site. I cannot wait to attend the next Google Engage Conference and hope to see you there. Please post your comments below.