October 19, 2010


Chris O'Neill (~1979) at his family's Canadian Tire in Acton, Ontario Chris O'Neill, in his second month as the head of Google Canada, headlined the 10th annual Small Business Forum. Enterprise Toronto created an excellent day.

Last month, Chris helped make the CIRA AGM interesting  with a different topic. He has small business roots. Chris worked at his family's Canadian Tire store in Acton, Ontario. Yes, that's him in the photo.

Here are some miscellaneous eye-popping statistics. For maximum impact, pause to absorb the magnitude.
  • there are 4 billion photos on Flickr
  • 5 billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store and 10 billion songs from iTunes
  • Google's index contains 1 trillion URLs
  • 25 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 1 of each 6 minutes online in Canada is spent using social media
  • half of all new Internet connections are mobile
  • there are more mobile phones around the globe than clean toilets
  • 81% of shoppers do research online before buying
The sources were not shown. Maybe that's to get us to run our own Google searches?

The End Of Digital Marketing

Chris talked about the end of digital marketing. Just as "colour TV" is now "TV" and "cell phone" is now "phone" for many, these days "digital marketing" is "marketing". The novelty's gone. It's time for business.

The Five Marketing Keys

Since your clients have a set of options (including doing nothing), you want to become their preferred choice. How you present yourself matters and requires digital tools.
Here are Chris's five marketing keys for small business
  1. establish your online presence
  2. use free marketing to reach customers
  3. know your customers
  4. advertise online
  5. embrace the cloud

Establish Your Online Presence

This is a basic requirement. Any arguments? Now 20% of web searches have a local element. You can put yourself on the map with Google Places (previously called the Local Business Center). It's free.

Use Free Marketing To Reach Customers

When search engines — Chris showed Bing and Yahoo too — find you, they direct traffic to you. That's free but you need online content first. Posting to places like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube helps.

Know Your Customers

Where are your customers from? What are they looking for? Why guess when you can get answers with Google Analytics (which is free).

For instance, today's visitors to this blog read Conan the Teacharian from 2007 and Brad Pitt, Bluetooth headsets and you from 2009.

Advertise Online

You can reach customers who've raised their hands to ask for what you sell. You only pay for visitors who meet the requirements you've defined. You can start a campaign with Google Adwords instantly.

I haven't tried paid advertising but many others have.

Embrace The Cloud

Putting content online allows collaboration and the use of modern applications like the free Google Apps Standard Edition. You get to say farewell to expensive legacy systems and get updates without upgrading any software. You also avoid the hassles of making offsite backups.

What do you think about Chris' ideas?


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1 comment:

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