When small businesses see Google as the “Wild Wild West” of confusing marketing opportunities, Google itself sees working with third-party companies as crucial to cutting through that confusion and fueling its growth.
Google provided training to 13,000 third-party sales reps last year and aims to train 20,000 this year.
The figure came during a talk by Kristin Coit, Google’s head of directories and web hosting partnerships for Google in North America. She was speaking at LSA 2014, the annual conference of the Local Search Association.
“We understand small businesses don’t want to do it alone,” Coit said, talking about small businesses trying to figure out Google. ”There are millions of small business that want that help, that need that help.”
However, she said from her own experience in talking with thousands of businesses over the years, Google comes across as a “Wild Wild West” of confusion, where businesses have to consider things like AdWords, YouTube as well as Google+ Local listings.
It’s so confusing — and requires so much expertise — that she’d warn off her own father, who runs a small business, from trying to do it himself.
“Would I recommend that he do AdWords on his own? No,” she said. “He just doesn’t have the patience.” Continuing and speaking of small businesses generally, whether it’s an issue patience, know-how or lack of time, “these businesses don’t need to be an expert in online marketing. They need to be an expert in their businesses,” she said.
That’s where third-party firms are seen as key to Google and why it created a “Trusted Digital Media Advisors” program to help train them. The program last year ran 650 trainings of 13,000 third-party sales reps, helping those reps generate more acquisitions and earn more revenue, she said.
The trainings involve videos on selling, resources and other support material. This year, Google hopes the program will train-up 20,000 more reps. A new “Race To Brazil” program will help Google provide some incentive to them, where top reps may win a trip to the World Cup.
Our live blog of her talk is below: