Google Digital Garage – Some insights from David Sime

We are thrilled that David Sime from Google Digital Garage will return to STEP to take part in Digital December. He will deliver two digital skills masterclasses on behalf of Google. Here he gives us a flavour of what we can expect in the first week of December…

I’m really happy to be returning to STEP to deliver two new lectures on behalf of Google’s education initiative, the Digital Garage.

My last visit was just over a year ago and the enthusiasm, creativity and thirst for learning I was met with in that room was beyond anything I had encountered in my other lectures around the country.

So what are the Digital Garage Lectures, and why have Google asked me to deliver them?

Google’s Digital Garage is an initiative to empower you with the knowledge to effectively manage your own digital marketing and build your business’ online presence using cheap, free and simple online tools.

In the 14 months I’ve been working on this programme I’ve seen hundreds of businesses benefit from its demystification of digital marketing, realising they don’t need to spend loads of money or involve specialist third parties to build local, national or even international presences online.

So why will I be delivering Google’s talks on the 5th of December?

Well, as a fledgling marketing consultant in the late 90’s I was lucky enough to have caught the beginning of the digital marketing revolution – suddenly, with this new innovation called the internet, even my smallest clients were able to reach new customers almost anywhere in the world.

This new technology made advertising incredibly cheap – in fact with a little time and elbow grease amazing results could be achieved completely for free.

Now, things have changed considerably in the intervening two decades, with the advent of social media, internet enabled mobile devices and paid online advertising, you now have a bewildering array of promotional opportunities available to you, leaving a new problem – where to start?

Well, here’s the good news – in all the time I’ve been working with this constantly developing and evolving technology, I’ve noticed that certain important things haven’t changed at all and nor, it seems, will they.

I’ve realised that by understanding these basic constants you can very quickly choose which digital tools to use and how to apply them to greatest effect.

Here’s the first one – people buy from people. Your clients want to read reviews from other buyers, they want to understand why you are the expert in your industry and, most importantly they want to know who they are buying from and to be able to put a face to the name.

This gives smaller businesses a huge advantage over larger ones online, as you can much more easily tell you clients about you and your team than, say, Coca Cola can.

Secondly – and perhaps even more importantly – people form their lasting first impressions using their instincts and emotions rather than rational thought (whatever they might say otherwise). Understanding these split second decisions this can allow you to get your message across effectively even with the incredibly short attentions spans customers have online, and this knowledge can give you a huge advantage over your competitors.

But what has changed is even more important – with the sheer volume of information and choice, internet users need to make decisions quickly, so new forms of online media like video are becoming ever more important. Fortunately, with the media Swiss-Army-Knife that modern smartphones have become, you now have the tools needed to meet this demand right in your pocket.

Also, advertising used to be delivered only to broad audiences through mediums like direct mail, newspapers, radio and TV. You had to spend a lot to reach a lot of people, then construct a one-size-fits-all message to try to capture the attention of the widest audience possible.

Modern paid advertising, by comparison, is absolutely laser focused – you can narrow down your audiences to their age, location, background, and even their hobbies and interests. So for each audience you can easily customise your advertising content to make sure it appeals to them and only them. Result?  A much higher return on a much lower investment.

On December the 5th I’ll be showing you how to capitalise on all of these advantages, cutting through the techno babble to give you a specific, actionable to do list for your business, as well as access to any other free training you might need to take your digital marketing to the next level.

I look forward to seeing you there!

David Sime

David Sime lectures in Digital Promotion for Google and the Chartered Institute of Marketing whilst directing Online Corporate Video Production Ltd.

Register for the Tell Your Story Online & Get Started With Digital Advertising masterclasses from Google Digital Garage here.


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