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Chris Hodgson, Sector Lead - Multi Channel Solutions at Google, joins Canadian eCommerce Challenge Advisory Board

Chris Hodgson, Google

Thanks to some geeky friends of mine, I discovered Google when it was a baby and was blown away by how much better it was at search than the alternatives of the day.

That left me with a soft spot for Google that made it especially sweet when one of its top Canadian executives, Chris Hodgson, not only agreed to be interviewed but also to serve on the Advisory Board for the Canadian eCommerce Challenge. (If you want to know what’s happening with the Challenge, sign up for our newsletter!)

If You Win, Google Wins

Even though its huge market power can make one a little uneasy, fundamentally its interests are aligned with ours: if an ad catches your interest, you find something you were interested in, the advertiser makes a sale and Google makes a profit. Win win win. 

Key Online Marketing Lessons from Google

(Well, from this Google interview, at least.)

  1. Adopt a “test and learn” mentality. One of the great things about the digital world is that it is so easy to track and test. Chris suggests that whenever you are trying something new online, test two versions of it. Once one wins test it against another variant. Wash, rinse, repeat. 
  2. Mobile matters. Most e-mail links are clicked from mobile phones these days, so be sure that your email and website work well on tiny mobile screens.
  3. Focus on profit, not just cost per click. If paying more per click gets you higher in the ad listings and results in more customers, it might be worth paying that extra. Think in terms of the lifetime value of a customer in making your calculation. It’s not just the first sale that matters; in many businesses the hardest part is getting the customer in the first place. If your average customer goes on to buy from you repeatedly, you can afford to pay a bit more up front.

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What’s the best thing about Google in your mind? What’s the worst?

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