Visiting Google was a fitting trip after I recently completed Squared Online Training with Google UK. This trip marked the first chapter in our journey to becoming an expert Google Partner Agency, specially selected for their elite training program, Google Elevator.
On this gloomy Manchester morning, Danny, Jess and I, boarded the Pendolino from Manchester to Euston; we were on our way to visit Google. A big change from Media City.
Whilst on the train we met Helen Knowles, who was writing her master's thesis in fine art & focussing on film. I missed the first half of the conversation because I left my seat. When I returned they were chatting about algorithms. It's kind of an odd thing to chat about on a train.
Her artistic vision was to put an algorithm on trial for stealing private information. Danny told her he had recently built an application for a recruitment agency that scraped the LinkedIn API, & suddenly the ice was broken.
It has to be the strangest ice breaker I have encountered... We swapped details and, as far as I can tell, Danny may be a star in the film; watch this space for a further update on that. Joining Google's Partner Programme was a natural progression after completing Squared Online in April.
When we arrived in London, we scoped out Google's colourful HQ over on Tottenham Court Rd & waited eagerly in reception to meet our contact. The problem was they couldn't find him.
You can probably sense an irony in my tone. We had gone to the wrong HQ. This is what happens when you Google 'Google' and use Google maps to get there. It wasn't a huge problem, we cracked the maps out again and wandered over to Buckingham Palace Rd HQ instead.
We met with our contact, albeit a little late, and he took us through their amazingly cool offices, sat us down and showed us some facts and figures; he showcased their products and also explained that we were one of a small number of agencies they had recently flagged up with potential for growth. Hence, we qualified for their full support!
This is great for business moving forward, as I have recently completed their digital marketing certificate & to get myself back up to scratch, having the backing of the Google team & their account strategists means we can guarantee any clients best practice with their advert accounts. Anyway enough selling on my personal blog 😉
We left feeling quite special, and congratulated ourselves on the laid back nature of our trip arranging; we got an extra few hours in the big smoke to get some grub and a few pre-Christmas drinks! After wandering through Covent Garden, we went with Danny's recommendation to eat at Wahaca; it is pretty decent if you like quesadillas & guacamole, which I do.
With an hour to kill we tube hopped to Camden & stumbled into the famous Worlds End pub for a couple of drinks before wishing we had longer and heading back to Euston. If you haven't been to this pub, you need to go, it's all I'm saying. It's like a surreal cross between a Victorian street and a pirate ship. Throw in a Tardis.
On the train home, we met a top bloke called Alex, it may as well have just been the pub because I dozed off on the shoulder of the hapless chap. It's all good because, in this world of professionals on a train, I had still managed to connect on LinkedIn first and apologise in advance. Oh, the shame.
When we arrived back in Manchester my homing beacon went off & I found the nearest tram and quickly boarded it. Turns out it was going somewhere else and my homing beacon didn't work very well. Anyway, I'm here to tell this tale so needless to say I rectified my mistake and before long I was blissfully asleep in my own bed.
It was a pretty good day today.
In the months leading up to our Google visit, I worked hard with their online marketing program, Squared Online! I took part in an intense programme, developed with Google, to deliver us the very latest insights into the world of digital marketing and I passed with flying colours!
Squared Online is the award-winning global digital marketing qualification. It empowers the next generation of digital changemakers with hands-on practical experience and leadership strategy.
the Squared Online certificate in Digital Marketing is a full IPA and IAB-endorsed, CPD-accredited qualification.
While on Google Squared, I learned a wealth of topics: Customer Journey, Disruptive Business Planning, Social Media, Mobile, Search, Display, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Attribution Models, Leadership Models, Digital Trends and so many other topics.
Every week was something new. My background is in design and web development and I have a good working knowledge of marketing principles, but this course opened my eyes to the amazing world of digital strategy, the customer journey and many more.
The course consist of live classes. Every week you attend and the instructor feeds a live interactive group class to your screen. In the online classes, You can interact with other team members & there is a level of group activity.
You also need to put in 4-6 hours a week of self directed learning. If you can do more then great. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Squared online introduced me to a lot of new concepts in the world of online digital marketing. The consumer path to purchase, customer centricity, programmatic and so much more.
Since our Google visit day, we have come on a long way. We are now co-run, by Ex-Googler Ben Tennant & we are Google Partner PPC Agency in Manchester. We've been selected as one of Google's top 30 agencies in 2017 to receive their prestigious Elevator coaching programme. We have run workshops, live streams, training days and of course continue to take the mystique out of Google Ads.