Your marketing strategy could render the public speechless at its ingeniousness, and yet if the product is rubbish it’s not going to help. That’s the view of Google Australia’s managing director, Maile Carnegie.
In response to a question about how brands can get on the first page of Google, Carnegie explained to the audience at the Digital Marketing Forum in Sydney last Friday brands need to have a good and relevant product.
“It’s all about being smarter with the spend, but increasingly it’s all about…that you’ve got a product or service that absolutely rocks,” she said. “The ability to mask over a bad customer experience through just your marketing…is going away.
“Consumers are better informed than they ever have been and they’re being more and more informed. If you’ve got a bad product or a bad service, it actually doesn’t matter anymore how much money you throw at it from a marketing standpoint.
“To answer your question, how do you get on the top spot of Google Search, actually as much as anything it’s having the best and most relevant product and invest in the most relevant information, so actually answering the query that is being put into the search bar.
“Yes obviously you can put money behind it…but at the end of the day it’s all about your product and service.”
Carnegie’s comments echo those made by Andy Lark, chief marketing officer for accounting software company Xero, where he questioned whether marketing was merely a cover for rubbish products.
Speaking at the Daze of Disruption conference back in May Lark said: “As a marketer, I think you have to be brutally honest and ask, is the marketing just a crutch for product mediocrity?
“It is largely where marketing is where you convince people to buy stuff because the product is not good enough to sell itself on its own. And that’s the ultimate question.”
Google’s rep is on the line here as well, added Carnegie, because if the search giant put up results to someone’s query that wasn’t relevant and wasn’t good content, it hurts Google too.
In response to the changing landscape in the mobile environment and in order to become more relevant to consumers, Google amended its algorithm so that sites with a mobile responsive site were pushed further up the page when searched on a mobile device.
When asked by moderator Alan Kohler, editor at large at The Australian Business Review, about whether it was all about the product now and less about the brand, Carnegie explained how you can no longer just shove some money at the issue like the old days.
“You could have a product which technically was inferior, which you could then market your way over the top of to become the ‘market leader’ because consumers didn’t have a way of finding out very easily whether the technical comparison of one brand versus another,” she said.