Source: Official Google Australia Blog
Posted by Lily Sheringham, Global Marketing, Platforms & Ecosystems
This is a cross-post from The Google Keyword blog.
Today we’re launching the Apps, Games, & Insights podcast series, bringing together insights, stories, and learnings from industry experts, on some of today's hottest topics surrounding mobile, apps and games businesses, and the wider industry.
Listen to the podcast here!
The series has eight episodes which aim to challenge, provoke thought, and enlighten listeners - from designers and developers, through to product managers and marketers, and those interested in the apps and games industry.
The podcast is hosted by Googlers Tamzin Taylor, who heads up Apps & Games Business Development for Google Play in Western Europe, and Dirk Primbs, who leads the Ecosystem Developer Relations team in EMEA. Together, they have many years of experience working with partners to assist with Android development, mobile, app, game, and business growth. Every week they will be joined by different guests for each of the episodes.
Sneak peek at what’s coming up
Kicking off the series are Judy Chen and Sarah Fuchs from Crowdstar, the developers of Covet Fashion and Design Home. They join us for episode 1 to discuss how to build a long-term games business by taking a holistic approach to the game, its players, and the people who create the game.
Ever wonder if it's worth selling your app or game business, and if so how to approach it? It's not all about pocketing the cash and walking away. For episode 2, game mergers and acquisitions expert Chris Petrovic from Zynga will talk about how acquisition can free developers to focus on what they love: creating great apps and games.
The popularity of subscriptions continues to grow, with developers who used subscriptions earning 4X more in 2018, than in 2016. Holly Ackerman and David Berlin, from the sports streaming platform DAZN, join us for episode 3 to provide some fascinating insights into how they have grown their subscription business in this industry.
Whether you are a startup in search of funding or an established business looking to accelerate your investment, venture capital can often be a good source of funds. In episode 4, venture capital expert Matteo Vallone from Cherry Ventures offers insights into the investment process and how to maximize your appeal to investors.
For episode 5, we have what is possibly one of the biggest topics in mobile and throughout the tech industry: privacy. Bruce Gustafson, CEO of Developers Alliance brings us up to speed on trust and safety, platform value, respecting the user, and ultimately building privacy friendly apps and games.
Successful game developers put players front and center of everything they do. When over 270 million people have played your games, you must be doing something right. Ben Clarke, Senior Global Marketing Director at Jagex, joins us for episode 6 to discuss some of the innovative approaches to player engagement and retention taken in their RuneScape games.
Figuring out how to make your app or game accessible to all can often be a challenge, sometimes both from an organizational and technical perspective. However, many developers have made accessibility a core part of their app development process and company culture. For episode 7, we’re joined by Ceri Lindsay and Rosalind Whittam from the BBC to discover how they address accessibility.
Today, Android is not just about smartphones, Android apps and games can run on a range of devices with larger screens, such as Chromebooks. At the same time, mature mobile game franchises are looking for opportunities beyond mobile. In our final episode 8, we’ll be joined by Maximiliano Rodriguez of Gameloft to talk about the challenge of taking games to big screens and new platforms.
We hope you’ll join us over the next eight weeks to dive deeper and hear what our thought leader guests have to say on each topic.
How to stay tuned in
To listen to our first podcast and find out more about what’s coming, check out our new Apps, Games, & Insights podcast homepage.
Listen to our first episode here, or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Google Podcasts, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and also on LibSyn. Keep an eye out on @GooglePlayDev and @AndroidDev on Twitter where we will be announcing the launch of the new episodes each week.
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Source: Android Developers Blog
Anass Koudiss | Global Education Programme Manager, Leadership
Reading time: 3 minutes
If you’ve read a newspaper or an advertising industry magazine in the last few weeks, it’s very likely that machine learning and automation were mentioned at least once. They’re the hottest new topics in the marketing world.
As the tech evolves, and manual tasks move towards automation, it’s up to agency leaders to make sure it’s being used to provide new value to their clients and spur agency growth.
Since every agency is unique, each will need to take its own approach. Every agency has its own strengths, growth opportunities and resource capabilities. What many agencies have in common, though, is their powerful ability to grow and transform quickly in an industry that’s constantly changing.
At Google, we’re powering our advertising solutions with machine learning. Automated solutions like Smart Bidding, Smart Creatives, and App campaigns take care of routine tasks, freeing up your team to focus on ad-testing, advanced insights, or more face time with clients.
As with any big change, adopting this new approach takes a lot of planning. So we developed a powerful framework called “The Web of Transformation”, to help you envision the future of your unique agency. To get started, bring your leadership team together, print out this A3 poster, and spin your agency web with the following steps:
1. To begin, choose the eight most important dimensions that make up your agency. Specifically, pick the eight things that help you and your clients grow.
2. Feel free to choose from the suggestions here, but make sure you pick dimensions that make sense for your agency.
3. Next, with the help of your team, rank each of the eight dimensions from most important to least.
4. Finally, grade your ability in each dimension on a scale of 1 to 5. Here’s an example of what it should look like.
5. Make sure to evaluate and analyse where you excel, and where you need to step up your game. Ask yourselves the questions below to help drive the discussion.
Together, we can use this process to capitalize on automation and Machine Learning opportunities, as we've done before with mobile, multi-screen, and video. So weave your web carefully, it will give you a glimpse into the future of your agency.
In a world of superheroes, creativity is a real human superpower. Everybody has it. It doesn’t just live within certain types of people within an agency. We all have creative potential. But as we get older, safer and more comfortable, we run the risk of losing that creative spark as life becomes associated with routine and order.
So is there a way to get back into your creative self? What methods from business, innovation or anywhere else are there to help you tap into that wellspring of positive ideas?
We sat down with Doctor Frederik Pferdt, Google’s Chief Innovation Evangelist, for the Google Partners Podcast episode 31, and he offered some fascinating insights (and tips) on how to answer some of those questions. During the discussion, he offers his thoughts on how adults can rekindle some of the creative fire they had as children, and other key takeaways to spark innovation at every level.
According to Doctor Pferdt it’s not only about ideas, but also about asking the right questions, finding good problems and therefore developing a healthy disregard for the impossible. Find a “what if” and a “why”.
As author and marketing guru, Simon Sinek recommends that you see if you can reframe the problem by getting to its roots. “Start with a Why.” Why do you normally approach a certain challenge from the angle you do, and why not step away from the issue and take a completely new perspective? Try something new. Get into a room, fill a wall or even two with post-it notes: what connections can you make and what new associations can you find, when you are free to consider them?
Every human being is looking for routines. They give us safety, security and save our brains energy. They make us feel good. That said, routines sometimes only help us to perform to our average level or below. Like putting your smartphone into ‘Low Power’ mode, some of the more complicated applications won’t work. To free us from the shackles of everyday thinking, it can be necessary to break those routines. Go and walk a mile, go check out a local gallery. Or even, as Jan Chozen Bay suggests in Mindfulness on the Go, pause and take a breath every time you walk through a door2. You can also make a list of your routines and they see if any of them are worth breaking (just as some will be worth holding onto).
Two modes for thinkers
As Doctor Pferdt mentions, it’s helpful to consider different approaches to thinking. According to him, there are two kinds of thinking: Divergent thinking powers the imagination, so it’s used for generating new possibilities and combining new thoughts. Convergent thinking powers your judgment, when you’re making decisions it’s how you evaluate and it’s the mode you use when you’re testing something or criticizing.
Allow yourself to recognize which of the two modes you are using. For example, try to think divergently when considering your methods or plans, so that you can embrace new possibilities. Give your ideas a chance to breathe before you start to criticize (and think convergently). One practical example writers use: if you have a speech or memo to deliver, try writing it out with a pen and paper before you type it out, and don’t stop to edit yourself. Let the words flow first and come back to edit later. You’ll find the shape of your ideas, which you can then come back to and refine with your critical eye later.
Why is it that way, why can’t it be different? New, radical solutions mostly emerge outside of our comfort zone. Constraints should be welcomed as an opportunity. Consider early users of Twitter. Writing a coherent message in just 140 characters (as it used to be) seemed a crazy challenge. But the constraint became creative fuel to millions of messages and new ways of communicating in shorthand. Just as the rigid structures of the meter, rhyme, and theatrical convention were subverted by William Shakespeare - even as he adhered to them.
From the Elizabethans to the present day, forms of convention and modes of communication move forward inexorably. The most successful thinkers and doers have to be ready to learn new ways and keep themselves learning, so they can stay in touch.
Build innovation into your daily routine
When you consider the pace of change in technology, it makes sense to include ‘innovator’ in your job description, in both your actions and attitude. What can you learn and take on in your thinking that will prepare you for the changes to come?
Doctor Pferdt recommends adopting what researcher Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” (the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems), which can start a virtuous cycle whereby believing you can improve, you actually improve. There is also a sense that having an open mind to new ways of working will not just be crucial in 2019 but might also be the key to agency success in the future. Scott Harrison, founder of The Boom! has this to say on learning at work and the importance of a certain kind of versatility.1
In the end, the challenge comes back to us all. How do you change your everyday approach to get creative?
Tune in to the Google Partners Podcast to find out more; and let us know your thoughts on Twitter.
1 Kapow! how you can hack, teach, make and steal your way to creativity in digital, Think With Google, June 2018
2 Hacking your innovation mindset, re:Work, June 2018
Reading time: 4 minutesSeasonal campaigns go beyond the holidays - Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, and Small Business Saturday are also a huge part of the retail year. They’re less about targeting seasons, and more about finding moments with a common appeal in your client’s industry.
Brands need to be present in these moments, ready to greet panic-driven deal hunters with the perfect solution. So we sat down with Shopify’s CMO Hana Abaza on the Google Partners Podcast to get her top tips for seasonal campaigns that drive sales.
Find your seasonEvery business has an element of seasonality; times when interest piques and traffic spikes. All you need to do is identify them! Robust Google Analytics reports are a great place to start. Export your data onto a spreadsheet, and with some clever formatting, trends will start to light up like fireworks on New Year's Eve.
Analytics also helps you uncover biases that may be hiding behind “failed” campaigns. For example, if you pumped a lot of your budget into targeting Valentine’s Day last year without success, it would be easy to write the day off as a ‘bad fit’ for your brand. Take a fresh look at the data, carry out an honest review, and you may find that small tweaks are all that’s needed to turn things around next year.
Spot your opportunityYou’ve identified the seasons that matter to your business, now make sure your marketing budget is ready to handle the increased workload. Use Google Trends to spot search trends across each region you’re targeting, then compare that to search volume data in Google Ads to find keywords that fit your offering.
In the build-up of individual events, Consumer Barometer can help you better understand how to reach your audience at the right time, with the right message. Different events bring up different emotions, so keeping track of consumer trends is a great way to make sure your ads strike an emotional chord with your audience.
Create separate campaignsIt’s important that you measure success without the noise of other, non-seasonal campaigns. This helps you identify nuances in each season, and optimize next year’s campaigns with those insights in mind.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with copy. Products like Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) can help you test different messages with very little effort. All you need to do is enter multiple headlines and descriptions about your products, and Google Ads will test different combinations to identify the best fit for your audience.
Don’t miss last-minute shoppersThere’s been a 120% increase in “same-day delivery” searches since 20151. For urgent searches, 74% of shoppers say that when they’re searching on mobile, they look for the most relevant information, regardless of the company or brand2. As a result, the retailer that provides the most seamless experience wins.
Season-specific promotion extensions help your ads stand out on Google’s results pages, and spotlight special promotions you may be running for the event. Highlighting services like same-day delivery, last-minute sales, or gift-wrapping may be all it takes to tip customers in your direction.
Great seasonal campaigns are all about planning. Arm yourself with industry trends, plan your marketing budget with those trends in mind, and remember to tap into your consumer’s emotions with ads that resonate. With the right tools, a detailed content plan, and thorough research, you’ll be setting yourself up for seasonal success.
Watch the video below and tune in to the Google Partners Podcast for more actionable tips and insights for seasonal success.
1 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018
2 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018
Reading time: 3 minutes
They drive action
They're part of the family
They're part of the daily routine
So if you have a restaurant client, you could build an Action to check the daily specials or order food for takeout. Or if you have a client in retail, you could build an Action for instant checkouts or personalized recommendations.
You can also find out more about how voice assistance affects consumer behavior with this handy video: