Here at HookedOnMedia, one of the things we pride ourselves upon most is the eclectic professional background each of our team members possess. Our most recent addition to the team is no exception. Digital Account Manager Alistair Chatterley is a former Senior Business Development Manager at Google, and brings a wealth of fascinating experience and insights to the table.
He professes that there’s ‘not an industry I haven’t worked in – over the years, I’ve seen and done it all’ and his experience has allowed him to develop an in-depth knowledge of Google AdWords and PPC.
Google Partner Status: the what, the how and the why
Before we launch into Alistair’s experience as a Google Partner Manager and here is some useful information to put his role and achievements into context:
What does Google Partner Status mean?
Google Partners is a marketing programme for advertising agencies or third-parties that manage Google Ads accounts on behalf of other brands or businesses, like us here at HookedOnMedia.
How do you become a Google Partner?
Google updates their certification exams each year, which involve being up-to-date with best practices and new features for each in SEM marketing. Agencies are expected to pass with a minimum score of 80%.
It’s these high standards that have allowed us to thrive as a company, and nurture long-standing staff members, as well as new talent such as Alistair.
Why is being a Google Partner advantageous?
There are a whole host of benefits that come from being a Google Partner.
Google Partners receive access to training, support and resources that’s designed with client success in mind. Agencies who opt and are successful in becoming a Google Partner receive knowledge and insights from Google-certified analysts (such as Alistair), who also ensure they meet the on-going and mercurial standards Google expect.
A further benefit includes staying ahead of competition. Google Partners have access to Google’s newest beta features and receive exclusive access to test before they enter the public domain.
Google Partner also means agencies can seek support whenever there is a drop in performance on cause for concern. An agency’s dedicated rep, who has comprehensive knowledge of the given industry and the agency’s goals, offers quarterly calls to address any issues and to help them thrive.
Alistair Chatterley and his experience at Google
With the importance of being a Google Partner established, let’s take a look at Alistair’s time at search engine giant that is indeed Google, and hear him reflect on it in his own words later in the blog.
Early beginnings with Google
Alistair’s experience in Google AdWords harks right back to when the platform was brand new 14 years ago. He managed over 50 clients during his time as a Google Partner Manager, all coming in different shapes and sizes.
His role involved offering free onboarding support, to help clients harness the power of Google Ads, and to help them find the confidence and know-how to use the platform themselves in the future. Business strategy, educating clients on how to use their budget efficiently and see the long-term impact spend will have, and teaching the ins and outs of how to use Google AdWords were all part of Alistair’s role at Google.
Being a keen listener was also a key part of being a Google Partner Manager, and continues to be a great strength of Alistair’s. His role encompassed taking the time to understand an agency’s business model and to find the weaknesses and the strengths, so that he could keep on top of how to use Google AdWords in the most streamlined and targeted way.
Alistair’s time at Google, in his own words….
We caught up with Alistair to quiz him about the experience he’s built up during and since his time with Google.
Q. How did you find the working environment whilst working for Google?
A. ‘I found that Google really got the balance right between establishing professionalism in the working environment, and making it a place employees really wanted to spend time in. Google were actually one of the first businesses to ditch the suit and tie regime, and introduce a more casual dress code. I mean, yes there were hammocks in the office (for real!) but the attitude of everyone working was grounded in wanting to get results and nurturing each other to be the best version of themselves.
There was also a huge emphasis on making sure employees had a rounded skillset that would enable them to view marketing strategy as a whole. Great communication skills, the ability to be concise and tactful (particularly when pointing out clients’ weaknesses!) and giving constructive criticism were also strings we were taught and encouraged to add to our bow and develop. An important part of the role was consultancy and being able to see the bigger picture when it came to driving an agency forward.’
Q. What are your thoughts on what it means to be a Google Partner now/has this changed?
A. ‘Essentially Google’s Partner Agency status will always be the way to distinguish a bona fide PPC agency, who work alongside a dedicated Google internal team on their clients’ accounts for heightened performance. This status will always be the accredited social proof that an Agency, like HookedOnMedia with the Google Partner badge is of a high quality and endorsed by Google.’
Q. What was the biggest lesson you learned during your time at Google?
A ‘Be ahead of the curve, always keep learning and developing yourself, be an expert in your field and help others around you to drive for all of these too.’
Q. What is the biggest strength you bring to HOM?
A. A sharp understanding and experience of advertising, marketing and business growth.
Q. What’s your take on how online marketing/PPC has changed since the pandemic began?
A. ‘The only real change has been industry specific, meaning the industries that could not trade or had to reduce trade had to adapt. Social media and YouTube engagement naturally increased due to the pandemic and have maintained an increased level. There are great opportunities to be had for businesses to advertise on these platforms, in which we at HookedOnMedia are specialists.’
Q. Tell us about the bizarre coincidence that occurred with HookedOn?
A. Yes, a very bizarre coincidence indeed! I actually used to be an account manager for HookedOnMedia on behalf of Google! So in a way, we were destined to work together now!