Whenever and wherever our Google overlords speak, I get my butt in that room and listen. They seem to know way more about me than I’m comfortable with, so I’m going to learn all I can about them. You can’t argue with their success in today’s business world. They are the #1 search engine online by far, and their YouTube product became the second-most popular search engine last year. This week, I had the opportunity to hear Marc Marinacci, Team Manager for Google’s Retail Sales Division, speak to the Columbus chapter of the American Marketing Association on “Five Trends that Shape Digital Marketing.” 1.) Speed Beats Perfection First to market has always been a tenant of success in the online world. Marinacci provided some examples of when even superior content did not have nearly the draw of similar content that was first to market and first to develop a following. While this axiom does not always hold true (when you want to impress your date with a nice dinner, do you want fast food or a near-perfect dining experience?), it is certainly true for digital marketing. Post it online now; you can always make updates later. The bad news: If your company is often stricken with paralysis by analysis, you’re more likely to end up roadkill on the information superhighway. 2.) Think Like a Publisher Marinacci provided the statistic that the adult attention span can last as little as eight seconds. Instead of thinking only like an advertiser or marketer — one who disrupts consumers’ attention and tries to hold it long enough to get a message through — create engaging content. My advice is to take a moment and do a little research on the content that was provided during the early days of radio and television. For example, during shows like Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater, the sponsor didn’t just run 30-second spots during the show. Rather, the brand was an integral part of the program. Remember, these are the early days of Internet video and social media. 3.) Revisit Old Friends Google’s search results have changed quite a bit in just the last 10 years. Has your search marketing strategy changed? How about your traditional media strategy? Just look at how newspaper, TV, and radio have changed in the last few years! 4.) Use the Wisdom of a Crowd Marinacci stated that hundreds of ordinary people who have little knowledge of a particular subject can give the same or better “guesses” than a handful of experts. After all, just look at what a handful of economists were saying a year ago! He used an example of guessing a cow’s weight at the county fair. I have an even better example, one that that we are fond of in this country: We call it democracy. It isn’t always pretty or very logical at times, but we usually get the right result. 5.) Let the Customer Speak Even though it’s your product, you don’t possess all of the good ideas on how it can be used, presented, packaged, or made. My father always used to tell me “a good idea can come from anywhere — even the janitor.” Give your customers a voice online and they might just be your best spokesperson, copywriter, or new product developer. And if they are passionate about your brand, they’ll often do it for free! Shocking statistic of the day: “One-third of Google searches originate from iGoogle pages.” Really?!?