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Google Engage Partners Meet Up in New Delhi

This was the first Google Engage meetup I attended. It was held on November, 8th, 2012 at Hotel Hyatt, New Delhi. I had ignored earlier ones, thinking them to be training usually provided to the beginners.

However, this proved to be a Good one and the depth they went into were above my expectations. The greatest lure for attending it was the training for newly introduced features of Display Advertising. I am glad I attended this training.

Trainer seemed to be well versed in what she was teaching and she walked the talk by demonstrating everything on Adwords interface. Very beneficial for all who attended.

Display advertising is changing everyday and so it was a timely initiative by google to get all its partners on the learning curve who otherwise would depend on their own experience and some guesses work. Important parts of the training were adwords learning module and practical problem solving and brainstorming in group.

Mostly SEO companies and some of their regular Engage partners were attendees. I learnt most of them had attended this kind of meetup before too. Most of the attendees were from the companies who manage in house big budget campaigns. Some of the questions they asked were enough to hint that they are on the early stage of the learning curve. There were some tables filled with corporate engage partners too who actively work with Google, selling adwords packages.

First half of the day was spent discussing adwords display advertising features and best practices. Second half was more interesting with discussion on Youtube Advertising and address by the Google’s Marketing Manager, Swagat Sarangi. Youtube advertising has some newly introduced features. The trainer discussed many facts and figures about it.

Some keynotes were figures regarding traffic generation, rates of the banner and mobile ads on youtube. Whereas Youtube masthead costs 6-7 lacs per day, a similar banner on mobile interface costs only Rs.2 Lacs. It looked like they are eager to sell this product through their adwords sales channel. I wonder here why would any advertiser leave the mobile space when one is paying for its web interface. If you are looking for booking a masthead on Youtube, you must bargain to get it bundled with mobile banner too.

Since they are selling it through a dedicated direct sales team, I assume they must be leaving some space for bargaining. From my experience in direct sales, I can tell you such type of products are last moment throwaways for sealing the deal. So, you must bargain for this one too, maybe it comes at a far more discounted rate or even as a freebie with regular masthead.

Many people wanted the Free vouchers which has been discontinued since October to be launched again through Engage Partners. Swagat replied there were too many cases of fraudulent practices and instances of gaming the system through multiple URL and blogspot URl to circumvent the provisions of new account creation, so it is difficult to start that once again. He also shared Larry Page’s concern regarding free vouchers, quoting him that The sales can be doubled instantly by tweaking the Search results in favor of someone for a single day but harmful in the long run, so sales alone is not the mission. However, he also shared that he is thinking about it because he knows the impact on sales because of this. Given the kind of pressure from Google’s prime sales partners, it looks like some kind of arrangement is underway.

Swagat also wanted some informal chat in the end with Engage partners over a cup of coffee in the end, however, most of them were leaving, so I too left the venue. Perhaps some were left behind, who must have had the opportunity to chat with him, maybe regular problems and their solutions.

After coming back I found that the folder I was given there contains an exam voucher code and a 4GB USB Pen Drive from Moser Baer. Previous Year I had to pay for the exam because I received the voucher a day after I took the Exam despite a long follow up for the same. Thanks for this, but I have already taken the exam this year, using previous year’s voucher and was pleasantly surprised to see that Google has included all the exams in a Single voucher unlike earlier when one could take only one specialization exam with one voucher.

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