By Rex Hammock, CEO

The past year’s pandemic has been both a challenge and an opportunity for small businesses—and large businesses. While stories of business failure seem never-ending, there also have been inspiring stories of businesses pivoting to success.

Even a gigantic business like Google found new ways to remind us it does more than search. It finds users who need solutions, not just destinations to locate. Then it uses its search skills to find the solution.

Shoppers don’t just turn to Google for things they want to buy on the web—they also want to know what’s nearby.

The Knowledge Exchange
In 2020, Google helped drive more than 2 billion direct connections, including phone calls, requests for directions, messages, bookings and reviews for U.S. businesses. Google has seen an increase in online research by people who use it before heading out to a restaurant or to get takeout. The company recently found that:

66% of dining consumers said they used it to find food and beverage information during the pandemic.

57% of dining consumers said they discovered food and beverage information during the pandemic via online ads.

45% of viewers said they watch YouTube to see a product demo before buying.

YouTube viewers said they are 2 times more likely to go to a store or shop online to buy something they saw on YouTube versus the competitive average.

Searches on Google Maps for “curbside pickup” have increased 9,000% year over year in the U.S.

Searches on Google Maps for “discounts” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.

Searches on Google Maps for “gift shop” have grown globally by more than 60% year over year.

We may not all be Google or have Google’s resources. But we can think like Google. We can seek client or customer challenges—and then use our skills to solve them.
(Source: Google. Used with permission)

Image: Getty

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By Rex Hammock, CEO

For several years, Hammock Inc. had a message on the wall of our office lobby wall that said: “Your Story Starts Here.”

We thought then—and still do—that using stories is the best way for individuals (and corporations and associations and … ) to connect with the marketplaces they serve.

By Rex Hammock, CEO

We write a lot about the role customer- and content-driven media can serve as a foundation for building deep, engaging relationships between customers and shoppers, owners and members, and members and organizations.

Until recently, however, I had not considered the relationship potential of a bank like Capital One Café. That is, however, until I listened to the “Audible Original” book Caffeine: How Coffee and Tea Created The Modern World. According to its author, Michael Pollan, caffeine has a “unique ability to entertain, inform, and perform in a world where an estimated two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day.”