You might be surprised to learn that Google had a significant presence at National Small Business Week here in Washington.
To many of us it seems like Google has such a built-in marketing advantage online, that it may be superfluous to market in a big way offline.
But Google does in fact market to small businesses off the Web.
Google sponsored the Cyber Cafe at Small Business Week (pictured above). In the Cyber Cafe you could use the Google-provided free WiFi connection to check email and get online.
Google also had a photo booth where you could have a little fun, snapping yourself with a humorous sign, “identifying” yourself.
Down the length of one wall was a huge map of the United States, with plastic stickers in the form of map pins. You could write your company name on the pin and “put yourself on the map.”
The symbolic emphasis with Google Places/ Google Maps should be obvious from these activities.
But Google was emphasizing more than Google Places. They were giving out printed booklets with tips for being successful online. The booklet points out 12 Google tools and resources for small businesses, including Google Webmaster Central, Website Optimizer, and AdWords, among others. You can download an electronic PDF copy for yourself.
As we reported not long ago, Google and the SBA entered into a partnership in early May 2010. That partnership includes a site with a series of videos and tips aimed at helping small business owners get a feel for how to get more from the Web.
Part of Google’s presence at the Washington event was to strengthen the partnership.
Google is also one of the founding large-company members of the SCORE consortium. The SCORE Consortium has the goal of growing 1 Million small businesses by 2017, by giving them broadband and tools.
Note: For a list of related articles see Coverage of National Small Business Week.
* This coverage was made possible through the generosity of DYMO and DYMO Endicia, which sponsored my attendance at National Small Business Week. *