Lithys 2014: Google - The Organization Game Changer

Lithys 2014: Google - The Organization Game Changer

Company: Google AdWords

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Entry submitted by: Diana Ogarkova (Diana) Non-English AdWords Communities Team Lead

Community: AdWords Community (

Lithy category: The Organization Game Changer


AdWords is one of Google’s main products with customers from multi-million dollar companies to tiny mom-and-pop businesses and provides a feature-rich advertising platform suited to all types of advertisers. AdWords customers can access customer support via phone, email or chat channels and get in touch directly with a Google online specialist on a “one-to-one” basis. Google’s online specialists are subject-matter experts trained on a variety of Google online marketing tools. The online specialists provide support and help educate advertisers about the variety of advertising solutions.


Since early 2012 the AdWords Communidade discussion forum in Portuguese is the main platform for online conversations around Google’s online marketing tools, where users can discuss any relevant topics with other users and specialists from Google. We saw an opportunity to maximize the efficiency of direct customer support through active and deep engagement in the one-to-many channels in Portuguese, essentially scaling the “one-to-one” support model into “one-to-many”.


Internally the “one-to-one” and “one-to-many” customer support are provided by two different teams, and each would have a different set of success metrics. In the “one-to-many” team each market would have one Community Manager responsible for nurturing their online AdWords Community. And from user feedback, we know that users react well to a variety of Googlers engaged and creating content in the Community, especially when Googlers represent and actively share content from their various fields of expertise. Having high-quality online content available within a click, when a user is trying to solve an issue, can help customers save time and improve their knowledge, while having a direct impact on reduction of escalations to the “one-to-one” customer support teams.


Having an extensive content base created by online specialists from the “one-to-one” support team brings multiple benefits to customers. This is why establishing a productive relationship with the “one-to-one” customer support team is important, and is the reason why the Community Manager and the managers of “one-to-one” local teams in Brazil partnered to be able to offer an improved customer experience to local advertisers.


Bringing two teams to work on a shared goal proved to be initially an organizational challenge. The answer was to create an agile project team within the 1-to-1 support team that would focus on deliverables for the AdWords Communidade and social channels. The game changer with the team in Brazil was the amount of online specialists involved, and the variety of tasks they were completing.


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Google’s full-time Community Manager for the Portuguese Community & Social channels received support to engage 13 online specialists into AdWords Communidade. The specialists had 1-2 days per week that they could to create content in various text and video formats, such as:


1) Articles with tips and use cases of AdWords to support various online marketing goals;

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2) Quizzes to draw attention and give an opportunity to better learn about various features;

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3) Hangouts on Air from online specialists from the AdWords customer support team two times per week. They focused on a variety of topics for new and advanced advertisers, for example: #sosadwords series was dedicated to the most popular escalations to the customer support team. The Hangouts are streamed live in the AdWords Communidade, and are available as recordings after that. The goal was to scale the content to as many advertisers as possible, and in a few months the team achieved over 800 viewers per Hangout with some topics reaching audience of over 1.4k viewers. In total 61 Hangouts on Air and 13 Hangout “office hours” were conducted in the second half of 2013. The feedback from advertisers was excellent: they see this as a great way to learn. Needless to say that the Hangouts on Air would not be possible without having subject matter experts from the customer support team actively engaged.


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The Googlers from the one-to-one support teams became an active part of the user Community, by extensively sharing their experience with making most of the advertising solutions. In a way this means breaking the “wall” between the company and its users. We believe we have established a successful partnership between 1:1 customer support and 1:many team, which can become a model for community managers to adopt when designing org structure. Why we think this worked in case of AdWords Communidade is a good training of online specialists and breaking down the deliverables into specific workflow tasks with clear expectations on deliverables and success metrics (example of a task: conduct X Hangouts on Air with a minimum of Y Pageviews).


Looking at the bigger picture, we believe that by providing customers with targeted content related to their advertising goals enables a fast-track learning experience, ultimately helping AdWords users make the most of their experience with Google’s advertising products.


We were able to significantly increase the amount of new content pieces created, in particular build a good cadence and scale with the Hangouts on Air. On average the Hangouts received around 800 viewers with some topics getting as many as over 1.4k viewers. In total 61 Hangouts on Air and 13 Hangout “office hours” were conducted in the second half of 2013. All in all, hundreds of up-to-date and relevant pieces of content were created, which indirectly shows in the high % of traffic from organic search channel: over half of users come after performing a search query at


This organizational structure in Brazil allowed for a faster user acquisition to the  AdWords Communidade(as compared with other AdWords online communities across different markets). In 2013 the traffic to AdWords Communidade grew 4x y/y, and in 2014 the growth stay high at ~3x year over year, which means that in January 2014 there were three times as many visitors as in January 2013. The growth was supported with high level of engagement as seen from the high speed of response: typically 4 out of 5 new questions receive a response within 6 hours. 





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Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Status changed to: 2014 Lithy Submission