We sat down with Jay Majithia, Google’s Partnerships and Business Development Lead for Emerging Verticals, before he and our co-founder, Aaron James, speak at the MHEDA convention for the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association. They speak on Tuesday, May 8 about digital solutions in the material handling industry.
Jay began his career in Silicon Valley in an operations consulting role, advising Fortune 500 companies on business processes. He then ventured into the start-up world where he co-founded a news personalization service. Jay’s experience also includes the consumer good space where he ran international expansion for a southern-California based beverage company. Jay now runs partnerships and business development for Google and is based in Los Angeles, CA.
Q: What was your path to taking on your role at Google?
A: My path to Google was anything but conventional. Five years prior to Google, I was involved in not only having my own start-up, but I also helped a U.S.-based beverage company expand their business abroad. At the beverage company, my primary responsibility was to define our expansion strategy, as well as execute on that strategy. I actually sourced and purchased a lot of our capital equipment in Japan and Mexico, so I am very familiar with the material handling space.
Q: This year, three of MHEDA's top business trends for the material handling industry involve how buying patterns are changing with digital and technology. At Google, what’s the biggest change you’ve noticed about buying patterns in the industry?
A: The most popular way that new customers find equipment dealers now is through online search. At Google, we’ve seen this trend only continue to increase, with the number of searches for key industry terms growing every year for 10 years straight.
Q: Google also breaks down website traffic by device type. Have you noticed any changes in buying patterns on desktop versus mobile?
A: Mobile use is growing. In fact, there are more buyers using their mobile devices to visit material handling websites than any other device right now. Last year, 56% of all searches in material handling came via mobile, 38% came via computer, and 6% came via tablet. For advertising, 54% of all ad impressions and 52% of all ad clicks last year were on mobile.
Q: Which of these trends do you find to be more general, and which do you find to be industry-specific?
A: The overarching search trends are applicable to most industries. The trends associated with material handling, however, are probably a few years behind. We’ve seen this in the past with other industries, but being a few years behind the trend line is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it signifies opportunity.
There are tons of learnings and best practices out there, and applying that to the material handling industry and can set you up for future success. For example, having the basics of search as a solid foundation for your business is the first, and most important, step in the process. Once the foundations of your search campaigns are finely tuned, industry shifts will only positively impact you.
Q: As this industry transitions to adopt more digital marketing and technology, what advice do you have for them?
A: Don’t go at it alone if you don’t have the expertise in-house. It’s easy to get lost in all the detail when it comes to digital marketing. As I mentioned before, the first step is the most important, so having a seamless website and having search campaigns nicely configured is the most important first step.
Also, mobile is crucial as consumers across every industry expect a seamless experience regardless of device. If I’m searching on my laptop in the morning, and later in the afternoon I continue on my mobile device, I fully expect the same information to be available to me. Surprisingly, many businesses are not set up for success here because most websites out there are not mobile friendly. Bounce rates for websites that are not mobile friendly are more than three times than that of a mobile-optimized website. Talk to your website provider and hold them accountable for your mobile presence.
Q: Can you give us a sneak peek into your talk at the MHEDA convention?
A: Aaron and I are going to give five best practices that will help you take advantage of Google’s Marketplace. Come check it out at the convention!
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