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Google Digital Garage

Demystifying digital for small businesses

The Challenge

How can Google help entrepreneurs and business owners gain the skills necessary to market their businesses online?

The Insight

A learning program must meet users’ individual needs — and fit into their busy lives.

The Solution

The Digital Garage has rolled out across 40+ European markets, with more than 30% of users acquiring deep proficiency.

The internet can open up exciting new horizons for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes.

But how do we make sure they have the skills necessary to succeed online? For small-business owners with limited time and resources, investing in online marketing can be overwhelming — so we set out with Google to demystify digital. Together we created the Digital Garage, a free online learning platform for digital skills that guides and supports users through their journey.

A key contributor to the Digital Garage’s success is its personal touch: Each user receives a plan tailored to their needs, with practical advice from real experts who’ve been there. Our engagement strategy for the platform included an action-oriented experience built around audience journeys, a jargon-free tone of voice, and an ongoing communications plan to keep users inspired and invested.

Learning made personal

We found a recurring theme in our conversations with the target audience: time. Small businesses, students, and entrepreneurs are all too busy to learn new skills. To meet their needs, we created bite-sized content to fit around busy lives.

We worked with Google and partner agencies to design a solution-agnostic, flexible experience that intuitively matches users with lessons appropriate to their interests, skill level, and learning pace. The lessons and communications are presented in the words of real people and businesses to keep them grounded in real-world learning, not academic theory. The platform also helps people find drop-in spaces in their area for one to one coaching and mentoring.

Motivating along the way

The email program takes learning out of the platform and places it in people’s inboxes. Behind the scenes, a sophisticated map of dynamic triggers based on user actions and segments deploys a smart mix of content and calls to action. The content motivates, congratulates, guides, and mentors — all in plain language and a friendly tone — and is complemented by a playful social media presence.

Results

  • 3M+ people acquired new digital skills

  • 188K+ people found a job or started a new business

  • 32K+ businesses have taken on more staff