July 8, 2024

How to Thrive in the Age of Google’s Search Generative Experience with Brand Activation

With Google owning the Search Generative Experience, many sites are seeing a decline in organic traffic. SEO has shifted to creating snippets that Google can scrape and keep you on their website rather than forwarding your customer to your own website, resulting in fewer clicks.

How do you combat this? You market in other channels such as direct mail marketing, social media (also owned by 3rd party greed), email marketing (1st party data) and retail brand activation. Consider building richer experiences in-person where people are engaged, rather than distracted with noise and ad-blockers. Up your brand, create experiences that are memorable through strategy and design. Campaigns and installations at events, retail activations and pop-ups where people can have authentic hands-on with the product and brand will create more loyal customers in the long run.

How to Thrive in the Age of Google’s Search Generative Experience

As Google continues to expand its control over search results through initiatives like the Search Generative Experience (SGE), many website owners are witnessing a significant decline in organic traffic. The traditional model of search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving. Instead of directing users to external sites, Google is increasingly providing answers directly on its own platform, keeping users within its ecosystem. This shift has raised concerns for businesses that rely heavily on organic search traffic. So, how do you combat this trend? The answer lies in diversifying your marketing channels and creating richer, more engaging experiences that go beyond digital noise.

Understanding the Challenge: Google’s New Landscape

Google’s SGE is designed to provide users with concise, snippet-like answers directly on the search results page. While this improves the user experience by reducing the need for multiple clicks, it also means that fewer people are visiting the actual websites that provide the information. For businesses, this results in a decrease in organic traffic and fewer opportunities to engage potential customers directly.

Combatting Declines in Organic Traffic

1. Diversify Your Marketing Channels

Relying solely on organic search traffic is no longer a viable strategy. Here’s how you can diversify your approach:

  • Direct Mail Marketing: In an age where digital marketing dominates, direct mail stands out as a tangible and personal way to reach your audience. Direct mail has a higher open rate than emails and can leave a lasting impression with creative and well-designed materials.
  • Social Media Marketing: While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are owned by third-party companies, they still provide a valuable means of connecting with your audience. The key is to create engaging content that encourages interaction and sharing. Be aware of each platform’s algorithms and how they can affect your reach and engagement.
  • Email Marketing: This remains one of the most effective channels for direct communication with your audience. Building and maintaining an email list allows you to control the narrative and keep your customers informed about new products, offers, and updates without relying on third-party platforms. Use personalized content and segment your audience to maximize engagement.
  • Retail Brand Activation: Engaging with your audience in physical spaces can create lasting impressions. Consider pop-up stores, in-store events, and partnerships with retailers to bring your brand to life. This not only builds brand loyalty but also provides opportunities for direct customer feedback and interaction.

2. Enhance In-Person Experiences

In an era where digital distractions are rampant and ad-blockers are common, creating in-person experiences can be a game-changer:

  • Create Memorable Experiences: Focus on designing experiences that leave a lasting impact. This can range from interactive installations at events to engaging product demonstrations. The goal is to connect with your audience on a deeper level, creating a sense of community and belonging around your brand.
  • Campaigns and Installations at Events: Take advantage of events to showcase your brand. This could be anything from a branded booth at a trade show to a unique installation at a cultural festival. These experiences can generate buzz and attract attention from both media and potential customers.
  • Retail Activations and Pop-Ups: Set up temporary retail spaces that offer exclusive products or experiences. Pop-ups can create a sense of urgency and excitement, encouraging customers to visit and engage with your brand in person.

Building a Stronger Brand

The key to thriving in a landscape dominated by Google’s SGE is to focus on building a strong, recognizable brand that people want to engage with directly. Here’s how:

Strategic Branding: Invest in your brand’s identity. This includes everything from your logo and website to the tone of your communications. A strong brand identity helps differentiate you from competitors and makes you more memorable to customers.

Recently, a partner of ours called Happy Mushroom Co. made an investment in their brand identity to leave their local focus behind and prime themselves for national expansion. As an online retailer, this investment in their brand will help create brand affinity with current and new customers which is a great differentiator in the new SGE landscape.

Authentic Customer Engagement: Engage with your customers in a way that feels authentic and personal. Whether it’s through social media, email, or in-person interactions, building a relationship with your customers can lead to increased loyalty and repeat business.

Rich Content Creation: While the format of SEO may be changing, content is still king. Create high-quality, valuable content that your audience wants to engage with. This includes blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. By providing value, you can attract and retain an audience even in the face of changing search algorithms.


As Google continues to evolve and control more aspects of the search experience, businesses must adapt to remain relevant. By diversifying your marketing channels, enhancing in-person experiences, and building a strong brand, you can combat the decline in organic traffic and continue to grow. Focus on creating meaningful, engaging experiences for your customers that go beyond the digital landscape, and you’ll build a loyal customer base that supports your business in the long run.

By thinking creatively and embracing new strategies, you can navigate the challenges posed by Google’s Search Generative Experience and come out stronger on the other side.