About a year ago, one of the greatest minds in advertising, Al Ries in one of his article published on AdAge’s website berated Google’s marketing and the company’s uncanny disdain for advertising.
His article was an irony that an advertising company or to better put it that a company that became successful selling advertising does not really use it.
I actually did a follow up article agreeing with Al Ries’ position. The truth be told, Google now owned by Alphabet is many things to everyone of us but a company that takes marketing let alone advertising seriously.
In case you are still wondering how Google ‘s*%ks’ at understanding and using advertising to sell itself properly, here is my argument in brief.
The last time Google tried to embark on a global advertising campaign was for Gmail. The campaign was selfishly run as its was only relayed on its Google Display Network. I very much agree that Google is not doing well in some product lines because of its uncaring attitude towards advertising.
For instance, Google Drive a cloud storage product is a very good product that is far better than Dropbox, Box and even Microsoft’s One Drive but Google would rather take the easy lane and subjugate it under the Google productivity suites.
There is an unwritten rule that if you are not a market leader in a category, you will have to devise all marketing tools to ensure you get a serious cut of the pie. Apple and Dropbox leads the storage and public cloud market so they can be relax, but they are not relaxing. For Google Drive to get noticed beyond the cocoon of Gmail, the product needs to get known by non-Google addicts like me and go on the offensive. The pricing is right and better than competition but the marketing is poor.
Chrome OS and Chromebooks are another way to mismanage the marketing of two innovative products. The first time I tried my hands on a Chromebook, I fell in love with it. The product itself has its positioning from all its amazingly-simple design, lightning-fast booting, unique features and Google-centric apps. Apple’s Mac has taken the visual and design market, if not for poor marketing nearly-zero advertising Chrome OS and Chromebooks would have given Microsoft Windows a run for its money in the office segment especially among billions of rebelling millennials and ‘trenders’.
[graphiq id=”bZresmsi2Ql” title=”Users for Most Popular Social Networks” width=”600″ height=”400″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/bZresmsi2Ql” link=”http://listings.findthecompany.com” link_text=”Users for Most Popular Social Networks | FindTheCompany” ]
While Google might never change, someone else is not taking chances- Mark Zuckerberg.
For over a year now, Facebook has been all over the Internet across native and adnetworks pushing its message. While it is sarcastic that Facebook with over 1.5 billion users is advertising to get sign ups, it is a wise decision to make. As the category leader in social networking, Facebook by this act is protecting its base from poorly advertised products such as Google Hangout/Google+ and disruptive ones such as Snapchat, and perhaps sarcastically reaching out to recalcitrant netzines who have refused to join Facebook for whatever reasons (they are approximately 2.5 billion of them on the Internet).
As you read this article, a Facebook banner might pop up (that is if you are not reading it in 2020).
Now back to Google. I once asked a Google executive in Lagos how Google handles its marketing. She told me there is a dedicated brand communication team in Silicon Valley who once in a while works with some ad agencies to create some stuff for internal and external campaigns. Is this company perhaps right for not leveraging advertising, maybe yes.
Google tries to market itself through experience and product education. It is doing a very good job in this area. But for a company that is not a freeware provider/charity, you have to use other tools that is working for your competition to buttress whatever knowledge you might be sharing.
For a company whose quarterly earnings has started falling behind, it is time to get aggressive. Discard any product you are not confident in pushing, then go on the offensive and tell the market why your product is unique and superior.
The search engine effect has taken Google thus far, its steam engine perhaps ran on coal. In an era of renewable energy, advertising is a clean fuel that can fire the engine from all directions and magnitude.
Will a USD 401 billion company by market cap, listen to a budding and African blogger? I wonder!