July 14th, 2011
Do I know the right people?, Are we in a Time Warp?, Will Google succeed? From where I sit, the answer to these questions seem to be No, Yes and No, respectively. First, while my contact list includes a wide cross section of successful business people, particularly in the area of Marketing and New Media, none of us have received a direct invite to join Google +. While I may be writing from a scorned lover perspective (poor little me was not invited to the party), I am wondering if Google has specifically singled us out as people that know too much about real marketing to risk a real review about its shortcomings. With that in mind, I’ll go on to explain my answers to the other two questions because I am sure that I know the right people.
80’s Time Warp:
It was a sunny day, my first day as a Brand Assistant (BA) in Procter & Gamble. I received my assignment, you will be the proud BA in Always Plus - The sanitary napkin with WINGS. Just a couple of corridors from me, one of my best friends was the BA for ERA Plus (improved protein takes out protein), and just next door my new colleagues were working on Charmin Plus and Puffs Plus (paper with lotion). In most cases this was a brilliant flanker strategy which clearly communicated an improved product that could command a premium price and minimize revenue loss and cannibalization by maintaining the parent brand on shelf. The PLUS product offered a clear and distinct benefit differentiation versus parent AND competition. Now I can explain my answer to the third question;
Will Google + be successful?:
Let’s try to answer the question with questions,
1. Does it offer a strong differentiation versus existing competitor and existing brand? (Please remember the power of a network is directly proportional to the number of participants in that network and facebook is currently estimated to have 750 million users). Additionally, last I checked, Google still stands for search engine, Android for mobile OS, YouTube, a great video repository, what is Google + a plus of?
2. Does it offer a clear answer to a need identified from a clear customer insight? When was the last time, from a customer perspective, you heard someone say I really need another facebook – Other than Justin Timberlake there were not many rescuers for MySpace and LinkedIN is pretty successful in filling facebook’s gap of a truly professional contacts network.
3. Once tried, does it meet customers expectations? I’ll let you, the one’s that have been “lucky” enough to be invited to the beta trial to be the final judge – although I “hear” that the way it siphons personal data from its members, it makes facebook’s privacy issues look irrelevant.
Advice for my reader’s:
Going back to an unifying theme in my blog: BEWARE of the HYPE. True value comes from following basic business strategies – not PR spins on technology amplified by techies that haven’t taken the time to learn business basics. I beg you for comments on this.
Stay tuned for my next blog. In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: email@example.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana
P.S.: I just got an Invite, Please visit my LinkeIn poll: http://tinyurl.com/5syfjt8
Entry Filed under: Social Media