Zeus of Marketing

To Google: The Plus (+) is so 80´s – You Just Don’t Get It

July 14th, 2011

Where's the beef? I mean the +

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: zeus@jrgrana.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

  • Pingback: Zeus of Marketing» STOP!!! Social Media is NOT a Starting Point, Unless you are Using it to Listen and Monitor your Customers

  • http://www.facebook.com/jshatan Jeremy Shatan

    My issue is that while Google+ has some nice features, I’m not sure if that justifies adding a 4th social media site to my mix (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn). Also, I would think that FB will address some of those bells and whistles (like Circles) and try to compete on those fronts. Finally, it’s just darned hard to argue with 750 million users…

  • Santiago Abuaf


  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your feedback  – I can see how google+ current positioning can benefit someone that is already vested in all of google’s offerings. I usually, though, like to join the best of breed offerings regardless of brand.
    That’s why I have been a strong proponent of partnering and ecosystem development rather than diluting economic value in the Social Media arena (I had actually commended google when they first showed indications that they were including social content in their search, see http://tinyurl.com/5va8cv8).

  • http://twitter.com/AlexMontas Alex Montas


    Totally do not agree with your statements regarding Google + as a long time user of Facebook (and prior to that Myspace and Friendster) here is the value that Google + brings to me.

    1)  Now that I am a grown-up user of Facebook (I was in one of the original schools that had access to it) and my mother, strangers, employers want to add me there, I suddenly have more of a need for privacy.   Facebook does give you the ability to block pictures and information but people do know when you block them and they don’t have access to a certain site.  Google + gives me more seamless privacy settings and what I am sharing with some “circles” the other circles do not know about.  This is very convenient.

    2)  It gives me a chance to start all over in a social network.   No more Alex Montas from college and halloween pictures.   There’s nothing wrong with that.  But now I can truly portray different facets only with those I want to share it with.    Mark Zuckerberg said the other day that going forward there will not be “multiple online personalities” that the idea that you were one person at work and another one at home, and another one with your friends will go away.   Google + brings that back and I love it.

    3)  Synchronicity.  Google + resembles some sort of offspring between twitter and facebook.   For me it’s going to be a new sort of blogging.   Adding pictures from Picasa or my phone is seamless.  The way I see it Google is taking the apple experience of itunes and what not…and adding it to social media.  I absolutely love it!

    So to answer one of your questions.  (Specifically question # 2)  Google does provide a service that I need and that is basically the ability to present myself to different people in the way I want them to see me.

    In any case, now that you have a Google + invite, We can continue the conversation there  Gplus.to/AlcibiadesMontas .  I am not concerned at all that you are some sort of virtual stranger (whereas on Facebook I would be) and I think that is the beauty of it. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your feedback  – I can see how google+ current positioning can benefit someone that is already vested in all of google’s offerings. I usually, though, like to join the best of breed offerings regardless of brand.
      That’s why I have been a strong proponent of partnering and ecosystem development rather than diluting economic value in the Social Media arena (I had actually commended google when they started to include social in their search, see http://tinyurl.com/5va8cv8).

  • Maria Botta

    While I haven’t been directly invited – just through groups. I have to say that I question the value of adding another social media platform to my repertoire. Will I really miss anyone that is important to me personally or professionally by NOT joining Google+???? I don’t think so – perhaps my time is better spent on more productive endeavors…. For me, I will wait to hear what you think of Google+……. Maria

    • Anonymous

      will definitely keep you posted Maria

  • Anonymous

    Quick update – just got this in my inbox:
    “Persia Tatar invited you to join her on Google+” 
    Thanks Persia  – now I have a big decision to make

  • Kingston Vickers

    Very good article. Its quite remarkable that Google has perpetually failed to grasp the Facebook threat. Before the Facebook connection with BING, Google was already losing market share. Now that the Bing/Facebook connection is in full force and people are able to trust their friends and not Google’s algorithm, I would expect Google’s SEO share to begin to slide more dramatically. 

    Again, great post. Thank your for sharing your thoughts on this.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree with you more

  • Elizabeth Suarez

    I fully agree with your assessment of Google +.  Since I’m not an early adapter to anything, your message totally resonates with me.  Ok, so I wasn’t invited either by Google to try it out.  But it doesn’t make me feel bad.  I pity the people that have to try it out; because at the end of the day, they are testing a pilot product and in today’s world where we demand our expectations to always be met all I can say is good luck with that.  :-)

    Great post, like always.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Elizabeth


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