Google: The Servant and Master
admin, January 3, 2012
Those of us within the search engine optimization industry are on the "inside," but we know savvy marketers adopt a number of perspectives to promote success. For instance, when the brand "Google" is mentioned, I automatically think about the company's search engine and my contribution to clients' successes regarding SERPs. However, things change, it's a new year, and as mentioned, it's beneficial to view things from multiple angles as an SEO practitioner. (On second thought, am I limiting your view of me by branding myself a "search engine optimization" practitioner? An industry source wonders if we should broaden the scope of our appellations.)
In this post, I would like to view Google as a master marketer, not just a service provider. Most of us in the industry have a love/hate relationship with "G" -we even have a cute, nickname for the brand that's on our minds most workdays and beyond. As we know, Google is more than a search engine, and while we spend time understanding the brand's search engine, facilitating successes for our own brands and those of clients, the Google brand is becoming an empire. Big "G" offers us a service, but when it comes to running a business, they're showing us who is master.
Google's online clout can't be denied. The search engine and AdWords platform is well utilized; the company has organic and ppc search "under control." However, Facebook outshined G in 2010; that may have insulted the latter, inciting a need to prove "something" regarding its own social platform. They did, unleashing Google+.
Google may be highly related to the "tech" field, but the company understands how to play on emotions. Ads for Google Chrome and other products are orchestrated to incite emotions, creating visceral ties to the brand. In an article, Google global marketing VP, Lorraine Twohill, offers, "If we don't make you cry, we fail. It's about emotion, which is bizarre for a tech company."
Talk to a Web designer or landing page designer about AB testing; it's crucial. Google knows. Before showing its 2010 Super Bowl ad, the savvy brand used its own platform, YouTube, to study cold, hard facts to counter its emotional branding techniques, ultimately broadcasting the commercial receiving the most views. Well played, Google.
Google knows it's about the users; not about them. This is something more brands need to realize; marketing needs to highlight how a service or product attends to a consumer's issues, how a service or product could better a consumer's present state rather than adopt a repetitious, our-services-and-products-are-the-best type of message. What is Google's plan of attack regarding commercials? Twohill admits the brand's commercials deemphasize product details and description but emphasize curiosity and emotion.
Additionally, Google understands its consumers are segmented. Let's consider Google Chrome's advertising. On one layer, ads were displayed online, geared toward frequent browsers, offering information regarding Chrome's speed and security (things immediately valuable and important to that portion of the market). On another layer, Google understood it had to market Chrome offline, to those who were not online as often and less savvy regarding particular functions and features.
Google knows of its popularity and branding success. Do you want to look something up online? Why don't you Google it? Oh wait, "Google" is the brand offering the search engine, how did the company intertwine its name with its provided service? This is another nod to its effective branding, and though G has the majority SE market share, it's not going to get too cocky and forget about the competition, Bing. Google continues to advertise its search engine, facilitating its dominant, SE market share.
Guess who took five of the top ten spots in Ace Metrix's most effective "offline" TV ads for Web sites last year? Ironically, it's the brand who dominates the "online" world, our sometimes servant and on and offline marketing master, Google, or "G" for short.