Friday, May 21, 2010
Google Is Missing a Huge Audience
Those of us that read the tech news each day (or more likely visit Techmeme a couple of times a day for a quick take) have seen those announcements, along with those from competitors.
So many 'products', in fact, that you pretty much need a scorecard to keep tract of what the Internet seach giant is up to next.
So, I revisited my very simple Facebook theory and have a very (very) simple suggestion for Google.
Sure, Google has their own platform for that. It's huge ...
... but it's not enough.
Just do the Jay Leno thing, walk down the street and ask anyone (who's not in tech) what Google is ... or better yet ... to name just five Google products.
A vast majority of people will answer 'What you type in to', 'A Search Place', 'The Internet', and for the more active crowd 'A Search Engine'.
Absurd? Try it.
I'm NOT implying that people are dumb (at all). What I'm saying is that MOST people spend a little time on the Internet (and you can bet some of that time is on Facebook - revolution or not), and more time watching TV or listening to the radio (whether they own an iPod or not).
To the best of my recollection, Google has run ONE (very expensive) TV ad. It hit a huge audience, was pretty cruddy and in all honestly, was probably a waste of stockholders money.
Google even has the tools to target audiences. More importantly, so-called mainstream advertising is CHEAP by any measure right now. National, local and even ... ugh ... newspapers??!!
Really ... People still read them.
So every time Google introduces a Beta, all of us 'early adopter' types jump in. We're part of Google's unpaid evangelist program (as you would be for Twitter, Facebook, Apple or anyone else if you wrote about them).
Competitive products with Microsoft and yes, Apple (and many others).
Microsoft and Apple advertise in the 'old world' of advertising ... a lot.
Google has numerous refined products that work just fine. The only one that is just beginning to reach a reasonable broad acceptance level is Gmail. In many cases, it's not about the cool, built-in features, it's more about people wanting to be cool and part of the 'Google thing'.
That may be old to us but it's very real.
So, I respectfully submit to Mountainview. It's not just about the code. It's not just about the whiz kids from Stanford or pacifying Wall Street.
It's about marketing. Clever marketing.
Google ..... You're overdue.