Marketers: What Would Google Do? 10 Imperatives for 2010 (part 2 of 4)

What Would Google Do? What would the fastest-growing company in history and a model for thinking in new ways do? Even this week, Google makes waves with their launch of their new android-based Nexus One (MIT Says Yes).

Welcome to the second of a four part serious for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010… If you missed post 1, read: What Would Steve Jobs Do?  And by all means, I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Would Savvy Marketers Do?

“Once upon a time, all roads led to Rome. Today, all roads lead from Google.” – Jeff Jarvis

What Would Google Do?

1.    Focus on the user and all else will follow. Design with simplicity. Google strives to provide the best user experience possible—from the user/customer’s point of view.  Google often forgoes paying for marketing and instead focuses on creating something so great that customers distribute it—it goes viral.

2.    Don’t try to control content and distribution. Instead think about creating open networks that sit on platforms. Think in distributer ways. Go to your consumer whenever and however you can. This is the opposite of most companies (even still) that think centralized and make consumers come to them. They spend large dollars to advertise to attract consumers. Many try to make their home pages into destinations. In sum, while many internet sites think of themselves as an end- Google thinks of itself as a means. While many see the job of their home page is to take you to where they want you to go, Google sees its home page as the way to get you to where you want to go. Google distributes itself. It puts its ads on millions of web pages it does not own, earning billions of dollars for these sites and for itself. Google enables others to use tools as they wish. They know their own needs.

Think of your site as ‘answers for every question you can imagine’. 

3.    See yourself not as a product, but a service, a platform, a means of enabling others
. Help others build value.  Google has many platforms to help its customers. e.g.: Blogger for publishing content, Picasa for pictures, Google docs etc.

4.    Cede control. Embrace ‘Publicness’ and openness.
Transform your relationship with the public in every quarter in the organization. You may extend this new relationship in many ways from blogging, interacting with bloggers, enabling customers to critique your products or services (hard to do in Pharma) and sharing ideas.  Overtime, you may even truly involve customers in the real-time design process for products and/or services…

But ‘Publicness’ is about more than having a web site.   It’s about taking actions in public so people can see what you do and react to it, make suggestions, and tell their friends. Living in public today is a matter of enlightened self-interest.  You have to be public to be found.  Every time you decide not to make something public, you create the risk of a customer not finding you or not trusting you because you’re keeping secrets. Publicness is also an ethic.  The more public you are, the easier you can be found, the more opportunities you have.  (For more on privacy (and publicness) read this insightful blog by Jeff Jarvis.

5.    Bring them “elegant organization”. Ask how you can bring constituents, customers, community-even your competitors- elegant organization. Create value through links. Replace focus on mass market with focus on mass of niches. Understand that the economy is made up of a mass of niches-the aggregation of the long tail. Small is the new big.

6.    Extract the minimum value from the network so it will grow to maximum size and value.  In other words, charge as little as the market will bear.

7.    You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer. Google is looking to fuel greater innovation for mobile users everywhere with Android, their free, open source mobile platform. It sure feels like 2010 will be the ‘year of unprecedented mobile growth’…

8.     Move faster-not slower
. Most companies say this in reference to making sure they move fast to develop new products and services. Google means this from a user experience because they know how valuable time is to their customers.

9.    Do one thing really, really well. Google does search, and in their continuous focus for improvement of search, it spurs other applications and new products/services. But they never seem to forget the role search plays in their business strategy.

10.    Great just isn’t good enough…. Being great is a starting point, not an endpoin
t.  Ultimately, our constant dissatisfaction with the way things are becomes the driving force behind everything we do.

Is Google the only one who knows how to survive and prosper in the internet age?  Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Marketers: What Would Google Do? 10 Imperatives for 2010 (part 2 of 4)

  1. Ellen, I’m intrigued especially with items 3 and 4. Some of my hospital clients and contacts are so conservative, and some are on the edge of what you are describing in the way of openness, but none, I think, are ready to “cede control” to the extent you describe. Some rural hospitals, of course, don’t even want to try any social media, in the belief that their regions don’t have the broad band connections needed–or the populations comfortable even with email, much less Twitter. True, though, that they are all thinking about it!

    • Jane,
      I know what you mean! Even for my own ‘brand’, the more you blog and use twitter etc, the more public your life feels…but, every-time you ‘control’ your stuff, you are keeping yourself from possibly being found and/or reducing your opportunities. It takes some getting used to…but I’ve found that this change begins to permeate in everything I do, and therefore, I’ve become more open in many ways…
      Without a doubt, for some things, it will virtually be impossible for Pharma and Healthcare to cede all control, but there is much that healthcare companies can be doing differently and more openly…thank you for your thoughtful comments and dialog.

      • Ellen, thanks for your reply. One of the most intriguing aspects of this “social media” evolution is the fear of losing control–like the docs in the marvelous e-Patient white paper who seem to fear that patients using the internet will undertake their own appendectomies. For a hospital, it’s sometimes fear of losing control, but also just not understanding that they can actually, as you say, “involve customers in the real-time design process for products and/or services…” In exploring all this, I find myself thinking way beyond the simple writing of web content. It’s going to be a great year, I look forward to more of your posts.

        • Jane,
          It is going to be a great year…because we are going to do and accomplish much more than ‘simply’ writing web content…I also look forward to our continued dialog. Ellen

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