Why Google has been so successful?
[There was] a spark of passion among smart, young people with a great idea. [They were] not content to just build great technology. They needed (and brought in) great people.
[They also] adopted fast pace of innovation. Google rolls out new features at a blistering pace. [There’s an] “Innovate or die” attitude, similar to Apple.
[Google also had a] maniacal focus on search early on and stayed true to its mission. Lycos, Alta Vista, InfoSeek and others didn’t have that rabid focus. You knew what you were getting when you went to Google.com. With the others it wasn’t so clear.
[Along the same lines, Google has a] maniacal focus on relevancy. They understood intent of [each] query. It’s still not as good as it will be and must be.
I use Google exclusively out of habit and confidence in result but often the results aren’t satisfactory. Many people blame themselves when they don’t get what they’re looking for instead of blaming Google. That’s like if Kleenex came out with tissue that had holes in it and people blamed themselves for missing the paper.
[Google has an] uncompromising standard for quality and user experience (similar to Apple). The internal culture breeds [the] best work. The warm, fuzzy, eco-conscious image of Google as a company actually matches what you find behind closed doors (unlike Apple which was cut-throat, back-stabbing and misogynistic).
Lesson #8 us “Test Everything.” Why is testing so important?
Never assume you’ve reached the optimal outcome. Develop new experiments and always try and beat the control. Your call-to-action is critical.
What does the future hold for marketing?
The develop and release cycle is not getting any slower. SEM pros are positioned well. They are used to rapid innovation, constant testing and finding ways to take new features from folks like Google to increase value.
The pendulum is swinging from brand and “feel good” advertising to direct response. The skills needed to succeed are equally traditional marketing skills and tech skills. We’ll always need fundamentals like selling benefits not features. Don’t talk about the secret under the hood if people don’t know how to drive the car