Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

John Battelle, Federated Media

John Battelle
Founder and CEO
Federated Media Publishing

Which of my lessons resonates with you the most and why?

[Lessons number] 7 [Act Like Content] and 11 [Brands Can Be Answers] and 19 [Make Your Company a Great Story]. All brands must act more like publishers, in every nuance.

What other companies (besides Google) are putting one or more of these lessons to good use? How?

American Express with Open Forum. Intel with numerous programs, including Lifescoop and WePC. (Both are FM clients). Starbucks with its Facebook strategy.

What makes Google such a unique company? Why has it been so successful?

It figured out how to make great search, then realized the value of that search to marketers. Game over!

What lessons learned from Google led you to create FM?

Go where Google isn’t. I studied the company for a few years, realized its power, but knew it could not or would not live in high end branded environments. That’s where FM lives. It’s not that we don’t leverage technology and scale (we do), it’s that FM is not a technology and scale company at its core. Google is.

What would it take for someone to knock off Google as the leader in search?

Redefine the interface for how we navigate knowledge. Sounds hard, but it happens every ten to twenty years in this industry.

Is Google a friend or foe to the ad agency community? Why?

Both. More friend I think, as the company starts to focus on what it’s really good at. Google wants to allow agencies to leverage what they are really good at, which is quite similar to what FM and other publishers are good at.

In 10 years, how will Google be different than it is today? And how will the marketing ecosystem be different?

Google will not be understood to be a search company, anymore than Microsoft is understood to be an operating system company. Both are software companies.

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