Google's Motorola Hires Former Apple Exec Kawasaki
The latest new hire at Motorola Mobility signals a switch in direction for the Google mobile division. Former Apple exec and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki confirmed stepping in as adviser to the company.
From his new office, Kawasaki told MediaPost he sees a lot of parallels with Apple in 1988, such as an engineering-driven approach and challenges. "I love the stuff they make like Android," he said.
Kawasaki will advise Motorola on marketing and product design. Aside from consumer and industrial products, he plans to contribute the greatest impact to social media strategies. Most recently, he created two social media communities in Google+: the APE: Authors, Publishers, Entrepreneurs community, and Mobile Device. It's unclear whether Kawasaki will take marketing out of Google's traditional realm of search and social and move deeper into television or radio.
Just in time. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference, Google CFO and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette said the company Motorola's product line isn't up to Google's standards, but the potential remains to make the line greater.
In January, Google reported that Motorola Mobility generated $1.51 billion in gross revenue during the fourth quarter of 2012, excluding the home unit, and consolidated earnings rose 36% to $14.42 billion.
Meanwhile, Google introduced an ad template that makes it easier for people to find and install mobile apps directly from a Google search listing page on mobile devices. The new ad format allows users to download a mobile app from iTunes or the Google Play Store with one click from a search listing on their mobile device, as part of the Enhanced Campaigns rollout.
Wordstream founder Larry Kim points out that last year the app market contributed about $30 billion in revenue -- a market that didn’t exist five years ago. There are about 700,000 apps in both iTunes and Google Play stores, and about 40 billion app downloads on iTunes.
"This new ad format is smart; it just works," Kim said. "If your app works only on iOS tablets, then it will only show up to users that are using iOS tablets. The advertiser doesn't have to fiddle around with dumb settings or anything. As a result, the ROI is better."
Kim said driving downloads and reviews to mobile apps remains key to getting good rankings in the app marketplace, and this is an easy, cost-effective way to do it.