What Assorted Marketing All-Stars Learned From Google

This is the fifth in a series of columns I'm publishing in MediaPost featuring excerpts of interviews I've conducted while writing my book, "Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From Google," due out this fall from McGraw-Hill. Previous installments included Seth Godin, Rishad Tobaccowala, Scott Hagedorn and a double feature with Paul Gunning and John Battelle.

Like the Octomom or the Gosselins, there's no turning back after your first set of multiples -- so, today, I'll offer up 11 marketing all-stars weighing in on the same theme: What makes Google such a unique company? Why has it been so successful?



Mark Goldstein, Vice Chairman/Chief Marketing Officer, BBDO North America:

Google's so successful because they built a community without worrying about building a business.  Once they had the people, they could figure out how to monetize it.  And the venture capitalists left them alone long enough to make that work.


Avinash Kaushik -- Author of "Web Analytics 2.0" and co-founder, Market Motive:

There are entire books written on this; I can hardly do it justice in a couple of sentences. But one of the [ideas] that is usually underappreciated is how much Google believes in this (in context of employees): Empower people. Set them free. The astonishing amount of trust that Google puts in its employees and how amazingly those employees, self-motivated, deliver results is impressive.


Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, comScore:

Google has brilliantly leveraged the power of computers and information to both dramatically reduce their operating costs (such as the cost of selling) while simultaneously providing real value to Internet users and a valuable service for marketers, both big and small, that drives incremental sales.


Jill Botway, CEO, WMI:

Google introduced the right model at the right time for the current consumers. They got in front of a trend and made advertisers that traditionally had used other channels use the search channel.


Chris Copeland -- CEO, GroupM Search:

A lot of companies tout themselves as customer-first, but Google may be the single greatest example of living the principle daily. The consumer -- the end user who searches and engages daily with Google -- has given such an enormous level of trust to Google in what they share that it's a bit mind-boggling. The reason this has happened is, once again, Google has been resolute in the definition of who they are and what their purpose is: to organize and simplify on behalf of their audience.


Matt Spiegel -- Global CEO, Omnicom Media Group Digital:

Their approach is truly analytical.  It's clear that almost all of their business decisions are rooted in some form of statistical analysis. In most ways, this truth is worthy of admiration and adoption -- although at times, their analytical nature can, at least in a short-term way, be limiting.


David Berkowitz -- Senior Director of Emerging Media and Innovation, 360i:

They've been blessed with a simple and effective value proposition, great management, and fantastic cafeteria food. And really, maybe the fact that the name of the company translated so well into a verb that the name itself became viral. They made a lot of smart choices early on and then could afford to buy their way into new markets. Also, importantly, they could afford to make a lot of mistakes -- they've made many, and they will make many more, but that's because they're not complacent.


Scott Shamberg -- SVP, Marketing and Media, Critical Mass:

I am not one who buys into the theory that everything Google touches turns to gold.  They have rolled out some products with marginal success and some with no success at all.  I'm not sure I would use the word unique.  I think for a long time they followed the "Good To Great" model of being the best at one thing in the world.  The result of that was unprecedented market share and a first-mover advantage that may never be matched. 


Gord Hotchkiss -- President, Enquiro Search Solutions

I put a lot of the credit for the uniqueness of Google to Sergey and Larry, the founders. I think the desire to dream big, the obsessive focus on user experience, and the confidence that their way -- although different -- was right, has made the difference.


Blagica Bottigliero -- Senior Account Supervisor/Manager, Emerging Media & Measurement, Edelman:

I think Google is the quintessential example of focusing on one major skill set, then adding on new features. Google was all about search and very few people would have predicted they would enter new areas, including creating their own phone.


Lance Neuhauser, EVP, US Digital Director, PHD:

They created a self-sustaining data/revenue ecosystem. And it's built on a business model that is non-intrusive to consumers, yet improves and provides more value to consumers with every use, and in turn simultaneously increases marketing value. It's the holy grail.


Todd Friesen, VP Search, Position Technologies:

Google was simply in the right place at the right time and happened to get the right people in place. The culture is pretty unique -- but not so unique that they've changed how business is done.  A lot of the perks Google had were simply better than anybody else. The cafeteria springs to mind, but many of those perks have gone away or been degraded. Now we read more about how dissatisfied Googlers are rather than about how people did [censored!] stunts to get noticed and hired.

What do you think makes Google so unique? Why do you think it's been so successful? Leave a comment on the Search Insider blog or tweet your response to @GoogleyLessons and you may just wind up in my book.

Stay tuned for my next column -- which will be the last in this series -- when I feature even more marketeers -- maybe I'll even catch up to the Duggars! -- all chiming in on the most important lesson they learned from Google in under 140 characters.

1 comment about "What Assorted Marketing All-Stars Learned From Google".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Douglas Cleek from Magnitude 9.6, March 10, 2010 at 12:04 p.m.

    Google was at the right place in every respect. They popularized the notion that empowering your employees can drive profits, and demonstrated with great success and fanfare, that providing services that truly equalize the marketplace, for individual, small and large business alike, a strong foundation for brand loyalty and trust could be cultivated.

    Surprisingly, they've managed to plant themselves at the beginning of just about every consumer purchase process.
    Google has become indispensable for millions and millions of people.

Next story loading loading..