Google and Innovation Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Google might be one of the most iconic and most cataclysmic company of the last fifteen years or so. Starting as a simple search engine, Google has been able to evolve more rapidly and with more success than any other company imaginable. When it comes to the future, one can only look at the history and background of Google to provide clues as to how the company is likely to evolve. This paper examines Google's fundamental strategy for growth which has been to earn, entice, expand and experiment (Faktor, 2013) and discusses how nearly every step and branch of their services, marketing efforts, and company organization falls under this greater umbrella.

Earning intensely has been one of the major elements that has long allowed Google to grow as rapidly as it has and to experiment in so many different markets. Google makes 95% of its profits simple from advertising (Faktor, 2013). Google provides superior products and services that are completely free (such as gmail) to entire people to use their services as a means of delivering ads or collecting data to improve targeting (Faktor, 2013). On the other hand, within the expand category: "If you're online more, Google knows it will ultimately benefit. That explains projects like self-driving cars or wifi balloons in Africa. Finally, Google lets employees experiment. Some become full-fledged products. Other experiments are 'big-bets' on things like solar or investments by Google Ventures in promising startups it might someday ingest" (Faktor, 2013). These four pillars allow Google to constantly evolve rapidly and while they evolve they're constantly making money and winning over user and consumer loyalty.

One major competitive advantage that the company has is that the services and products that it offers continue to be superior to their competitors. One of the reasons that Gmail was so successful as a free email account is because it was so much better and able to provide a more streamlined process of emailing that users soon jumped over, abandoning their old email accounts. Thus, sheer superiority is one major competitive advantage of the company. Furthermore, Google has such a massive and fiercely loyal base of fans and users: this offers them yet another strong competitive advantage.

The company structure still manages to maintain a small firm feel: this is one of the pillars which has long been central to the success of the company. "Google uses a cross-functional organizational structure combined with a unique philosophy. Their cross-functional organizational structure is more of a team approach to management and is structured horizontally" (TVB, 2013). Thus, all employees are treated as though they are each crucial in making their contribution and are all important parts of the company success. Google also offers a really remarkable compensation and benefits package as a means of attracting some of the best employees, from retirement funds to free meals (TVB, 2013). Google is also structured in to sub-branches so that separate cells of the company can focus on their different tasks. For instance, Google Maps is their own department, and Google Earth is another department, as is Google Scholar and YouTube. By having all these divisions and separations, the company is able to maintain that small-firm feel. Separate divisions also run the various search engines in different countries: for example, one specific division controls the Google Saudi Arabia branch and the content there, which of course must also be translated into Arabic.

One could argue that the search engine is by far the most massive and popular service that is offered. The free email account offered to users, along with the free calendars, and free storage are also additional products which have enjoyed widespread success. Yet another remarkable aspect of the Google product line has been with Android. "While Google hasn't been able to convert that commanding consumer market share to an edge in the enterprise -- iPhones and iPads remain BYOD favorites -- Android is a significant presence in the workplace. Improvements last year to Android's core security (along with the unveiling by Samsung of its KNOX Android management platform), the introduction of a new OS (KitKat) in late October, and the integration into KitKat of Google Now (the company's excellent virtual personal assistant), have made Android devices better and safer productivity tools for the enterprise and invariably should lead to more inroads into the workplace" (Nerney, 2014).

Some people have argued that Google is such a massive company and so widely successful that they don't really need to market themselves too heavily: this philosophy argues that Google already has a strong control over the market and has an intense amount of consumer attention already. However, this is simply not the case. Google has long been a master at marketing and at reaching out to consumers and being able to brand themselves. The marketing plan of Google has always been very consumer focused and has always been very specific. One effective example of this is with Google analytics email marketing: users get a subject line with something to the effect of "Understand your products and site categories better with content grouping in Google Analytics." This shows a strong example of solid marketing: the subject line is incredibly useful and it alludes to how specific the information within the subject actually is.

Furthermore, "The fact that the subject line starts with a base verb form means the customer is immediately aware that reading the content of the email will enable them to do something better" (Davis, 2014). Emails like these also have news and tips handled separately within them, allowing users to sign into analytics from within the email as well. This represents another strong pillar of the entire process: it's been streamlined for the user in all of its entirety. In the early days Google also relied on billboards as a means of demonstrating the services it provides and as a means of winning over consumers and capturing their attention. For example, consider an advertisement for the Davis Street Tavern: the billboard just shows snapshots of some of the interiors, along with things which can be ordered from the restaurant, and a huge slogan which proclaims that it is in fact recommended on Google. The ad intelligently is specific, and plays on location, being located specifically near the essential restaurant in question. Finally, "The size of the ad is compelling. This playing with scale is very effective and part of a human tradition that goes back through Borges to Swift to Stonehenge" (Davis, 2014).

As a result of the fact that Google has its hand in so many different markets, it thus has many different competitors. However, because Google is so massive, superior and successful, the company shouldn't exactly be "worried" about any one competitor. However, the company does have to work harder in certain arenas over others, and likewise doesn't have to work as hard in other fields. For instance, as a search engine, Google has competitors, (such as Bing) but they're generally not of any consequence, as competitors in this arena don't have much success. On the other hand, while Google got behind Android, the Apple Company still remains the consumer favorite when it comes to the most superior products in the realms of tablets and phones.

Google is headquartered in San Francisco and has satellite offices all over the world. The bulk of their products are available online, though regional and international distribution is used for things like Androids and comparable products. Google has long established itself as the leader in innovation and when it comes to product development. The company is bounded by nothing when it comes to massive new developments in the various markets that the firm is in. A shining example of this is via Google's self-driving car: "In October, Google revealed that it had, in fact, developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. The cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to 'see' other traffic, as well as detailed maps to navigate the road" (Burnham, 2014). While this represents a tremendous amount of innovation, one could argue that perhaps one of the biggest obstacles the company has in the next three to five years is the fact that in many ways, the company is ahead of its time: thus an obstacle might simply be waiting for the consumer base to catch up. Regardless, the company has had massive successes in the last few years. For example, the fact that Google even exists in Saudi Arabia is a big victory in and of itself. Thus, Google will no doubt be approaching the Saudi Arabian market with reason and accountability, as the Saudi Arabian government is so heavily connected to censorship. Regardless, there is still a very active consumer base within the nation that desperately wants to be informed. Thus Google will have to take a culturally sensitive and balanced approach.

In conclusion, Google has long had a proactive strategy towards connecting with a market of consumers which was strongly connected to earning, enticing,…

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