Google is on the decline?! Well, not exactly, but the tech giant is facing its stiffest competition in quite some time. For years ad revenue has been Google’s bread and butter, but that’s changing and the reason is simple. Search is becoming fractionalized by other big players such as Amazon, Facebook, and a host of apps. So what are the megalomaniacal masterminds at Google doing to save themselves? The same thing we do every night, Pinky — try to take over the world! (Yep, I went there.)
- Makes it easy to read, and seemingly more harmless
- Lets Google synthesize all of your information across their many services. (Whoops, not so harmless!)
Oh yes, this is all very 1984, but it’s the tradeoff for a digital life: free services for your personal information. Just thinking about how much Google must know about me and my family makes me paranoid, but then again, I couldn’t get through my day without their services — they touch nearly every facet of modern life. However, the one piece that Google doesn’t yet control is money (but that’s in the works).
Introducing Google Wallet. Google will be able to make their money transaction service unbelievably easy and secure by making your phone a virtual wallet. And by using their facial recognition technology, they’ll be able to ensure no one else is using your account fraudulently. Less fraud is good . . . but again, it’s the price of your privacy for the service.
It gets even more complex when you stop to ask how they are mastering facial recognition. They’re using uploaded and tagged pictures from Google+ and Picasa. And they’re getting more participation in Google+ while simultaneously learning more about you as a consumer by tying Google+ results into your everyday Google search. Google Wallet gets your credit card information by enticing you with a sweet deal through Google Offers, which is Google’s version of Groupon.
Wow, that’s a lot of synthesizing, tying, sharing, and masterminding.
So what does all of this mean for digital advertising? Consumers will continue passively trading their privacy for free access to Google’s increasingly pervasive services. Google will have the final piece of each consumer’s decision making process, enabling Google to offer the advertiser’s dream: 100 percent trackable ROI. They’ll know what you search for, click on, and purchase. It’s the holy trinity of digital advertising and I would expect nothing less from The Brains (just had to go there again) over at Google.
Google is smart, scary smart, and even though they’re on the fast track to defy their slogan “don’t be evil”, as a marketer, I can’t help but respect their brilliance.
Update: Dec. 11, 2013