mhansen - 8:56 pm on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
Having worked in sales management for a (former) fortune 500 tech company back in the hardware heydays... One of the easiest ways to increase your SMB revenue is to squeeze more from existing accounts.
In the beginning, we gave our top account reps 30 days to close big deals, then management was called in to wine and dine the clients, WITH the account rep, and get the deals closed. When the company needed to generate more revenue, screws were turned tighter, and they had management calling behind account reps within 7 days. Before the end of the company division... I can recall management 2-layers deep calling on accounts the same day reps delivered proposals to them, asking for the sale!
We gave all the tools to manage accounts in the company system. Even though the Reps managed the account, the company owned them! If the account was not "touched" (contact or action of some type) in any consecutive 45 day period, it was handed to the next nearest account rep as a warm prospect. I'm not sure, but I venture to bet if you dig deep into the Goog GCP TOS, you will find something that gives them the right to do anything they want with the info of "Their" client, that you put into "Their" system. We are nothing but middlemen to Google. Period.
If you look at what Goog is doing in many aspects of business, they are squeezing out the middle man completely. (Webmasters, SEO, Code Guru's, Script Kiddies, Marketing Agencies, IM, etc Have you looked at a local result lately? WHY does Joe-The-Local-Plumber need a website anymore? In most cases, they don't... Google gives them a places page and the free tools to manage everything about their company. (BUT, more importantly) Google ALSO assures that their places will outrank almost all other websites in organic search! All we can do is find a way to work within the parameters of the Google system, and add-value to our clients so they keep us on.
As much as I hate that they are abusing their position, and they are, you have to admire them from a capitalist standpoint. They "Own" the Internet, Internet Marketing at the Local Level, and the Biggest advertising network in the world. This is not like the other local companies we strive to outperform for years... this is Google.