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Gmail marketing

Is Google this smart - or just luck?

     
5:19 pm on Jun 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One of the top marketing rules is create a demand for your product - even if one doesn't exist.

No one needs gmail - we all have email accounts.

However, releasing a new service, especially among controversary, caused instant demaind. Everyone wanted to see gmail in action - how the privacy, ads, and search worked.

The media's reaction to the privacy issue just fueled more demand for gmail.

Its released to those close to G, like Orkut. Then to active bloggers - those who will most likely write more about the product. Then its used as a reward for those spending lots of money with AdWords. And the last round of invites to those using Gmail. Its like G holding out the 'proverbial carrot', and only a few allowed to take a bite.

If they would have just released gmail where anyone could sign up - then this demand of gmail accounts on ebay, this mystique about the accounts on the swapping service, etc, don't even factor into the marketing - it would have been just another web based email that some people had privacy issues with.

Is Google this smart?
Or a case of engineers wanting a limited beta test, and just getting lucky the demand was created?

5:24 pm on June 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google is very very clever, and I am sure this will have been part strategy, part beta testing.

Sometimes you just get lucky, but then luck runs out.

The trick is to make enough friends and money when you are lucky, that when it gets hard, you have something to fall back on

;)

Shak

5:29 pm on June 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure it's all of the above.

A part of it is also their willingness to experiment. While orkut may turn out to be a failure in the long run, it did teach them something about the value of trust networks and invitation marketing.

The key in their experimentation will also be the ability to leverage what they discover across their other products without distracting themselves or watering down their ability to execute.

Also keep in mind, it may all seem like a good idea right now but if they can't make it pay with AdSense in Gmail it could turn to be a rather collosal waste of time and a disastrous failure.

12:12 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree that it is a bit of all of the above. One thing's for sure, I sent in about a dozen or so Bug reports and feature suggestions, and several have already been implements. Not saying that my submissions were considered, because they were pretty general, but my perception is that their Support was very responsive. As for the marketing side, I believe that they simply know that we geeks will often do anything to be the first to get involved with a new product...
12:50 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Here's what worries me

a)You have the google toolbar installed
b)You are a memeber of Orkut
c)You have a google API account
d)You run Adsense
e)You run Adwords
f)You have a GMail account

Thats an awful lot of information for one company to be able to gather about you. Especially if you are one of the people "trying to stay under the radar"

1:43 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Great post eWhisper!

Just tells you how cunning those Google Marketers really are..they almost had me there lol.

Sid

1:44 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I worry more about what a company like ChoicePoint or Experian can do to me. I'm not terribly concerned that Google knows what I do or like. I'm more concerned about all of the private information about me is available to people who click the "I agree" button.
1:46 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Is Google this smart?

Yes.

The whole marketing campaign from the very beginning (remember the April Fools day launch?) was meticulous and utter genius.

Whether it actually proves to work for them in the long run now depends on the usability of the product and whether people actually need it.

But whether or not the product is any good, the marketing was simply stunning.

just getting lucky

They made their own luck.

TJ

2:02 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>They made their own luck.

TJ said it all. Google is probably the biggest corp. that understands the power of viral marketing.

2:13 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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part strategy, part beta testing

Follow up question: is Google engineering-led, or marketing-led?

In a "normal" tech company, for product development/launch there is a global vision mapped out in countless meetings. But when it comes to the details of implementation, the two sides (marketing/strategy and engineering/tech) do their own things really -- often at cross-purposes. And within each group you have subgroups that have to be synced up with the details of ideas and the (inevitable) last minute changes. Oh, and don't forget the dozens, if not hundreds, of signoffs along the way.

Normally this takes immense investment in time and patience by a senior manager to get the sides to play nicely, let alone play nicely in an optimal way that doesn't favour one group (subgroup) at the expense of another.

Maybe Google, as a relatively new firm with a "can do" culture, isn't stuck with this kind of stupid politics and ignorance. Shak, TJ, blaze, eWhisper, -- I'm sure you'd know better than me but -- it seems pretty prevalent anywhere else I've worked/looked.

With that in mind, sounds more like luck.
sorry to disagree gals/guys but just a bit too cynical now

2:58 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One of the top marketing rules is create a demand for your product - even if one doesn't exist.

If the product is adding value with a little bit of awareness, the demand creates by itself.

Contextual advertising in emails ... is something which may not work for many reasons. i really don't wanna get into those reasons at this time, but then, i am sure most of you can understand that.
or am i missing something.

Cheers

4:09 pm on June 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Contextual advertising in emails ... is something which may not work for many reasons

Most free email services use some kind of advertising to finance their service, as many other websites do.

But when AdSense popped into the market LOTS of Webmasters realized that AdSense is a perfect way to monetize their site as they get more revenue because the ads are more relevant and they get more clicks.

Now Google, which have the ability to do real-time contextual advertisements, decided to go into the email market. Why shouldn't they use their technology which seems to be the most profitable for a lot of webmasters?

12:30 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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people are crazy for gmail....I wont hide the fact that I was crazy tooo.....! But it's worth. What do others say?
12:44 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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One of the top marketing rules is create a demand for your product - even if one doesn't exist.

Yaaaikes. What school of marketing did you go to? Market pull is far superior to product push. Product push is only good for patents, venture capital companies, and corporations with very large R&D budgets.

1:26 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>Market pull is far superior to product push.
It maybe. But, ever wonder why IE is on 95% of desktops?
1:53 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I jumped in a bit fast. I thought we were talking about something else.

I thought you were trying to say marketing was about creating demand for a product space rather than creating demand for a new product, assuming demand for the space already exists.

11:16 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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In so many ways, Google has reinvinted marketing ... or at least dragged it into the internet age.

Yet Sergey and Brin claim that, in the (very) early days of Google at least, they were utterly naive when it came to marketing. Is this a lie; part of the strategy to create a brand based on "integrity"?

Or has their naivety in fact been their greatest strength -- allowing them to make moves that more established companies simply wouldn't dare to?

11:50 am on June 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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nah, I don't think it's Larry, Sergey and Eric who do the marketing. Because as it's Google, they must have a lot of pro's in the Plex.

Sid