Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Googling Google: A Success Headed for Failure

* While I am working on obtaining my Masters Degree in Business, I often find myself writing pieces that work not only for my homework requirements, but also for the general public. I share these with you in the hopes that you will learn something, as I did when I wrote them *

Pretty much anyone who uses a computer for more anything on the internet has heard of Google. They are rated highly among search engines and their name has become synonymous with searching the web (i.e. I “Googled” to find the most popular movie this weekend). However, they seem to be lacking in some areas of their marketing in recent years, including in their area of promotion (advertising), identifying target markets, and protecting its brand in light of privacy concerns.

First, I find it slightly humorous that when you do a Google search for the word “search”, Google doesn’t even list itself as the top result (i)! Even more ridiculous is that it’s not even in the top three – it’s 7th, below many smaller and supposedly less popular search engines (even AltaVista, which I hadn’t even heard of since I was in high school and wasn’t even aware it was still around). I’m pretty sure that if you are a company that primarily deals in web searches and SEO, you’d want your company to show up as the first result!

There also appears to be a generally lax attitude towards advertising in general at Google. At one point, the VP of Marketing at Google actually admitted “…Google's brand has taken on such an aura that he says he doesn't have to do much of the usual care, feeding, and policing of the brand—let alone run any television or print ads.(ii)” To me, that is a dangerous attitude to have that could easily ruin Google should another competitor come onto the scene that is more willing to add a focus on advertising, such as Bing. Google has been willing to do co-marketing for some products or services, but for the most part feels like they don’t “need” to advertise themselves because everyone already knows what they do.

Google did try one television spot during February’s Super Bowl. It wasn’t very creative, and word got out that it had already been on the internet for several months prior to hitting tv. Not to mention “A company that makes almost 97 percent of its revenue from online advertising effectively said, “When you want to push your brand, go to a television station.” This is like a beef producer saying that if you want good health, go vegan.(iii)” What did they advertise? Their search engine, which was something that was already fairly well-known. It may have better benefited them to promote one of their new products instead, like the latest Droid phone, and thus increase their exposure in other markets where consumers may not realize they exist.

Speaking of Droid phones, it seems that Google has not been pursuing many target markets that could increase its brand recognition and profitability. For example, the ever-growing market of young professionals that rely on smart phones such as the iPhone or Droid. While Google is the platform that Droid phones work off of, they don’t have much to do with the development of popular applications that are available to be downloaded to the phones. In fact, when you type “Google apps” into the Google search engine, it comes up with primarily Google-based websites and web services rather than applications for your cellphone (iv). Google also flopped when it came to coming out with its own phone, the NexusOne – from start to finish, the phone was only moderately hyped by tech writers, who then decided that it wasn’t worth anything if Google wasn’t going to promote it or price it appropriately (v).

Finally, Google recently introduced a product called Buzz, which was supposedly an attempt to join in the social networking phenomenon. Despite the fact that Facebook and MySpace had already been dealing with privacy issues for years, it appears Google did not do enough research and still ended up having many privacy issues that consumers have been complaining about since its release (vi). They issued what felt like a half-hearted apology at best to most users, which resulted in Mozilla Firefox actually taking the step to endorse a Google competitor, Bing, as a better search engine (vii). Why is that such a big deal? Mostly because Mozilla Firefox is just finishing up a multi-year deal with Google that makes it automatically the home page of the browser! If one of Google’s “friends” is taking steps to get away from it, how will the consumers feel about the company?

Overall, Google is still a successful company, but I predict that if they don’t address some of these marketing issues, their marketing strategy will continue to worsen and cause the decline of the company.

(i )

Other Sources:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Making Money with my Blog - I signed up for SocialSpark!


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

So lately, between school and trying to run my small business, I've been having some serious brain block when it comes to blog posts! ;) I decided to do a little Googling to see if I could come up with a way to make my blog a better blog - better posts, better information, etc.

Along the way, I stumbled upon a site called SocialSpark, a blogging site that offers the chance to earn money for promoting certain companies and/or products. It looked interesting - a wide variety of different companies, some products to review, nothing too strange.

At first, I was pretty skeptical. I used to blog on a site that said something similar about paying me for blog posts - I don't even remember the name of the site now, because here is what happened: first, they only paid me pennies on every post, and it was all based off of referrals, comments and likes. So I could post the most brilliant piece of work I had ever done, and I might make a whopping 10 cents off of it. :( Plus, there was no guidance - you still had to come up with something to write about, and make it interesting enough that someone would actually come to read it. Needless to say, I got pretty tired of not really making any money for all the work I was doing, and I stopped writing. I may have had all of $5 or so in the account, but when I went back to it a few months later to figure out if there was a way to access the money, the site was no longer in existence. In other words, it didn't work, and the site couldn't even afford the few pennies it was offering the writers.

This site seems different. First of all, you don't get paid pennies or have to base everything off of how many people you can get to look at your posts. Some blog posts pay more, some pay less, but they all have decent pay rates and they are only based on the fact that you follow their "rules", which seem to be just a required minimum amount of words and maybe a link or two. The pay rates are all usually over $1, and I like that it isn't just some kind of open-ended assignments but actually specific reviews and things like that, so I don't just have to come up with things to write about all the time.

It was really easy to sign up, and I got approved pretty quickly - I think it only took a few days to hear back. That really makes me feel better about the site already, that they are screening people but not taking unnecessarily long times to get back to people.

This is my first post for them - if all goes well, I should be earning $5 just for this post! I'll let you know if I actually get the money or not - this seems totally legitimate, so I'm hoping for the best. :) I know it's only $5, but that is SO much better than just a few pennies, and it can add up a lot faster too!

If you want to know of another legitimate opportunity, check out my link to BigCrumbs on the right hand side of my blog. If you shop online like I do, then you'll appreciate this - you earn cash back on things that you would have already bought online! No gimmicks, just straight forward cash back. It can be paid directly into your PayPal account, and is really simple and easy. I've already earned over $20 in cash back, and all I've purchased is some pet supplies (that I would have bought anyway) and some promo items for my business (again, something I needed to buy anyway). My husband and I are getting ready to plan a small trip up to Chicago to visit my sister and go to a wedding, and we are thinking we might need a rental car - and through BigCrumbs, we could earn cash back on that! Ridiculous, but awesome. I know $20 is only $20, but for us any little bit helps.

Anyway, so if you don't want to wait to see how this all pans out for me, just go ahead and check out SocialSpark on your own today. :) You can sign up by clicking here. Or you can wait and see. Your choice.


Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yarn Porn

As a small business owner, who is also working on obtaining a Master's Degree, how do I relax and unwind?

Put simply: Yarn Porn.

It's not nearly as dirty as it sounds, but it is probably my favorite part of the day! When I'm not busy creating tshirts or poring over hours of Business homework, I love to spend time doing yarny types of things. I crochet, I spin my own yarn using a drop spindle, and most importantly, I look at yarn porn on Etsy.

Yarn porn, simply put, is pictures and listings both for handmade yarns on Etsy, and for materials used in the spinning or crocheting of yarn. Etsy has THOUSANDS of options, and I could spend hours just looking through pages and pages of supplies and craftiness! :)

Yesterday, when I was having a particularly long day due to a raging fever accompanying my inner ear infections, I put together this really fun yarn porn treasury in all the colors of the rainbow.

Am I addicted? Maybe. But I feel like it's a healthy way to relax and keep myself motivated for the next day!!

What is your healthy obsession?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Etsy Treasury Made the Front Page!!

I love to make treasuries on Etsy, showcasing all of the talent that abounds on the site, but I don't often get the time.

However, I recently noticed that they were taking nominations for treasuries that would be featured on the front page, so I figured "What the heck?" and sat down for an hour or so to put together one that matched their themes.

Here is the link to the treasury:

Of course, I ended up missing when it was on the front page because it was earlier than I was online - about 7:45am Eastern Time - but thankfully I had a good friend at who managed to catch it and send me a picture:

It totally made my day!! Thank you to everyone who stopped by and looked at it, and if you didn't get the chance there is still time to see it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Busy Busy

Now that I've decided to go back to school to get my Master's degree, it seems like there just aren't enough hours in the day!! It's not too easy to successfully run a business while attending school, so sadly my business has been sorely neglected lately. :(

I still keep up with my orders, though, and hope to somehow still manage to increase my business exposure whenever I can!

For now, I apologize if you feel that I've been too silent here lately - and here's hoping I have way less homework to do next semester! ;)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Christmas in July Sale!

Start your holiday shopping early with my great sale! :) For the entire month of July, every purchase of $15 or more (before shipping) will get a FREE custom printed holiday gift! Plus, every sale will get your name into a drawing for an additional FREE gift at the end of the month!

You can shop any of my venues:

Merry Christmas in July!!!