In what will probably be only one of the opening salvos in the war for people’s desktops, Google today launched Google Calendar. Along with its Google Desktop Search and Gmail, Google is exceedingly going head-to-head with Microsoft. This battle will not only impact the future of computing and be interesting for the techno-geeks among us, but also provide some marketing lessons.
What can the rest of us non-Google millionaire marketing wonks learn from this?
- Focus on your audience. Know their preferences, their wants, their desires. The old adage "give the people what they want" is as alive today as ever. Google knows its audience well. In addition to being uber-geeks, Google is passionate about getting inside the heads of their users. They began by providing email with unlimited storage. Now they are delivering an inter-operable calendaring service. Odds are, they will keep giving people what they want. Can your company say the same?
- Keep It Simple, Stupid. The interfaces of GMail and Google Calendar are as easy as using the paragon of usability, an iPod. Compared to the clunky, 90s-looking interface of Outlook, Google has made managing your calendar (and your mail) simple. How is your user interface, packaging, messaging? Simple? If not, you may want to re-think.
- Keep the ball rolling. We hear a steady drumbeat of new product announcements coming from the boys in Mountain View. Gmail, Google Calendar, etc., etc. What announcement are coming out of Redmond? Vista delays, security holes, and disappointing earnings. Do we hear a rolling thunder from your company? If not, you may want to re-visit your PR plan.
While Larry and Brin still need adult supervision and everything has not gone exactly as planned, keen industry observers can still learn a few things from Google.