Google Under the Spotlight

Beyond the Search: Google Under the Spotlight.

We are facing a delicate moment for one of the most famous companies on the planet. And this isn’t the first time it’s happened!

The gigantic Google is in trouble! Or at least it seems that way, and somehow, this involves all of us, because who doesn’t use Google nowadays?

The controversy affecting the tech giant stems from Google’s Vice President of Ads Products, Jerry Dischler, stating that the company made changes to ad auctions to generate more ad revenue. These changes led to price increases of up to 5% for search ads. The issue, which affects not only Google but also advertisers and users, raises ethical questions about transparency and fairness in the online advertising market. Online advertising relies heavily on the auction system, where advertisers compete for users’ attention. If these auction changes favor Google without considering competition, there’s a risk of erasing equality in the market and limiting options for advertisers.

However, this isn’t the only legal challenge Google has had to face throughout its existence. One of the most concerning problems it faces is an antitrust lawsuit alleging abuse of its dominant position in the search and online advertising market. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that the company illegally maintained a monopoly by paying substantial sums to web browsers and phone manufacturers to make Google the default option for users. This limited competition in the search market and raised concerns about the concentration of power in the hands of the company with the giant G.

In addition to antitrust issues, Google has faced a series of legal and regulatory problems over its lifetime. These include concerns about data privacy and consent for the collection of personal data, disputes related to the “right to be forgotten,” copyright infringement and piracy on its video platform (YouTube), accusations of deceptive or fraudulent advertising, controversies over content moderation on its platforms, and criticism of its tax practices, including alleged tax evasion.

In the local context, in Argentina, there’s a particular situation where Google charges an additional 97% if advertising campaigns are conducted abroad. This pricing policy has generated significant annoyance in the Argentine advertising market and highlighted another element of controversy regarding Google’s practices in the country.

In conclusion, we can say that the very competitiveness of the system and the self-demand of only seeking to increase metrics, in this case, ad revenue, raises ethical and regulatory concerns in the world of search engines. As we have seen, this is not the first time it has happened. From here, we wonder how much this incident will affect Google’s image? Undoubtedly, it’s not something positive.


The perfect product

I once heard a phrase, “the perfect product is a non-competitive product”. It made me reflect since it is a counterintuitive expression. Let’s break this idea down.

A perfect product is developed in a wide time frame, it avoids mistakes and is made out of perfect information. Even though it sounds optimal, this outcome could hardly be so. A product developed under these rarely achievable circumstances will barely cross boundaries and innovate; therefore, it would cut short in competitiveness, especially in a world that changes by leaps and bounds, as it happens today.

Innovation and mistake are two faces of the same coin. Sometimes, mistakes signal that something complex and competitive is developing. Only wise ones know that it is a stage that allows taking advantage of the generated knowledge to use it as a springboard. Products made in an environment that embraces mistakes create the set to unfold innovation, allowing differentiation from the competition.

The key? Finding the right balance between launching a perfect product and launching the first approach to an optimal outcome. In the second scenario, the knowledge it generates will be the pivotal element that will allow continuous improvement and innovation. TeamRednodo likes to think of these outcomes as the initial stage to reaching excellence. Does your company’s culture embrace mistakes?


Customer networks: The new paradigm

During the past years, a new business model has been developing. How so? Darwincould explain it: by the need for adaptation to thrive.

With the increasing usage of digital technologies, social media, rising competition, and market globalization, people are more communicative with each other and companies. As a result, the approach of doing business had to change to match customers network behaviors, reshaping the understanding of successfully doing business.

Companies that adapted have stopped seeing their customers as isolated, passive, and a mass with similar interests.They now understand them as dynamic, interactive users that seek personalized solutions to fit their needs. Today’s customers continuously interact, respond, connect, and share content, thoughts, and reviews. This has given much more power and influence to individuals than ever before. By seeing this, companies find the key to persisting and gaining a strategic advantage over competitors.

To survive and thrive, from big corporations to small startups and entrepreneurship, they all need to understand customer networks’ behaviors and act accordingly. How do they behave in networks? What motivates them? What do they value? How can you add value to their lives,  and help them get what they need? All these questions should be shaping your business and marketing strategy. But how so? By making customers part of your strategy.

Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM), was defined by Greenberg, in his book Social CRM comes of age (2009) as: “A philosophy and a  business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, processes and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment”. But still, we are talking about taking this to the next level: Working with customers just as working for them.

How did different firms take this into practice? The clearest example is crowdsourcing sites that allow customer networks to rate and invest in new products’ ideas. In the case of Netflix, they use the strategy of letting customers rate movies. As for Coca-Cola, permitting fans to bring their Facebook page to fame. Nike opted for launching a line of sneakers that can be designed by consumers. And this is how significantly different business lines have something in common: their approach to customers.

It is crucial to understand how your business could take advantage of this scenario, and for that, to understand the network’s behaviors. Here we systematize five customer network behaviors, according to the ones developed by David Rogers in his book The network is your customer: 5 strategies do thrive in a digital age (2011):
1. Seek to access digital data, content, and interactions as quick and easy as
2. Customers seek to engage with digital content that is relevant to their needs;
3. They seek to customize their experiences in networks by choosing and
modifying information, products, and services;
4. They want to connect by sharing their ideas and opinions;
5. Customers strive to collaborate on collective projects and goals through open platforms.

Because a network could adopt different combinations of these behaviors, a company’s strategy to approach them should be flexible in order to permit adaptation to changes. This will give rise to various business strategies rooted by the same variable: Individuals.

Our behavior in the online world shapes our actions in the offline world.
Understanding it is key to building strong relationships, creating value, and designing outcomes tailor-made for our clients. So, what is the lesson? The shift in the paradigm from mass media to customer networks impacts the way companies do business, just as Rogers explained it in 2011. If one wants to prosper in this new context, adaptation to a dynamic world’s  contingencies is the only way. Do you focus on understanding how your specific niche and potential clients behave to adapt and shape your business and marketing model?

Rogers, D. (2011). The network is your customer: 5 strategies do thrive in a
digital age. Yale University Press, UK.
Rogers, D. L. (2016). The digital transformation playbook: Rethink your
business for the digital age. Columbia University Press.
Greenberg, P. (2009). Social CRM comes of age. Sponsored by Oracle