Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The One P of Marketing

You remember the four P's of marketing: product, price, place, promotion. Increasingly, I believe that marketing will be about the one P of marketing: product. The increasing transparency of the Interwebs and such makes it much easier to find out, say, the top voice-directed distribution center company. And to find information about that product's benefits and downsides.

Witness my recent discovery of, the completely private search engine that has benefited immensely from Google's questionable decision to reduce privacy protections. How hard will it be for millions of Google customers to find this option? And how many people, like me, will direct friends and colleagues to competitors when they don't like a product decision their company has made?

These observations all lead me to my product experience today with Google, a day prior to the vaunted privacy policy changes. Today, I searched for "Barack Obama" and got in my top results a post from my brother-in-law on G+ that said, "Yum." and had nothing at all to do with Barack Obama. [I clicked on it out of curiosity, probably making my future results worse since Google is tracking my responses.]

Basically, Google has begun to fail me in the exact area that caused me to abandon AltaVista in the first place so many years ago: superior product. In an instant, I lost respect for my favorite search engine and began to question whether they have, in a nutshell, begun to make their product spew chunks. I probably won't abandon Google search right away, but I'll begin looking at DuckDuckGo more often and maybe hunt around for some other options. This reaction is just the kind of adverse loyalty behavior every brand wants to avoid.

On a brighter note, I'm more excited than ever about a product Vocollect has coming out later this year. I got to try it out today, and I'm a real believer. I think it's a game changer. If it is, you will be hearing a lot more about it (especially if you're in the distribution center business) because in this day and age, customers talk. In this day and age, great products only sometimes catch on, but poor products... and great products turned bad by poor marketing decisions... almost always fail.

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