One of the guys I follow in my Reader , Gerrit Eicker, had this post “Google’s Graveyard III” (a potion of the text provided below) and it got me to thinking about another post I shared recently “6 of Apples Greatest Mistakes“, in which I suggest that mistakes are only mistakes unless we learn from them.
I want to throw on top of these thoughts another possible activity that is going on: Google is ATTACKING ITSELF to keep it’s leader position. My contention is that they are following the marketing principles laid out in Al Ries and Jack Trout‘s “Marketing Warfare” text, and specifically “Defensive Warfare”.
Defensive Warfare as laid out in the text is as follows:
- Only the market leader should consider playing defense.
- The best defensive strategy is the courage to attack yourself.
- Strong competitive move should always be blocked.
For the sake of brevity, I’m going to layout two assumptions here: 1) Google is the leader in the industry for cloud solutions, 2) through the use of acquisitions the are ‘blocking strong competitive moves’. These two point could be posts in themselves so I just want to state them and move on, if you wish to comment on these assumptions, fine, but this post wishes to focus on the act of attacking yourself as a form of marketing strategy.
Focusing on Google+: Obsolete Your Old Products
One of the principles in Marketing Warfare is that you need the courage to attack yourself. In this case by introducing new products which cause old products to become obsolete. In this way, you are creating a moving target for those that are trying to overtake you or one of the products you have created.
Now through on top of this the ability to absorb obsolete product capabilities into the new product, and all the new capabilities already in the new product, and you have the ability to keep your advisaries constantly trying to play catch up.
And as an added bonus, you can take the lessons learned from the previous product (in this case Google Buzz let’s say) and use them to refine your approach to market, or customer service, logistics, or whatever the lesson provides, to the new product.
10/14/2011 10:03:00 AM
We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.
Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:
- Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.
- In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it usingGoogle Takeout.
- Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.
- Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.
- The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.Posted by Bradley Horowitz, Vice President, Product
Share with me your thoughts or any other examples of companies using the same Defensive Marketing as Leaders in their industry.
- News: Google to shut Google Buzz (vikypedia.in)
- Google Axes More Services: Jaiku, Buzz, Code Search & More (techcrunch.com)
- A fall sweep (googleblog.blogspot.com)
- Google Will Discontinue Google Buzz and Code Search (googlesystem.blogspot.com)
- Google Product Shutdown of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)