Google+ will be shutting down early after over 50m user’s personal information was exposed. What can we learn from this?
Google will be shutting down its failing social media platform Google+ four months ahead of its intended retirement date. The platform was launched in 2011 to compete against Facebook (Google’s main competitor in the digital advertising space, next to runner-up Amazon) in the race to establish online hangout spots. Google+’s early retirement is due to yet another bug that left personal user data exposed.
This isn’t the first time that the tech giant rushed into a dangerous playing field before realizing all of the inherent risk an industry contains. In early 2016 Google Wallet called for the shutdown Of its Google Wallet Card.
The first question you might ask yourself is, I thought Google Wallet was all about mobile payment methods, tapping your phone at a POS terminal, etc. This issue, as well as the death of Google+ can be tied back to fundamental lessons for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Just yesterday a LinkedIn blog post reported on how the changing demands of a corporate marketing strategy which calls for more rapid and “agile” solutions than most agencies are operationally able to keep up with. In the case of introducing tech products, increasing the speed of development, introducing ‘agile’ project management solutions may lead to less chance to ask the important question of “Why are we doing this?” and “Is this what the customer wants?”, or even more daunting, “Is the customer ready for this? (i.e. online dating when it was first introduced)”.
If Google had taken some of this perspective to heart throughout the development of the products, they just may have avoided the embarrassment of recalls and data breaches.
So what can a small business learn from this?
- Don’t be afraid to look for an outside perspective!
Keep a tight-knit repertoire of reputable contractors in your back pocket. Sure, your 2019 goals don’t call for a search engine optimization plan for your website, but when leads dry up midway through the year, having a consultant or agency to call could be your agile solution to success.
- Introduce Organic Reach into your Marketing Diet.
Part of a well-balanced marketing strategy includes an organic inbound marketing strategy in combination with paid advertising. The consumer of today is very well educated on what they want and how they can get it. By deploying a holistic marketing strategy, you can help increase the amount of active and passive leads that make a decision based on content you produce to help influence their thought process.
- Decrease friction in the sales funnel.
By creating content that your ideal customer wants to consume, you can naturally introduce them to the top of your sales funnel. Following this pattern will allow retargeting to work more effectively and result in a greater rate of lead conversion. Effective retargeting can take place via email marketing or paid retargeting on social media platforms after you've had a chance to build brand awareness organically with your prospective customer.
47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Demand Gen Report, 2016)
Overall, we’ll miss you Google+. You may have just been a preloaded piece of bloatware on Android phones for most, but your heart was in the right place. RIP.