Saturday, March 1, 2008

Google Got Me

Google got me! Hook, line, and sinker.

OK, so why would Google give free voice mail to homeless people?

I believe there are three reasons.

#1 - To Do Good
At first glance "voice mail for homeless people" sounds completely ridiculous. After thinking a bit about it though, one can start to see how providing a reliable way for family, doctors and potential employers to get in touch with the homeless could be very beneficial. So lets take this at face value and accept that part of the reason Google is doing this is to perform some positive charity. It does fit in with their reputation and culture of being a good corporate citizen.

#2 - Great Publicity
Giving free voice mail to the homeless is so unusual and counterintuitive that it was sure to generate lots of coverage from traditional news outlets and bloggers. It reinforces Google's positive image and generates publicity around their new service. People are hearing, talking, and thinking about it.

#3 - New Users and More Profits
This will get Google new users which means more advertising and more profits. I'm not talking about homeless users here. I doubt that the homeless are a demographic very much coveted by advertisers. I'm talking about home-full users who have paying jobs and disposable income.

How? Why?

  • Mike reads an article called "Google gives free voice mail to the homeless"
  • The article mentions a Google website / service they are using to help do this called GrandCentral.com
  • Mike is curious and goes to GrandCentral.com
  • Mike reads about their services, thinks it is cool, and registers as a new user
  • Mike starts seeing more Google ads
So minutes after reading an article on voice mail for the homeless I became registered user for yet another Google service and blogged about it to my friends.

Brilliant.

No comments: