Lateral thinking, low flying and Facebook pensioners

You’re a huge multinational organisation with offices in every country on earth. You’ve grown exponentially over the last 10 years, to become one of the most recognisable brands on the planet. Yet 15 years ago, the company didn’t even exist. You’re making so much money you don’t know what to do with it. You acquire companies, give your employees a raise, and still you have billions in the bank. You’ve gone from upstart startup to a company teetering on the edge of unpopularity (when you cross the line that separates deserved and undeserving success). Who are you? Google of course. So what do you do? Keep telling your story, of course. But in a different way. A touchy-feely, non-marketing-y way. And where where do you start? Well libraries are as good a place as any. And my local library is just where I spotted this concertina card last week:

The brightly coloured panels shout from the display stand. And theĀ  feelgood quotes make you want to find out more – which you can do if you turn the card over. There, in simple, non-techie language are details of Gmail, Skype, Google News, as well as a host of other useful non-Google (but don’t tell anybody) stuff like banking online, catching up on TV, finding old friends and booking holidays. It’s clever on so many levels:
  • It’s left-of-field. People aren’t expecting to be marketed to in a library. Informed, entertained, educated – yes. But not marketed to. So it’s the ideal place to market.
  • It connects perfectly with the audience: IT-challenged, older, not sure what ‘online’ is all about. And it talks in a language that’s friendly and informal.
  • It takes the hype out of marketing, and makes it ‘real’ (or as real as those pesky quotes will allow).
  • It plays on people’s emotions. Who could resist the pull of a video-chat with grandchildren in Hong Kong or a daughter in Canada?
But it doesn’t stop there. The campaign points to a URL that promises A Simple Guide to the Internet. And that’s just what it delivers. It’s a slick piece of marketing that works because it flies beneath the radar. And it’s one you could easily emulate. So what are you waiting for? Why not start today by:
  • Simplifying your message.
  • Using everyday language – every day.
  • Getting other people to tell your story.
  • Looking beyond what your stuff does and instead at how it makes your customers feel.
  • Looking at unusual channels to promote your products and services (hint: libraries don’t charge).
This Google campaign is very clearly aimed at older users (check out the Facebook pensioners in the video at the link below) but the same approach could be used with any age group. And what’s in it for Google, given that all these services are free? An audience for Google AdWords, of course. Like I said, it’s clever on so many levels. So why not copy the approach? All it takes is a bit of lateral thinking, and you too can fly under the radar. And one day, you might just have have an office in every country on earth and billions in the bank. (Might, I said.) Find out more: