Filter BD Prep

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Core Products or UX Initiatives/Announcements - Google

UX initiatives and announcements from Google for its core products in 2019 include the acquisition of Looker, the launch of Project Euphonia, and multiple updates within Google and the Android developer ecosystem. Google expects that its cloud data visualization and analytics capacity will improve with the acquisition of Looker. Project Euphonia targets improving speech recognition from persons with speech impairments and diverse speech patterns. UX updates within the Android ecosystem targeted Jetpack, Jetpack Compose, and the Motion Editor, in addition to Google News, Assistant, Fonts, Search, and Lens.

Google UX News

  • On June 6, 2019, Google announced the acquisition of Looker, a business intelligence platform for data applications and embedded analytics. The acquisition of Looker provides customers of Google Cloud with a solution offering more comprehensive analytics, including the ability to ingest and integrate data to plan insights, embed analytics, and create visualizations. Customers will be better able to harness data in service of digital transformation.
  • In May 2019, Google launched a program under Project Euphonia to use AI to improve the ability of a computer to understand persons with diverse speech patterns or speech impairments. The company has partnered with the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TD) and the ALS Residence Initiative (ALSRI) for the project. Recorded samples from persons with ALS, along with samples submitted voluntarily from Google users around the world, will be the baseline for developing the solutions.

Google Font UX Update

  • On February 5, 2019, Google Fonts announced the addition of five Simplified and two Traditional Chinese fonts for use when working with Chinese text.
  • This update attempts to ease slow single font file delivery after an analysis of public web pages took place for usage of characters to create an "optimized font slicing pattern" for the language. This allowed browsers to download only the portions of a font containing the characters they need.

Google News and Google Search UX Update

  • At the Google I/O 2019 event, Google announced an update to Google News which features a story timeline designed to show the evolution of the coverage of a news event. Users will now be able to see how the story unfolded visually within the context of the event.
  • At the I/O event, Google also announced an update to 3D images and podcasts in Google Search impacting UX. Users of podcasts can listen to, and search for specific podcasts, directly from the search results. Users will also be able to place 3D images, at scale, in their real-world environments via augmented reality.
  • On Android phones, Google Lens will now be available from the Google Search bar. This will allow users to take a photo of a sign or text and request a real time translation into over a dozen languages. The updates to Google Lens will also allow users to identify the most popular dishes available on a restaurant's menu.
  • Users can expect faster latency from Google Assistant with its move from the cloud to the device. Users can request multiple actions from the device without having to say "OK Google" every time.

Android UX Updates

  • Accessibility features added to Android Q include Live Caption, Live Relay, and updates to Google Assistant. Live Caption will allow on-device live captioning for videos. Live Relay grants persons with speech disabilities the ability to dial and receive phone calls using Google Assistant.
  • Digital Wellbeing will now feature a focus mode. This mode will allow users to pause apps temporarily to remain focused on projects being worked upon. Parental controls and daily screen time limits are other features added.
  • Updates to Android Jetpack include Benchmarking, Viewbinding, and CameraX. Benchmarking will allow users to measure the performance of the app easier, and Viewbinding, a type-safe solution, allows for easier access views from the Code. CameraX makes the development experience simpler by allowing the developer to focus on the app instead of inter-operability issues with other devices in the Android ecosystem.
  • Released for open source at Google I/O in 2018, Jetpack Compose is a toolkit for building native UI. Developers received access to Compose at the Android Dev Summit in 2019 after updates to the toolkit allowed for the addition of Gradle dependencies in projects using Android Studio Canary 1. This update made the toolkit much easier to use for developers, and included features such as an option to add Compose activity to the Setup Wizard, inter-operability between Compose and the existing View system, and previews in the editor.
  • Updates to Motion Editor will allow developers to click and swipe handlers in the editor while code is being created behind the scenes.

Additional UX Updates

  • For the MWC Barcelona event on February 28, 2019, Google added augmented reality elements to the Android Annual Partner Walk scavenger hunt. The design director and designer of Google AR/VR, Joshua To and Steve Toh respectively, gave five insights for building and improving engagement with the app. The five insights are to test assumptions, ensure usefulness, bring delight, be responsive, and learn from mistakes.
  • In September 2019, Google announced the release of an open source database of over 3,000 AI generated videos created using publicly available algorithms. This database is now available to the research community for developing deep fake video detection methods.

Research Strategy

To source UX initiatives and announcements from Google in 2019, the research team began with a search of the press releases from parent company Alphabet's website. This yielded information on the acquisition of Looker, which will add to the data visualization and analytics capacity in Google Cloud. Next, the team searched for updates from the Google I/O conference held in May 2019. This provided information on updates impacting the user experience of Google News, Assistant, Search, and Lens, among others. The research team then turned its attention to news coming out of the Android Dev Summit in October 2019. This source provided information related to updates to Jetpack, Jetpack Compose, and the Motion Editor. The team also reviewed the Google Design and Google AI blogs. These sources provided information on the updates to Google Fonts and on Project Euphonia.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Google's Marketing Strategy and Initiatives

Google's current marketing strategy/focus is on generic growth and intensive growth strategies driving its marketing mix to promote its competitive landscape and development of the online advertising industry and other product developments and upgrades. Through its increased investments towards sales and marketing expenses the company took various initiatives to conduct major IO events as a medium of promotion/advertising by announcing new hardware, software, and various updates for its existing apps and services.

Google Current Marketing Strategy/Focus

Overview:

  • Based on the nature of Google's business and the characteristics of the industry, it has adopted the generic and intensive growth strategies which involves continuous improvement of products. This ensures that the business maintains its share of the online market and becomes a major player influencing the competitive landscape and development of the online advertising industry.
  • Under its intensive growth strategies, the company is relying on market penetration wherein it strives to use its marketing mix for holding a bigger share of the global online advertising market. This is done by using generic strategy of differentiation through offering competitive products that enable competitiveness in penetrating markets and increases the company’s market share, especially in the market for online platforms used for digital advertising.
  • Through its recent Q2 2019 Earnings Call, the company has revealed it will continue utilizing the market focused strategy and offer more competitive products and services for their users, developers, creators, partners, advertisers and all the customers of their growing Cloud business and the communities.

Initiatives:

  • In Q2 2019, Google has made a number of improvements to its founding product "Search" wherein it has redesigned the mobile Search page for better organized news results along with integrating augmented reality. Additionally, it will make several big announcements at I/O event related to YouTube’s Brandcast, and Google Marketing Live to build a more helpful Google for its broad range of customers.
  • The company recently increased its overall sales and marketing spend to almost $4.7 million in Q3 2019 as compared to last year resulting in better Google revenues of $40.3 million in the year.
  • Google expanded to new markets by its Google Nest Hub Max, a voice-activated smart display along with developing the open platforms and ecosystems that push computing forward, such as Android, Google Play, and Chrome. The company also made increased investments in AI and consumer products.
  • The company increased its advertising and promotional expense in Q2 2019, primarily for the launch of its hardware products Pixel 3a lineup to continue its efforts in making a step in the segment along with similar focus to support the holiday season with more weighted marketing efforts.

Public Comments/Interviews:

  • Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai announced the various advancements and initiatives the company has undertaken towards its mission to "evolve from a company that helps people find answers to a company that helps you get things done." It plans to advance its product offerings such as making long-term investment in AI to improvise search results, demonstrating supremacy through major quantum computing milestone, adding new features in Maps, and others.
  • Sundar Pichai also unveiled the customer references, Google has acquired by offering successful services to renowned companies naming Mayo Clinic, Deutsche Börse Group, National Australia Bank and Macy's to address their requirements relating to delivering new and improved customer experiences through Google multi-cloud strategy, ensuring secure and store data, addressing challenges of modernizing digital operations, and addressing significant regulatory requirements by using Google cloud.
  • Through the Google I/O event, it has said that Google products are meant to enable ambient computing, where connected gadgets are always listening and helping the user." The launch of Pixel 4, new Pixel Buds, the Pixelbook Go Chromebook and a slew of new Nest devices with new capabilities were also revealed.

Challenges/Weaknesses:

  • Google seems to be restricted to utilizing major events as a medium to advertise and promote its upcoming/new launches, product advancements and various updates rather than using other mediums such as print and TV.
  • Google has been competing heavily in its hardware segment wherein its rivals like Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are leading the competition by announcing holiday shopping season. Compared to its rivals, hardware represents a small segment of Google’s overall business, which is dominated by advertising.
  • Additionally, Google has been facing a lag behind models like Samsung, Apple and others related to its Pixel sales due to major focus of the business diverted towards online business.

Research Strategy:

To obtain insights relating to the overview of Google's marketing strategy/focus including information of their specific initiatives, public information/comments, and challenge/weaknesses, we examined the company's current year press releases, call transcripts and blogs. We also explored related news articles and publications covering latest news and executive interviews through CNBC, Bloomberg, Nytimes, bizjournal and others.

Through the above search we were able to identify the insights on the company's business focused towards generic strategy and intensive growth strategies.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • " In the spirit of the Lunar New Year, the Google Fonts catalog now includes five Simplified and two Traditional Chinese fonts—the Chinese written language differs according to country—for designers and developers working with Chinese text. "
Quotes
  • "Benchmarking is now available as a release candidate. This library makes it easier to measure the performance of your app. Viewbinding is an easier way to access Views from your code. Available now, it is a type-safe solution with minimal build-time impact, no more findViewById(), no more annotation processors. CameraX simplifies the development experience and lets you focus on your app instead by addressing the differences between the many devices in the Android ecosystem. Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Motorola, L"