While everyone is wringing their hands over whether or not Facebook is a real business, Google, the ‘competitor’ that is most often mocked when held up against Facebook, is doing things that only serious businesses do.
Rather than toss and turn over IPO’s and the unending questions as to whether Facebook is actually worth a plug nickel, Google has strengthened its position as a a company that can provide services for businesses across many areas not just marketing.
So why is this important to marketers? Well, when you tie your marketing efforts to any channel your hope is that the channel is strong and will be around for a while. I’m not implying that Facebook won’t be around but I will say that Google’s broader approach to business makes them something that Facebook can only dream about but likely never become in light of it’s current inability to cleanly execute its IPO etc etc.
So what has Google done exactly? It has received its ISO 27001 certification for its business apps. TechCrunch states
Google just announced that its Google Apps for Business service has earned ISO 27001 certification. This certifies that Google is following the standard ISO information security management protocols and best practices “for the systems, technology, processes and data centers serving Google Apps for Business.”
Google’s product set allows them to get into the infrastructure of business which is less subject to the whims of an ever changing social media landscape. Heck, after how some people have shared concern about the viability of Facebook moving forward you would think 900 million users means nothing (which is silly talk but it makes for great headlines). Lest we forget that in total the number of people impacted by Google products is likely to dwarf 900 million?
By focusing on the security of a company’s infrastructure Google changes the battlefield with competitors to one that many can’t even show up on because they don’t play there. The Official Google Enterprise blog opens the post with this certification announcement like this
In the early days of the cloud, security concerns were often at the top of business minds as they considered moving to Google Apps. More recently, though, security has become a major reason businesses are moving to the cloud. The reason for this shift is that businesses are beginning to realize that companies like Google can invest in security at a scale that’s difficult for many businesses to achieve on their own. This investment has produced an infrastructure and a set of services with robust data protections for our customers.
The cloud, infrastructure, security. Pretty big buzz words that Facebook never comes up in the conversation about but EVERY business on the planet is concerned with at this stage of the game. Hmmmmm.
Facebook will be OK but I think we often have the discussion backwards when we hold these two companies side by side. Most often cited is that Google is a social media also ran and that Google+ will never be a challenger for the social media crown. While that may be true Google knows full well that it doesn’t need to be at the top of the social media heap. Where it needs to be is on top of search and getting deeper and deeper into the enterprise.
If you would like to compare the two side by side, Facebook is literally wiping the floor with Google on the social media front. But what about Facebook’s efforts to do email and document sharing? Do you think they are doing that as a hobby? No. They realize they need to be deeper into the customer than just a social media profile. Social media profiles are ultimately replaceable. Once again, cool your jets because I don’t think anyone is set to replace Facebook anytime soon. In fact, Facebook’s biggest competitor is themselves in that arena since the title is theirs to lose just like Google’s lead in search is.
In the end, it’s important to pay attention to what Google is doing outside of search and social. Why? Well, when you get into a budget meeting and your IT or software services folks (you know the ones that actually control whether a business can do business on a day to day basis in the digital era) say they are using Google for several apps that turns heads especially when it saves money. Then when the C-suite gets wind that Google+ is being integrated into everything Google does (the same Google that does MANY other things for said company) then attention is given. When attention is given, questions are asked. Well, you know the rest.
Is this some kind of death knell for Facebook? Not that I can see but you may feel differently. I think it is, however, a call to see just what Google is in spite of the barrage of negative press about what it doesn’t do well. What it does do well is integral to how business gets done. Those are important keys to be holding, don’t you think?