Marketing a full slate of web services at Google

Rob clipped this:

Link: BusinessPundit: Google's Marketing Challenge.

Google's no-frills, fast-loading site has been key to its growing popularity among Internet searchers, particularly as rivals vastly improve their own search technologies.

But it also poses a dilemma for Google: How can it draw attention to its many new products without cluttering the site and turning off its core constituency of searchers?

Actually... I don't think Google has a marketing challenge.  Frankly, I find Yahoo! to be marketing challenged.  Everything that Yahoo! does gets stuffed onto that front page, and, therefore, I discover absolutely nothing on it.  Its like when they tried to stuff their whole service onto the My Web 2.0 toolbar I downloaded... I couldn't even find the posting button.  When you try to stuff the channel, you succeed in getting absolutely nothing through.

Marketing today is more "sideways".  Few people come in and discover off the homepage anymore.  The Google homepage is a search tool...  its not how I get to Gmail and its not how I fould Google desktop.  When you've got lots and lots of features, you've got to seemlessly interconnect them, but in a particular way.  Here are the 5 things that I think are key to marketing a range of services like Google, Yahoo, etc.  (Are these lists getting repetitive?  I feel like I keep saying the same thing over and over again.  Blogosphere, are you getting this yet??)

  1. You can't make being connected to the whole thing your only value proposition. That's what AOL tried to do previously.  They focused on getting everyone to do everything on AOL.  You either downloaded this clunky software with too many boxes on the screen or you didn't use it at all.  All or nothing, Rob Deer style.  (Hey, look at that...  two Rob Deer references in one week.)
  2. Know the narrow point of the wedge.  Google did this perfectly with Desktop.  Search my own computer?  Sure... I'll install that tool.  Upgrade the tool and get a cool sidebar?  Ok, I'll check that out.  However, if they just would have said, "Install our sidebar" I probably wouldn't have even tried.
  3. Make it subtlely more valuable to be connected to more than one of your services. You can read your AdSense stats in the toolbar.  You can index Gmail with desktop.  It wouldn't kill me if I wasn't connecting these up, but its better to be on all of them.
  4. Make your stuff so good that you can't help but tell other people how cool it is.  You have to try Gmail.  Oh yeah, and Desktop, too. (Don't worry, I'm not all Googled out... Gtalk, as I predicted, sucks, because no one's on it.)   What's more effective?  A person telling you to use something or it being on the Google frontpage?
  5. Play well with others. So, I can see my Flickr photos in my Google sidebar if I want to.  It would be even cooler if it showed my Trillian Buddy List.  Because of RSS, I even use it as my for:ceonyc tag notifier now.  That makes me want to use it more.