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Putting on Google Colored Glasses: The Big Question Missing from Google’s Mobile Playbook
Friday, April 27th, 2012 | Comments | Latest Posts

Sebastian Thrun in Google glassesOn Wednesday, Google introduced a Mobile Playbook designed to help marketers make the most of mobile (aka help Google get more mobile ad dollars–but that’s beside the point). The playbook covers 5 crucial mobile questions for businesses to ask about mobile:

1. How does mobile change our value proposition?
2. How does mobile impact our digital destinations?
3. Is our organization adapting to mobile?
4. How should our marketing adapt to mobile?
5. How can we connect with our tablet audience?

These are all great questions that every organization needs to ask, and the playbook goes into detail about critical points like local search, mobile metrics, brand building, and mobile optimization and integration for email, social, coupons, and offline experiences. However, something big is missing here, perhaps obscured by those Google Glasses. What is it? The customer.

As we’ve explored in the past, knowing your client is as critical as knowing your medium. If you’ve got an amazing mobile website that offers incredible multimedia download capabilities, but all your customers want to do is find your store locations, you’re not offering an effective mobile experience. So the playbook needs a new, founding question:

0. How does our customer use mobile?

Perhaps this question is implicit in the other inquiries, but I think it merits stating on its own. Mobile doesn’t just have to do with you and your company’s value and operations, but with a whole new way of experiencing the world. In fact, Google summarizes its playbook by saying, “At Google, we believe that mobile represents a sociological shift with how users relate with both the digital and physical world.”

Google Glasses are another example of changing how you relate with teh world–a bit more drastic than general mobile use. Discussing (and wearing!) the glasses on Charlie Rose yesterday, Sebastian Thrun touched on the transformational nature of not only Google glasses but also self-driving cars and online learning, among other elements. The diverse possibilities he discussed prove that technology is definitely changing the world–and the companies that understand how best people can use it to transform their lives will win.

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