Some two weeks after Google announced it was restructuring its operations, the company made its first significant move to put its outlined plan into action.
Late last week, Google co-founder and Alphabet president Sergey Brin published a blog post announcing Life Sciences would the first new company created under the Alphabet umbrella. Andy Conrad, who has been the head of Google Life Sciences until now, will be the new CEO.
"While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same," Brin wrote.
"They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing — and, hopefully — transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease."
Well, Great ...
Any insight at all is very welcome, given Google's outsized influence in the market and the rather sparse details it has provided about the reorganization to date.
The thing is, the market pretty much knew this would happen. Indeed, in his original post announcing Alphabet, Brin singled out Life Sciences as the type of company that would be operate as a stand-alone entity under the Alphabet umbrella.
Unfortunately, Google has not been so forthcoming -- if the aforementioned could be considered forthcoming -- about its $59-billion-a-year digital marketing empire.
This silence, actually, is nothing new. Marketers have become almost inured to Google's mysterious ways, Alexander Ruggie, PR director for Milestone SEO told CMSWire.
"In all truthfulness, Google does not really share any information about how the changes they make at a corporate level will affect anyone's business that relies on their technology," he said.
"From updates like Hummingbird and Panda to the intrinsic corporate structure of their company, the business world connected to them is completely in the dark for what this means."
Milestone SEO is a Google partner, he noted, "and we have not even received so much as an email from their side about what these Alphabet changes even mean."
Sitecore Weighs In
Google is unlikely to change its communication style, which means digital marketing shops must do their best to predict what Google is planning.
There are those who believe Google will leave well enough alone, at least as far as its marketing opps go. "I don’t anticipate change here," Ben Hordell, partner atDXagency told CMSWire. "If it ain’t broke don’t fix it."
Another view is represented by Mark Floisand, vice president of product marketing at Sitecore. Even with the changes underway, content management systems need to stick to what they do best: Deliver the most relevant content to each visitor, in the moment, he explained.
"The more contextual information they can take advantage of in order to select the best content for that visitor, the better."
The creation of Alphabet, though, highlights the importance Google is placing on alternative access points to the Internet, Floisand continued.
"As we see Alphabet continue to make investments in non-traditional media channels, e.g. Nest devices, the CMS needs to take advantage of that context too."
In short, CMS needs to redefine context to make sure it includes the devices that visitors are using. "As devices proliferate, we need to remember that the people interacting with them, are still that -- people," Floisand said.
"Those companies that understand this best and utilize all the available information they can about the people they are interacting with, will win. "Whether that is existing online media channels from Google, Inc., or yet-to-be defined innovations brought forth from Alphabet."
The Warren Buffet Way
It also helps to consider the model on which Alphabet is widely believed to be based — namely, Warren Buffet's Berkshire-Hathaway, Christopher Penn, the Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT told CMSWire.
Start with this, he said: Google’s reorganization splits out all the non-core businesses, leaving Google with just three divisions: Android, Ads and Shopping, and Ad Services. Now that Google is reporting its units individually, we can expect greater transparency and efficiencies, Penn said.
Going forward, that means the market can expect faster iterations of such marketing products as AdWords, such as their new AdWords Report Editor.
"For the Android ecosystem itself, expect to see better integration of Google's advertising and marketing capabilities," he said. "Within basic Google Analytics, you can see that the Google Play Store data and Android data are more robust than iOS data. So, expect that trend to continue to evolve to include deeper app linking, and search engine capabilities within apps."
Of course, it could be that Google's focus for the foreseeable future will solely be on Alphabet and its array of sexy, glamorous tech like drones and driverless cars. It may be that it feels that anything that produces $59 billion a year is, indeed, not broken.
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