All posts in “Google”

How to see another company’s growth tactics and try them yourself

Every company’s online acquisition strategy is out in the open. If you know where to look.

This post shows you exactly where to look, and how to reverse engineer their growth tactics.

Why is this important? Competitive analysis de-risks your own growth experiments: You find the best growth ideas to adopt and the worst ones to avoid.

First, a warning: Your goal is not to repurpose another company’s hard work. That makes you a thief. Your goal is to identify other companies who face the same growth challenges as you, then to study their approaches for solutions to draw from.

As I walk through uncovering a competitor’s tactics, keep in mind which competitors are worth looking at: For instance, you should rarely over-analyze early-stage companies. They’re unlikely to be methodical at growth.

Meaning, if you blindly copy their site and their ads, it’s possible you’ll be copying tactics that are not actually responsible for their growth. Their success may instead be from network effects or other hidden factors.

Instead, it’s safest to get inspiration from companies who’ve sustained high growth rates for a long time, and who face the same growth challenges as you. They’re likely to have sophisticated growth operations worth studying deeply. Examples include:

  • Pinterest
  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Uber

If these aren’t your direct competitors, don’t worry. You don’t need to audit a direct competitor’s tactics to get incredibly valuable insights.

You can look past direct competitors.

You’ll gain useful insights from auditing the user acquisition funnel of any company who has a similar audience and business model.

Examples of audiences:

  • Wealthy consumers
  • Enterprise businesses
  • Middle-class adults who use Chrome
  • Dog owners
  • And so on

Audiences matter because their behaviors and needs differ wildly. Each requires its own growth strategy. You want to audit a company whose audiences is similar to yours.

You also want to ensure the company shares your business model. Examples include:

  • A high-touch sales process with multiple phone calls
  • A consumer ecommerce site with easy checkout
  • A self-serve SaaS signup with a freemium plan
  • A pay-to-play mobile game
  • And so on

Each model may necessitate different ads, landing pages, automated emails, and sales collateral.

Never implement another company’s tactics blindly.

There’s an effective process for growth analysis, and it looks like this:

  1. Source potential growth ideas.
  2. Prioritize them.
  3. A/B test them.
  4. Measure if an A/B variant significantly outperformed its baseline and whether the cost of implementing the winner would be worthwhile.
  5. Only then should you implement it.

Here’s a brief example before we dive into tactics.

Let’s pretend we’re a SaaS company offering consumer banking tools, and that we’re struggling to get users to onboard our app. Our hypothesis is that visitors are bouncing because they don’t trust us with their sensitive information.

Our first step is to define both our audience and our business model:

  • Audience: Tech-savvy, adult consumers.
    Business model: SaaS freemium funnel.

Our next step is to look for companies who share those two aspects. (We can find them on Crunchbase.)

Once we have a few in hand, we look for how they handle customers’ sensitive information throughout their funnel. Specifically, we audit their:

It’s time to learn how we audit all that. I’ll share how our marketer training program teaches marketers to do this on the job.

NYC subway will soon accept Google Pay at select turnstiles

Bye-bye, card swiping.
Bye-bye, card swiping.

Image: Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New York City straphangers, rejoice!

The city’s subway and bus systems are adding new contactless payment readers to select stations, enabling passengers to pay for rides using their smartphones.

Beginning May 31, you’ll be able to purchase a single-use digital MetroCard using Google Pay. The local transportation authority will be rolling out the feature to all Staten Island buses and all subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center.

In short: You’ll be able to easily buy a ticket and travel between much of Manhattan and Brooklyn without having to buy a physical MetroCard. It’s expected to be a huge deal for visitors and tourists who often struggle to navigate the aging kiosks that sell physical MetroCards.

The effort is part of New York City’s OMNY contactless payment system that will let riders tap their smartphones, wearable devices, or contactless credit or debit card to pay for fares. 

Contactless commuting.

Contactless commuting.

Image: google

In addition to the new payment systems, starting today Google Assistant will be able to give live updates on subway times for all 26 lines and 400 stations. This means you can just ask your smart speaker or Android device, “Hey Google, when’s the next 1 train coming?” or “Hey Google, when’s the next train?” and you’ll get an accurate answer.

To make things even easier, Google Maps will soon begin to incorporate more info about the subway system and show you which stations use Google Pay or other contactless payment systems. It’s a huge boon for all riders — now if we could just get the governor to fix the entire subway system.

Cms%252f2019%252f1%252fd16ee471 6ae8 ecec%252fthumb%252f00001.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=naphgqiwltltmgiscpayucmc1nm=&source=https%3a%2f%2fvdist.aws.mashable

Indian PM Narendra Modi’s reelection spells more frustration for US tech giants

The re-election of Modi will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, the local play of Silicon Valley companies, and future of India’s internet

Amazon and Walmart’s problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country’s politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election on Thursday, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of world’s largest democracy.

The re-election, which gives Modi’s government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India’s burgeoning startup ecosystem, and the local play of Silicon Valley companies that have grown increasingly wary of recent policy changes.

At stake is also the future of India’s internet, the second largest in the world. With more than 550 million internet users in India, the nation has emerged as one of the last great growth markets for Silicon Valley companies. Google, Facebook, and Amazon count India as one of their largest and fastest growing markets. And until late 2016, they enjoyed great dynamics with the Indian government.

But in recent years, New Delhi has ordered more internet shutdowns than ever before; and puzzled many over crackdowns on sometimes legitimate websites. To top that, the government recently proposed a law that would require any intermediary — telecom operators, messaging apps, and social media services among others — with more than 5 million users to introduce a number of changes to how they operate in the nation. More on this shortly.

Growing tension

Google adds food delivery to Maps and search results

You can now get dinner without leaving Google Maps.
You can now get dinner without leaving Google Maps.

Image: interim archives / Getty Images

Google just added yet another reason to never have to leave its services.

The company is now adding food delivery to the lineup of things you can do directly in Maps and Search without switching to a separate app. Now, when you search for restaurants in either Maps or Search, you can place an order with a new “Order Online” button.

In some ways, it’s similar to the way Google added rideshare services to Google Maps. Like those integrations, you can get a look at multiple delivery services available for each restaurant, along with info about relevant delivery fees. The feature will include DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow to start, with more services being added in the future.

But while you still need to switch apps directly to hail a ride, you can actually complete your full order without leaving Maps or Search. (Payment will be handled in the app via Google Pay.)

The company is also adding food delivery to its Assistant app, so you can place orders with your voice, or re-order a previous meal. Google says the Assistant functionality is limited to its mobile app for now. Butt it seems like a feature it could eventually bring to its smart speakers, especially now that Google is opening up more functionality of its smart displays to third-parties.

Uploads%252fvideo uploaders%252fdistribution thumb%252fimage%252f91080%252f8d33fc8e 0fd7 449f b61b 36aac983949a.jpg%252foriginal.jpg?signature=qqwdgwlklnkudp7 oaomea1 bts=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Google Assistant gets NYC subway arrival times ahead of MTA Google Pay support

Next week, New York City’s Metro Transit Authority will be adding contactless payment support for Google Pay. In the meantime, Google’s getting ready by bringing a key new commuting feature to Android.

Starting today, NYC straphangers can use Google Assistant to find out the ETA of the next train. Saying, “Hey Google, when is the next 4 train arriving?” or “Hey Google, when is the next train?” Will pop up its estimated arrival in each direction, along with walking directions to the closet station. Something I could have used this morning, after narrowly missing the R train.

If you’re located in the New York City area, odds are you’ve already seen the contactless payments pop up in a handful of locations along the 4,5,6 line. Next week, those commuting between Grand Central in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be able to swipe their phone as part of a public pilot.

For now, at least, it seems the future is limited to single ride payment (versus daily/weekly/monthly cards), as the MTA works on hammering out the finer details. Stations that accept Google Pay will be added to Maps in coming weeks. Android users will also be able to add in a credit or debit card via the app. That feature is also arriving for riders in Melbourne and London.