As Google states, they are in the business of organizing te world’s information. Apart from the search engine, which is their core business, they have also ventured into other sources of information like books, videos, maps etc. They realized the value of technology and invested heavily in hardware and software to provide users with a quality experience. This approach has resulted in “google” becoming a common verb used even by children. As the case states, Google is the leader not only in the US market, but world wide.
With all the advantages associated with the brand name, Google should focus on maintaining their lead by providing users superior experiences with their products. In the coming years, Google can focus on “semantic searching” which will further enhance the user search experience. Expanding into the mobile phone software market was a good move since more and more customers rely on smarphones. Building a portal like Yahoo has would definitely provide users with a “one stop” shop for its services. Google could also venture into providing hardware along with software, just like Apple does.
Google should be cautious in its global expansion plans after its experience in China – the approach of the Chinese Government was in direct contradiction to Google’s effort to provide all valid search results to its users.
The current business model is based on the user returning back to the website often. Competitors like Zoosk and other dating sites follow the subscription model, thus effectiveily locking in the customer. The only major tie-up Triangulate has seems to be with Facebook, and that in limited geographical locations. I think product awareness for Triagulate is low in the market. Also, potential customers may have privacy concerns related to the core way in which the Triangulate algorithm works ie by harvesting information about the user from various websites. I think Triangulate should concentrate their efforts on growing their user base by increasing marketing campaigns.
I think the CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings is on the right path – his strategic long term vision to separate the DVD and streaming business. Though DVDs offer a greater selection now, streaming offers more convenience and instant customer gratification. Netflix teams up with USPS to offer DVDs – now that the Postal Service itself is struggling and thinking of discontinuing Saturday service, the long term partnership does not look good. Also, the volume of postal mail declining also points to the preferences of the public – online services to snail mail. To beef up the streaming services, initially Netflix can use money generated from its DVD services and as customers migrate to its streaming services, it will come out as a winner. Customers, though angry initially, will realise the value offered by Netflix.
Couple of ways for Yelp to become profitable:
1. Partner with businesses like GroupOn, LivingSocial etc – I was looking through the reviews at Yelp.com and found that a lot them stated that they visited the restaurant the first time only because they received a coupon offer from Groupon. Parterning with each other would be profitable for both of them by attracting more customers and providing more business.
2.Convert to a freemium model – offer summary review information for free and charge customers a small fee for detailed reviews. Since Yelp has already established itself as a review site with a considerable following, this model would work.
3. Yelp would also need to beef us its sales force to attract more reviewers, partner with local business etc.
Yelp already has an advantage over printed editions since they cannot offer dynamic content. Though Yahoo and Google are established brands, they are not as well known for reviews as for search engines and other services. Yelp should retain its focus on offering impartial reviews on local businesses. From talking to several friends who visit Yelp.com, the primary reason is that they find the reviews reliable.
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