You didn’t think that Google would profit from your data only in the regular ol’ selling-to-third-parties way, did you?
Of course you didn’t!
Google is now using it to make a big splash in the giant market research money pool. If you’re not in market research, your reaction might be something like: Um, ok??
If you don’t care about market research, why should you care about this news? Because it’s yet another example of Google’s reach into more and more sectors of our economy.
Here’s how the market research product works:
They target market research respondents (for those of you not in this industry, think about the people with clipboards who might approach you in the mall, or the amusement park, or in my case recently, the nature and science museum) using all their “inferred demographic data.” That is, everything they know about you from reading your Gmails and your YouTube and Chrome searches and whatever else they must know about you. (And presumably those new privacy policies are feeding into this: making me thump my head with an embarrassingly late understanding about their motives.)
So then they offer those respondents access to firewalled content in exchange for their answering short market research questions. The content providers make some money off the exchange, the respondents get access to some cool content, and the clients get a statistically significant answer to their burning business questions.
I haven’t seen many people outside the market research world talking about this, which is why I’m writing about it.
To me, it’s an astonishing move by Google into ever-more moneymaking industries. But I’m easily astonished. If I were Google, with my hand in ALL THAT DATA, I’d want to monetize it in as many ways possible–till Congress tells me to stop. So of course they’re going into market research. One wonders what else they’ll do with it.
But Google’s control over so many sectors of our lives is really incredible: they give us ways to connect with each other (Gmail, Android), they give us all the content we want to share (YouTube, Chrome, GoogleBooks, etc.), they give their ad partners all our information, and now they connect the content providers with the retailers who want to learn even more about us, with our permission.
I know that much, much more money will continue to circulate in the B2B space, not the consumer entertainment/electronics/retail purchasing space. But with this market research product, Google is slowly creeping into there too.
I saw the best minds of my generation find in the starry dynamo new ways to make hysterical money.