Google Privacy – Something For Nothing?

I’ve just had my lunch interrupted – I was watching the news on BBC One – shortly after finishing the Heinz post.

Google is being accused of putting its customers – the buyers of AdWords as far as I can work out – before, get this, the consumers. There is then a cut to a vox-pop of a woman saying that she doesn’t want to be sold to etc etc.

Well,  DON’T USE THE FREE SERVICES then. Excuse my yelling, but really. All these Google products that Google has very cleverly made so useful and appealing are free. Yes, free. It’s a VAT number and not a charity number.

How do these people think that Google pays for all the free services they supply? I am beside myself at the naivety of the consumers, press, Big Brother Watch – another lot wheeled out because of their Orwellian name – and the journalists.

I think that if you need pictures drawn to explain this then perhaps you ought to go and educate yourself as a consumer. If you can read – this blog – then you can educate yourself. Arrrrggghhh

Big smiles and deep breaths. Back to my now cold lunch.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Who is “the customer”

Easy huh? The person who buys your product. Doh. Possibly there is more to it.

What if you use a distribution channel like a Reseller (in IT lingo) or a supermarket, Cash and Carry, corner store etc? Take Heinz Baked Beans – a staple in our home –  for example. There are the packaging and raw materials suppliers (they must buy tons of beans – geddit?) to Heinz, the supermarkets and wholesalers that Heinz supplies, the smaller shop-keeps that buy from the wholesaler and the likes of you and me that buy from the supermarkets, corner stores and CostCo‘s of this world. Suddenly there are many more customers in the equation as money is changing hands between a host of parties.

However, not all are buying Heinz Baked Beans in the same way. Heinz itself is buying the raw materials to make the beans so as the product originator we can move their eligibility to one side. That leads the others in the supply chain. I’d argue that resellers are buying more of a commodity item as they are buying beans in bulk to meet consumer (that’s you and me again) demand. The consumer is the one choosing the Heinz brand over – for example, Crosse and Blackwell – other baked bean brands. Although our money makes it to Heinz some of the amount is kept by the suppliers in the chain.Except, hang on a moment here, the resellers are specifying Heinz and not generic beans. Can they buy Heinz from more than one source? Now there is a competitive marketplace that isn’t seen by the general public.

Heinz Baked Beans - Woolworths QV AUD1.32

Although Heinz doesn’t sell to the consumer we are the one of the many customers. Look at where the marketing is directed. The consumer is sold the “Beanz Meanz Heinz” concept and the retailer fulfils our demand. This is the entire thing simplified.

All pretty convoluted eh? Nonetheless, I’d contend that there are many customers involved and their needs are often totally different. I want 1 can for my lunch and Sainsburys want 100,000 cans for stores dotted all over the land.

What this means is that customers can be directly “related” to you – me and Sainsburys – or removed several times – me and H.J. Heinz – but they are customers nonetheless.

The real lesson is in understanding that “the customer” is often not just someone involved in a direct relationship with the manufacturer. Think about this before making assumptions about who “the customer” really is.

’nuff of this talk. I have some cold beans (Heinz, obviously) and sausages in the fridge. Nom nom.