Google is not a search engine. Google is Atheists’ God!

Sorry about the clickbait. This is something that stuck in my head while I was watching a Winners and Losers video by Scott Galloway.

I wish I had a few thousand dollars stashed somewhere so that I could subscribe to the insights of L2. L2, by the way, is a company that Scott founded.

Since I don’t have the money, next best thing is L2's YouTube channel. I totally want you to subscribe to it. The sheer number of things you get to learn in that channel is absolutely mind-blowing.

In the video above, Scott says that every time someone typed a query into Google, it got three-billionth of a percentage better. According to Internet Live stats, “Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.” I’m too lazy to do the math, but put simply, Google is just getting better and better every time you and I search.

On a different note, let’s have a look at my Google Maps timeline now.

Maps, the suspicious spouse’s best tool.

On the rare chance that you haven’t seen it before, this is how you find it. Go to Google Maps → Click Menu at top left → Click on Your Timeline.

Many of us use Google products (Chrome, Android, Maps, etc.) and many of us already know that Google is tracking everything. Your location timeline is just validation of the fact. Many of us just don’t care because this is just part and parcel of the age that we live in.

In its basic form, all these are data points. Data convert into information and information is the modern age currency.

Let me quote Scott again. “Creepy is synonymous in the marketing world with relevant.”

Now how does all of this connect and why is it relevant to startups?

You see, in the next 5 years’ terrestrial or broadcast TV is going to be irreverent — to some extent even in Sri Lanka. I do have a TV at home. But I can’t remember the last time I turned it on. With many of the connected folks in my circle, this is true too. When internet penetration increases and cost of data decreases, broadcast television is pushed out. With that, a mainstay medium of traditional advertising is dying down as well. (On a different note, to me personally Radio is still relevant and importantly, advertising in it is a lot cheaper.)

Let’s face it. Broadcast television is one of the worst media if a marketer wants to understand attribution. You might run a bunch of ads during prime time but understanding attribution for increased or decreased sales is still hit or miss. With digital advertising though, this is not a problem. With marketing automation and proper analytics, marketers can accurately understand how attribution works and carry out campaigns based on data driven insights.

This is where things get interesting for startups. Let me break it down. A lot of the startups generate a lot of data. If it’s in eCommerce, a startup gets to understand buying patterns, gender and age breakdowns, basket size, etc. If it’s a publisher like yamu.lk or aniwa.lk, they get to understand a lot about their audiences, their reading behaviours, language bias, etc. If it’s a commonly used app, app publishers get to understand the average usage time, models of the phones and other information. If it’s a health tech startup, insights about people’s health, so on and so forth.

With the commonly available machine learning and AI stacks, many of the startups can generate a lot of information and insights that can be helpful to, let’s say, a FMCG manufacturer or a fashion chain. (Goes without saying that the data that goes into generating this information and insights must to be anonymised.)

I hope you get the point. With the demise of broadcast TV, data driven business processes will also rise. However, these business processes will transcend into business processes other than marketing as well. These will include business analysis, forecasting, recruitment, product development, business development, strategic planning, CSR and many more.

You know what, that’s a good thing.

Having actionable insights allows companies to be leaner, efficient and be able to face competition effectively.

So, if you’re a startup with potential to generate any amount of data, go ahead and think about how you want to position your startup from a data angle. Don’t worry about not understanding why, you’ll figure out what to do with such data/information soon enough.

If you want to know more (Shameless plug!) get in touch with me. :) StartupX Foundry