The Browser Wars + Google’s       Chrome Sword
Why is Google in the Game ??                (my speculations…)
Google wants us to spendmore time online (preferably       in the browser)
The more time we spend online, themore opportunity Google has to serve us             with ads ($$$)
Offline desktop software(and, to a lesser extent, native   apps) is currently a large      blind spot for Google
However, new technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, WebGL, and Native  Client mean that this might not be       the case f...
But, though the technology exists (or might exist soon), userswon’t use products that don’t exist,and developers won’t cre...
Which brings us to…   W3C + WHATWG + Standards Process  Standards boards exist to encourageconformity across browsers so t...
The most important thing to remember is:        The current state of the   internet is in constant flux and    determined ...
So if Google wants to impact user behavior and get us to spend more timeonline, it might be a good idea for them  to estab...
The Purpose:Chrome exists to push the web forward       (doesn’t sound too evil, does it?)
“As technologies like HTML5, CSS3, SVGand WebGL start to become more mainstream,  not only will the web apps we already us...
The more that is possible to doonline, the more time people like you     and me will spend on the web  And the more likely...
But, because developers won’t makethings that nobody will use, Chrome’sability to push the market forward is    determined...
So if Google wants to maximize its  ability to control the future of the  web, they should (1) build a browser people want...
HOW TO GET THERE
WHAT DO USERS CARE ABOUT ??  (**the following is informed by a quick’n’dirty survey I sentthrough Mechanical Turk, heaps o...
Q: What are your main sources offrustration while browsing?  - Crashing/Freezing/Bugs  - Too slow  - Lack of functionality...
Q: What do you like most about yourbrowsing experience?  - Speed  - Learning things on the web  - When it is effortless  -...
Q: What do you like most about yourbrowsing experience?  - Speed  - Learning things on the web  - When it is effortless  -...
It seems that, for a lot of people,  the web browser is a barrier to theirenjoyment of the web. Many think of the  browser...
Browser qualities users value highly  -   Reliability  -   Speed  -   Ease of use  -   Functionality  -   Features  -   Co...
Of Chrome’s 3 S’s (Speed, Simplicity, andSecurity), it appears that speed has the mosttraction.Security seems to be someth...
Q: Why do you use the browser youcurrently use most frequently?  - Chrome users: speed, design,       reliability  - Firef...
Q: What comes to mind when you thinkof [X] browser?    - Chrome: Google, speed, new, up-and          coming, unsure, sleek...
Observations:- Safari and Chrome are heavily associatedwith their parent companies- Explorer and Safari seem to be strong ...
Observations (cont’d):- Explorer continues to suffer from a largeamount of negativity, despite the fact thatit has started...
Observations (cont’d):- People are still a bit unsure aboutChrome due to its newness (so the ‘builtfrom the ground up’ ide...
SWITCHINGIt’s not enough to build messaging aroundwhat users value. To get people to change their behavior and adopt Chrom...
Why do people switch?a spark may lead to a trial, which may          lead to an adoption      SPARK  TRIAL  ADOPTION
Types of Sparks- Curiosity (may be caused by word of mouth,    recommendations, advertising, etc.)- Frustration with immed...
*A Note on Frustration (from previous slide):I found it interesting that a few people cited “standardscompliance” as a sou...
How is Chrome doing with trial?        SPARK  TRIAL
Not too bad…- 60% of people surveyed have tried    Chrome at some point in the past- 30% of people surveyed have tried a  ...
Most frequently cited reasons for trial:- Positive WoM/recommended by friend- Normal browser wasn’t working well    (mainl...
But, of the people who had triedChrome, only 30% reported currently using it as their primary browser…         TRIAL  ADO...
…which is strange because the people who tried Chrome seemed to like it(all impressions of Chrome from the groupwho had tr...
So what is going on?
Barriers to switching exist that preventusers from switching even though they havea positive experience with a new browser...
In this case, the trick is to repeat the SPARK  TRIAL process as much as               possible*    (the more the behavio...
Implications:- Current marketing activity seems to beworking to induce trial- Chrome should keep pushing ChromeExperiments...
Implications (cont’d):- Chrome should sponsor more initiatives,like Chrome for a Cause, which might makeusers more familia...
Implications (cont’d):- Chrome might want to target the TRIAL ADOPTION conversion more with its creativemessaging, possib...
STRATEGIC KERNELS
POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #1It’s about the web not the browser.Stemming from the idea that users can seethe browser ...
POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #2Convenience/Comfort/Seamless EcosystemUsers reported convenience, compatibility,and fami...
…especially considering that Googleproducts we all use regularly, like Mapsand search, work better with Chrome.Messaging a...
POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #3Pushing the web forward.Chrome is already developing a reputation– which it should activ...
This idea would also resonate well withthe tech press and developer communities(who influence the right side of the techad...
POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #4Speed.It’s working. I wouldn’t abandon it. Userscare about speed and strongly associate ...
SUMMARY- Chrome is an agent of behavioral change. Itexists to get users to spend more time onlineby expanding the capabili...
SUMMARY (cont’d)- Switching happens from SPARK  TRIAL ADOPTION. Chrome seems to be doing well fromSPARK to TRIAL, and sh...
PARTING THOUGHTS
It’s an exciting time to be working with the internet – thanks to passionate web developers and companies like Googlepushi...
Thank you.
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The Browser Wars and Google's Chrome Sword

  1. 1. The Browser Wars + Google’s Chrome Sword
  2. 2. Why is Google in the Game ?? (my speculations…)
  3. 3. Google wants us to spendmore time online (preferably in the browser)
  4. 4. The more time we spend online, themore opportunity Google has to serve us with ads ($$$)
  5. 5. Offline desktop software(and, to a lesser extent, native apps) is currently a large blind spot for Google
  6. 6. However, new technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, WebGL, and Native Client mean that this might not be the case for much longer… Advanced web technologies nowrealistically present the potential of carrying full desktop functionality over to the web. HTML5, for one, is already doing this
  7. 7. But, though the technology exists (or might exist soon), userswon’t use products that don’t exist,and developers won’t create products that don’t work on users’ browsers
  8. 8. Which brings us to… W3C + WHATWG + Standards Process Standards boards exist to encourageconformity across browsers so that the internet doesn’t become the internets They have a reputation for being slow, political, and ineffectual
  9. 9. The most important thing to remember is: The current state of the internet is in constant flux and determined as a result of power relationships betweenUSERS – DEVELOPERS – BROWSERS – STANDARDS Each of these groups has power to shape the web
  10. 10. So if Google wants to impact user behavior and get us to spend more timeonline, it might be a good idea for them to establish a presence within one of these power basesUSERS – DEVELOPERS – BROWSERS – STANDARDS (Chrome as an agent of behavioral change)
  11. 11. The Purpose:Chrome exists to push the web forward (doesn’t sound too evil, does it?)
  12. 12. “As technologies like HTML5, CSS3, SVGand WebGL start to become more mainstream, not only will the web apps we already use become more useful, but we should also seedevelopers building web apps that do things that previously could have only been done by desktop applications” – Simon Mackie, GigaOm
  13. 13. The more that is possible to doonline, the more time people like you and me will spend on the web And the more likely we are to see Google-owned ad space!
  14. 14. But, because developers won’t makethings that nobody will use, Chrome’sability to push the market forward is determined by its market share
  15. 15. So if Google wants to maximize its ability to control the future of the web, they should (1) build a browser people want to use and (2) market the hell out of it Purpose of advertising: IncreaseChrome’s global share of total hours spent browsing the web
  16. 16. HOW TO GET THERE
  17. 17. WHAT DO USERS CARE ABOUT ?? (**the following is informed by a quick’n’dirty survey I sentthrough Mechanical Turk, heaps of blog comments, and a handful of qualitative interviews I conducted**)
  18. 18. Q: What are your main sources offrustration while browsing? - Crashing/Freezing/Bugs - Too slow - Lack of functionality with some sites - Too cluttered with toolbars
  19. 19. Q: What do you like most about yourbrowsing experience? - Speed - Learning things on the web - When it is effortless - Multiple tabs - Reliability / “When it works like it’s meant to” - Customizable
  20. 20. Q: What do you like most about yourbrowsing experience? - Speed - Learning things on the web - When it is effortless - Multiple tabs - Reliability / “When it works like it’s meant to” - Customizable
  21. 21. It seems that, for a lot of people, the web browser is a barrier to theirenjoyment of the web. Many think of the browser as a means to an end and just want something that won’t get in the way of their web experience.
  22. 22. Browser qualities users value highly - Reliability - Speed - Ease of use - Functionality - Features - Convenience
  23. 23. Of Chrome’s 3 S’s (Speed, Simplicity, andSecurity), it appears that speed has the mosttraction.Security seems to be something users expectmore than they desire, but valued insofar asit relates to reliability.Simplicity is a tricky one because, thoughusers value simplicity relating to design andease of use, simplicity in functionality andfeatures has a negative connotation.(Other qualities I associate with Chrome suchas “openness” barely registered outside thedeveloper/tech geek community…)
  24. 24. Q: Why do you use the browser youcurrently use most frequently? - Chrome users: speed, design, reliability - Firefox users: trust, familiarity, performance, speed, features - Explorer users: convenience, habit, no reason - Safari users: convenience, compatibility
  25. 25. Q: What comes to mind when you thinkof [X] browser? - Chrome: Google, speed, new, up-and coming, unsure, sleek - Firefox: best, fast, reliable, quality, popular, feature-rich* - Explorer: slow, crap, last resort, old, on its way out, familiar, viruses, “annoying thing I use to download other browsers” - Safari: Apple, (jungle), secondary, inadequate, standard, stylish(*NB: a disproportionately high number of Firefox users responded to mysurvey, so the results are skewed by that as well as by the survey method…a broader and more representative sample set would clearly be more ideal)
  26. 26. Observations:- Safari and Chrome are heavily associatedwith their parent companies- Explorer and Safari seem to be strong inconvenience and compatibility (there may besome fruitful strategic space for Chrome inhere, especially considering Google’srobust web-based product ecosystem)- Chrome and Firefox overlap a lotperceptually - both achieving recognitionfor speed, performance, reliability, andfeatures (with chrome stronger on speed andFirefox more closely associated withfeatures and reliability)
  27. 27. Observations (cont’d):- Explorer continues to suffer from a largeamount of negativity, despite the fact thatit has started competing again with IE9. Itwill take a long time for IE to overcomeits outdated, glitchy image consideringthat the idea is deeply ingrained. Also,the fact that many people have no choicebut to use IE6 at work does not helpExplorer’s cause. The idea that Chrome was‘built from the ground up’ might be fertileground for luring IE users
  28. 28. Observations (cont’d):- People are still a bit unsure aboutChrome due to its newness (so the ‘builtfrom the ground up’ idea might not resonatewell with all target audiences)- Despite heavy emphasis on openness fromFirefox (especially) and Chrome, thequality barely registered as somethingusers care about or associate with anybrowser (at least outside of the developercommunity)
  29. 29. SWITCHINGIt’s not enough to build messaging aroundwhat users value. To get people to change their behavior and adopt Chrome as their primary browser, Google must understand why people switch from and stick with their current browsers
  30. 30. Why do people switch?a spark may lead to a trial, which may lead to an adoption SPARK  TRIAL  ADOPTION
  31. 31. Types of Sparks- Curiosity (may be caused by word of mouth, recommendations, advertising, etc.)- Frustration with immediate browsing experience (e.g. browser crashes, user visits a site that wont work with his or her current browser)*- Use of new device (e.g. a work computer, a friend’s tablet) that has a different browser installed(sparks range in nature from voluntary to involuntary)
  32. 32. *A Note on Frustration (from previous slide):I found it interesting that a few people cited “standardscompliance” as a source of frustration. This indicates tome that when a user navigates to a site built on advancedweb technology, they blame their browser if the site doesnot display properly. If this is the case, Chrome shouldkeep pushing advanced web technologies that make coolsites like Tinkercad or OK Go’s “All is Not Lost” ChromeExperiment possible – especially since Explorer currentlydoes not support WebGL. The cooler the website/app, thestronger the spark
  33. 33. How is Chrome doing with trial? SPARK  TRIAL
  34. 34. Not too bad…- 60% of people surveyed have tried Chrome at some point in the past- 30% of people surveyed have tried a new browser within the past month- 50% of people surveyed have tried a new browser in the last six months (after that, there is a bit of a lag, with 30% having not tried a browser for 2+ years)
  35. 35. Most frequently cited reasons for trial:- Positive WoM/recommended by friend- Normal browser wasn’t working well (mainly IE-specific)- Heard it was faster- Pre-installed on another device I used/came with another program- Curiosity- To use an app or extension
  36. 36. But, of the people who had triedChrome, only 30% reported currently using it as their primary browser… TRIAL  ADOPTION
  37. 37. …which is strange because the people who tried Chrome seemed to like it(all impressions of Chrome from the groupwho had tried but not adopted Chrome werepositive - ranging from “great” to “fast”to “on its way up” - or neutral - ranging from “Google” to “backup browser”)
  38. 38. So what is going on?
  39. 39. Barriers to switching exist that preventusers from switching even though they havea positive experience with a new browserBarriers to switching include: - Habit - Add-ons and Extensions* - Comfort with current browser / no pressing reason to switch(each of these is closely related to convenience) *85% of Firefox users have installed add-ons
  40. 40. In this case, the trick is to repeat the SPARK  TRIAL process as much as possible* (the more the behavior is repeated,the less convenient using another browser becomes, the more likely using Chrome is to become habit) (REPEATED) TRIAL  ADOPTION*The first trial is the hardest to achieve. Once the browser is installed on someone’s computer, there is less resistance moving from SPARK  TRIAL
  41. 41. Implications:- Current marketing activity seems to beworking to induce trial- Chrome should keep pushing ChromeExperiments and advanced web technologiesto increase frequency of sparks- Chrome should advertise that it is atthe forefront of web technology – that itallows users to achieve more with theirweb experience – so that current usersfeel good about Chrome and potentialusers think of Chrome when their normalbrowser isn’t working well
  42. 42. Implications (cont’d):- Chrome should sponsor more initiatives,like Chrome for a Cause, which might makeusers more familiar with and habitualizedto the browser- Chrome communications should emphasizefeatures that mitigate barriers toswitching (for example, ease of importingbookmarks to Chrome from other browsers)- Chrome should build up its own barriersto switching with extensions, apps, andseamless integration with other Googleservices like Gmail, Maps and Search
  43. 43. Implications (cont’d):- Chrome might want to target the TRIAL ADOPTION conversion more with its creativemessaging, possibly by incorporatingthemes such as convenience, familiarity,and reassurance
  44. 44. STRATEGIC KERNELS
  45. 45. POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #1It’s about the web not the browser.Stemming from the idea that users can seethe browser as a barrier to their webexperience – this could build off pre-existing Chrome strengths such as ease ofuse, speed, and simplicity in design. Italso speaks to user desires for areliable, effortless browsing experience.Nothing comes between you and what you’rethere for …something along these lines.
  46. 46. POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #2Convenience/Comfort/Seamless EcosystemUsers reported convenience, compatibility,and familiarity as important factors inchoosing a browser. Some also reportedChrome as feeling “too new,” which madethem “unsure” about the browser.To play to the former and combat thelatter, Chrome could leverage Google’srobust, web-based product ecosystem…
  47. 47. …especially considering that Googleproducts we all use regularly, like Mapsand search, work better with Chrome.Messaging along these lines would alsohelp retain current Google Chrome users,as comfort, compatibility, and familiarityare important barriers to switching.
  48. 48. POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #3Pushing the web forward.Chrome is already developing a reputation– which it should actively support - forbeing at the forefront of web technology.This is great for Chrome because it feedsinto the idea that you can do anything youwant to on the web with Chrome (a slightvariation on Potential Creative Territory#1) - with advanced web technologies, thebrowser is not only not a barrier to yourweb experience, it actively enhances it.
  49. 49. This idea would also resonate well withthe tech press and developer communities(who influence the right side of the techadoption curve); and would smack ofauthenticity because it is true.Pushing the web forward should encourageeven more trial as people become curiousand want to see what Chrome can do thatother browsers can’t. Further, currentChrome users would feel tech-savvy andprogressive – reinforcing their desire tostick with the browser.User-centric variants on the theme couldbe something like “do more with Chrome”
  50. 50. POTENTIAL CREATIVE TERRITORIES: #4Speed.It’s working. I wouldn’t abandon it. Userscare about speed and strongly associate itwith Chrome. Maybe focus the message moreto current IE and Safari users, ifpossible, as speed doesn’t seem to be ahuge source of tension for Firefox usersat the moment.(I also wouldn’t abandon the “the web is whatyou make” of it campaign - some of those adsgive me goose bumps! And they working on manyof the dimensions I’ve identified)
  51. 51. SUMMARY- Chrome is an agent of behavioral change. Itexists to get users to spend more time onlineby expanding the capabilities of the web- Chrome’s ability to push the market forwardis determined by its market share. The reasonfor advertising, then, is to increase Chrome’sshare of total hours spent browsing the web- Users value Reliability, Speed, Ease of use,Functionality, Features, and Convenience inbrowsers- Chrome is best known for speed, design, andbeing new; perceptually, has a lot in commonwith Firefox
  52. 52. SUMMARY (cont’d)- Switching happens from SPARK  TRIAL ADOPTION. Chrome seems to be doing well fromSPARK to TRIAL, and should also focus effortbridging TRIAL and ADOPTION- Potential creative territories include afocus on the web experience over the browserexperience, convenience and familiarity withthe Google ecosystem, and pushing the webforward
  53. 53. PARTING THOUGHTS
  54. 54. It’s an exciting time to be working with the internet – thanks to passionate web developers and companies like Googlepushing the web forward with exciting new technologies, it feels like we’re on the cusp of a revolution in our conception of what’s possible on the internet
  55. 55. Thank you.

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