Direct choice: Google for Dummies

A booklet from Google arrived in my mail today. Connecting People Using Google for Dummies is part of the renowned 'Dummies' Series published by Wiley Publishing, and one of 17 Google for Dummies books.

For a brand that has come to symbolise the power of digital, Google's use of direct marketing for this campaign is interesting (last year, it ran the booklet as an insert in the Daily Mail). Google recognises that digital needs to be complemented with other media for maximum impact.

While the booklet does serve as a good instruction manual for everything from Google Earth to YouTube, I couldn't help but think that the average entrepreneur or small business owner would require some degree of technical acumen to grasp the set-up guides and information provided. I would like to see more examples featured, and more detailed information on search engine optimisation techniques.

Furthermore, while its emphasis is on how to connect with customers, this booklet raises the question of whether there is a truly open access to valuable information on Google. The value of information under the 'Google economy' is not determined by its style or trustworthiness, but by its accessibility, which, like it or not, is controlled by Google (while the Google For Dummies series is featured on Google Shopping, MSN For Dummies is not).

Mailing: In-house.

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