Published On: Tue, Jul 5th, 2011

Could Google Make a Play Into Management Consultancy?

This may sound far fetched, but I believe Google is well placed to make a future play into management consultancy.

Before we start, I recognise this is a somewhat hypothetical idea and in its present guise, Google could not challenge the likes of McKinsey, Deloitte and BCG, but that’s not to say in the future it could not. Especially, when you consider the competitive advantage Google has in terms of access to search data, understanding how people behave online and most importantly, engage with organisations. Combine these factors and you begin to see that Google is uniquely placed to provide answers to many management conundrums.

With increasing customer transactions, engagements opportunities and strategic issues playing out online, understanding and addressing your organisation’s performance, problems and plans for the future from an Internet perspective has never been more important. Google has the data, insights and infrastructure to help organisations address these issues.

In fact, the era of Google as a consultancy has already arrived. The launch of Google+ may have stolen the headlines last week, but the Internet giant’s other announcement; a ground-breaking partnership with Heineken to collaborate on digital advertising signals the beginning of Google as an agency.

The paid media part of the announcement was interesting and somewhat expected, but news that Google will begin providing consultancy services, including audience targeting and research was not. This is hugely significant as Google looks to position itself away from being a service vendor to strategic partner.

When you factor in the vast quantities of information Google has accumulated, you can begin to see how its digital advertising offering could evolve, over time into other forms of consultancy. Google will have the data to overcome many of your organisation’s challenges.

As Google looks to continue diversifying its revenue streams from search and online advertising to social media, mobile and consultancy, the idea of them making a play toward management consultancy seems less absurd. I would not be surprised if Google announce some big appointments from the world of management consultancy over the next 18-24 months.

Google’s data coupled with some of the finest minds in business consultancy would make a fantastic proposition. Google is well placed to offer such a service.

About the Author

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Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at Ben-Cotton.com and Chief Quaffer at CraftySwine.org .

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  1. It’s an interesting insight, but I think that the brand extension into consultancy would probably be beyond Google’s capabilities. If they wanted a piece of the consulting action, it seems to me that they would sell the information at a premium to the consulting firms and take their cut without doing any consulting at all. But Google does such a phenomenal job at everything they do, I wouldn’t put it past them. Great post!

    • Ben Cotton says:

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, Jim.

      You’re probably right. Selling on this data to established consultancies, rather than directly to clients seems more probable.

      However, Google’s deal with Heineken signals that they are already moving away from service provider to strategic consultant. Google has the data, insights and infrastructure to help organisations address any of their performance, problems and plans.

      In fact ,Google understand how people behave online and most importantly, engage with organisations, all of which would be of huge value to McKinsey, Deloitte and BCG and their clients.

      Google is uniquely placed to provide answers to many management conundrums.

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