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Google App Updates – Where’s the Communication?

It appears that Google made some changes to a couple of their Android applications recently, and based on feedback from an associate, it wasn’t announced. This is a bit surprising, and reminds me once again as to how important communication is for a local business to keep consumers happy.

My associate shared the following story with me:

“There was an app that I wanted to download, so I looked and looked and looked for my Android Market Place app (the app used to download and purchase other apps on Android supported devices), but it was nowhere to be found on my phone. I kept looking through my phone thinking I might have accidentally deleted it, but there was no record of it anywhere. I finally went online and did a Google search on ‘Android Market App Missing’ and found that recently, Google changed the name and icon for a couple of their apps. They changed Android Market Place to Google Play, and Google Books to Play Books.  I was a bit surprised that they changed the name at all for these basic apps, but was maybe even more surprised that I didn’t receive any communication or notification about it. And after reading the forums, I wasn’t the only one caught off guard by the change…”

I’m sharing this not to debate why Google updated to the new version of the app or changed the name and icon, but instead, to use this example as an indicator of how important it is to effectively communicate to consumers to keep them happy and well-informed. Sure, some may argue that the update from Android Market to Google Play was seamless, but as my associate noted in the story above, several forums on the web had users who approached the subject with confusion. After all, there are often a lot of apps on an individual’s Smartphone these days, and we know where to locate the ones we use most. When what we’re used to seeing isn’t visible anymore or has moved or changed, then it’s nice to know that ahead of time. Not to mention, it’s nice to know what changed were made with the update, if any, and why it occurred.

Generally, Google is great about communicating and announcing changes and updates to products or services, so I’m not sure what happened this time. And it’s not like they’re going to lose disgruntled customers over this given that we love our apps and our phones and can get over something like this. At the same time, a small or local business might not be so lucky, and definitely can’t afford to lose customers, especially when those customers are disgruntled and have the power to create a negative perception for that local business; and as we know, bad news can spread like wildfire. Plus, communication and transparency is just the right thing to do in most cases.

If you’re a local business, do what you can do communicate any changes for your business to your employees and consumers as soon as possible to keep everyone in ‘the know’ and happy.

Written By

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL's Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Neo P.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I agree that companies should inform user or customers of any product changes just you they’d not be crazy when they try to look for the product. Where you able to find the app? Thanks for airing your concern.

    -Neo

  2. Maja

    March 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Google is the second brand in the world in 2010.Why it was because consistent change in the services of Google.

  3. Nicole

    April 2, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Google is a big help to everyone whether in school or in business and I think googl is the most trusted browser of all and opra too.

  4. John

    April 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for sharing this comprehensive article with us as it includes some useful information about Google. According to my opinion Google helps everyone. Keep up the good work.

  5. Jeesica

    April 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I believe this is a big blunder and we cannot expect this from companies like Google. If you are making any major changes then definitely I should announce it to the persons or vendors who are associate with this change as it will definitely affect my business relationship.

  6. Jerry Masters

    April 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Its surprising to me as google is known to be great about communicating and announcing changes and updates to products or services.Atleast if a notification would have been sent then it would not have disappointed the users and customers would have been happy on this note!!.

  7. Danny

    April 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I did hear it from Google or somewhere else that they were going to change the name. But maybe they didn’t communicate this clearly enough. I totally agree with your point though. It’s vital for businesses of any size to communicate well with their customers.

  8. TracyAnn0312

    April 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Google is one of the best Internet server to anyone that is why they were rank as one of the best server in the whole world. However, i think that when they update apps and other products they need to inform their customers. Thanks for sharing the article to anyone.

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