Imagine having 30 years of proprietary data

Google’s search engine was launched on September 15, 1997. It is now the most widely used search engine on the web, with over 92% market share as of June 2019, handling more than 5.4 billion searches each day. In the early days no one worried about page rank and SEO because most webs were Brochure sites, which a company’s sales team referred prospective clients to “for more information” - just to demonstrate that they (and their ad agency) knew how to utilize this new medium. In April 2004 Google introduced (free) Gmail and in November 2005 they introduced the world to their game-changing Google Analytics™ service. Analytics was a game-changer because, to most small to mid-size businesses, Google's offer seemed like the ultimate value proposition: a lot more (and a continuous stream of) data for free . . .  with no obligations. It seemed too good to be true. It was, and, it still is. While the offer didn’t come with any apparent limitations per se, there was one very important restriction that most people didn't pay any attention to: while Google Analytics provided you with some new + interesting information about your company’s online behaviour, you learned nothing about the competition, your business category or the prevailing business climate in your trading area. Importantly, the FREE data service addicted users to Google’s online performance data and blinded them to other valuable research tools. Around the same time a wide variety of online data interpretation service providers sprang up, promising to help busy organizations interpret data, that Google discreetly mined, for insights into to the client’s own marketing programs. Website organization + optimization, PPC and display advertising campaigning strategies and tactics as well as social media buying tactics (on Google’s ever expanding media monopoly) can all be improved with this data. The objective of all data mining strategies is the same: to put more of my client’s ads, emails and push notices in front of you. Then the world changed again: In 2014 Canada enacted the CASL legislation. It was launched and promised to reinforce best practices in email marketing, combat spam and related issues like identity theft, phishing, and the spread of malicious software, viruses, worms and trojans. In 2018 US Congress proposed + passed a comprehensive data privacy policy as well. In a nutshell, the Canadian, American (and European) privacy legislation has led Google to close most of the data (mining) loopholes that were being exploited by independent online message optimization consultants. The changes have stopped data mining companies from supplying their clients search engine derived data interpretations that have give them a competitive business communications edge (in the past). Except this change in data privacy laws does not affect those business that have made it their own ongoing business to have a robust proprietary data collection and interpretation policy and program (even if that program represents just one part-time student).

Consider this . . . 

The companies that began collecting, tracking, comparing and analyzing their own data when all of this online stuff started in the late 1990’s, would now have THIRTY YEARS OF PROPRIETARY (ONLINE) MARKETING DATA to work with. 

Those who own 30 or more years of proprietary data today made just one decision that the others didn’t: they did not stop collecting their own data just because Google offered them a nicely organized + presented data stream for free.