The success and good performance of any organization would not be possible without the use of strategic planning in a process referred to as strategic management. Strategic planning provides a company with an opportunity to identify the necessary actions and the correct direction that should be taken in order for the company to achieve its targets or goals (Bryson, 2018). Strategic planning can be defined as the process through which a company sets its priorities, strengthens its operations, focuses its resources and energy, assesses and adjusts the direction of the company in relation to changes in the environment, and ensures that various stakeholders are working towards the achievement of organizational goals (Wolf & Floyd, 2017). In this paper, the strategic plan of Google Inc., an American-based technology company that specializes in the production of internet-based services and products including software, internet search engines, online marketing technologies, and cloud computing (Google, 2005b), is provided.
The company is one of the best-performing and largest technology companies, competing with companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. In this paper, the long-term goals and objectives of the company will be identified. The paper will also discuss the various strategies used by the company in its business operations, the various markets targeted by the company, the value and resources required for the accomplishment of the long-term goals, and the competitive advantage and how it is sustained by the company. The various strategic alliances and the organizational structure that the company uses will be discussed and evaluated.
Google Inc.’s Long-term Goals and Objectives
The company’s mission statement reveals the objectives and long-term goals. Google Inc.’s mission statement is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google, 2005b). Google’s long-term goals and objectives include delivering new technology for advertising, development of technology and mechanisms for tracking, and increasing and improving the ability of users to search a larger information base. These goals align with the mission of the company to enable accessibility and usefulness of information. The company also has a number of short-term objectives, which include expanding its workforce in anticipation of organizational growth, expanding operations into more international markets, and continuing with the innovation and development of new products. The accomplishment of these short-term goals and objectives will help the company get closer to achieving the long-term goals and objectives. For instance, the expansion of the company’s workforce will be important in the achievement of the long-term goal of expanding into new markets.
Google’s Strategy and Competitive Advantage
The search engine business is Google Inc.’s dominant business. As such, the company can be viewed as a single-product-line business that deals with the provision of search engine services to the public, even though the company has diversified its operations through the introduction of new technologies and acquisition of other businesses in recent years (Vise, 2007). In order for Google Inc. to effectively compete with its competitors and meet its targets, the company utilizes the differentiation strategy, which involves a broad market scope. The company offers products to people all over the world. The differentiation strategy involves the development of unique capabilities which sets the company’s products apart from those provided by competitors. Through the application of the differentiation strategy, the company is able to acquire a competitive advantage over competitors such as Yahoo! and Microsoft. The business strategies of Google Inc. are focused on improving the company’s search engine to become better than those provided by the competitors so as to differentiate it on the basis of the quality of service and relevance of the search results.
The company aims to ensure that the search engine clearly understands what the user means and provides results that are relevant to the query. Through the application of concentric diversification, placing focus on the main product of an online search engine, the company has been able to achieve a competitive advantage in the provision of quicker response times, lower costs, and greater scalability. The company has been able to achieve an edge over the competitors through increased search speed and offering services at a low cost. The future of the company depends on the sustainability of the competitive advantage. A key element in the sustenance of the competitive edge is the provision of searches that are more accurate and relevant to the users. The company also needs to focus on increasing its user base. Google Inc. also utilizes intensive growth strategies in its operations. Google Inc. depends on the market penetration strategy to expand its operations outside the United States. Market development strategy is utilized by the company to ensure continued growth and expansion of user base.
Through this strategy, services such as Google Fiber Internet and Google cable television service have been introduced in the U.S. market. Product development is another intensive growth strategy used by the company to realize growth and sustain its operations. Google continues to innovate and introduce new products in the market, including recent products such as Google Glass and the Nexus line of smart devices. Through this strategy, the company is able to increase its income generations lines.
Value Creation and Target Markets
The customers of the company range from individual users to small and large companies. Google provides its customers with a search engine that provides them with access to information (Google, 2005c). It also provides its clients with advertising services, ranking client sites depending on keywords. Google Inc. ensures the retention of customer trust and loyalty through the provision of exceptional search service in terms of speed and relevance of results. The company wishes to create value for clients and customers by providing access to information, an intangible value but one that changes how people interact and live their lives. The company’s primary target markets are the end users, partner websites, and advertisers. The company continues to serve these three market segments and expand its operations to increase its user base in the future.
Google Inc.’s Organizational Structure
Google Inc. utilizes a cross-functional team-based organizational structure (Google, 2005c). Instead of having employees at the bottom of the structure and supervisors and managers above them, the company utilizes an approach that ensures that employees are part of any decision-making. This structure maintains the feel of a small organization and promotes the feeling of equal importance in the employees. The structure of the company places importance on ideas and intelligence, as opposed to focusing on job titles and rank. In 2015, the company became a conglomerate, known as Alphabet, composed of various units, Google being one of them. The search engine, Android operating system, Gmail email service, and YouTube service are now units under the Alphabet conglomerate.
The future of Google Inc. looks bright. However, the company needs to set time frames and identify milestones for the journey towards the fulfillment of the long-term goals. By identifying proper timelines and milestones, and setting up appropriate monitoring systems to monitor growth and achievement of goals, the company will be able to guarantee its future success and achieve continuous growth. With increased competition and technological changes, the company should review its strategies and increase marketing activities.
Bryson, J. M. (2018). Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.
Google, (2005b). Google corporate information: Company overview. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/index.html
Google, (2005c). Google corporate information: Our philosophy. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/tenthings.html
Wolf, C., & Floyd, S. W. (2017). Strategic planning research: Toward a theory-driven agenda. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1754-1788.
Vise, D. (2007). The google story. Strategic Direction, 23(10).