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The Transformation Series: Paul McDonald of Google Consumer Surveys

An indepth conversation with Paul McDonald of Google Consumer Surveys on where they have been, what's in store for 2014 and how GCS is evolving to deliver more impact and value to consumers, researchers and other Google products.


What’s left to be said about a company that has received as much attention in the MR industry as Google Consumer Surveys? Quite a bit as it turns out, as you’ll see in this interview I recently conducted with Paul McDonald of GCS, and all of it deserves the close attention of the marketing insights industry.

It’s almost expected now for Google to make big impact plays in almost every area they operate in, to the point that the real news would be that they were not making “moon shots” (as they are called internally). However, hopefully innovation fatigue hasn’t set in so much that we begin to ignore one of the most progressive companies the world has ever seen, because like it or not, this company continues to fundamentally impact the world as only a very few companies ever have done before.

So what moon shots does Paul reveal in this interview? Here are the headlines:

“GCS will be integrated into Android, effectively creating a billion person (and growing) global panel.”

“In 2014 GCS will roll out into 40 countries and support 40 languages.”

“They are integrating with other Google platforms for both internal and external use.”

“GCS has no intention of integrating biometrics or , more specifically, facial coding, into their platform due to privacy concerns.”

“Google is undergoing a fundamental shift themselves and see themselves as becoming an empowering agent for consumers to leverage their personal data vs. the company that uses that data for their own ends.”

“We are still a few years out from attempts to use Artificial Intelligence to drive Big Data analytics within Google.”

Those are all pretty big deal pronouncements that will impact the marketing insights space, especially their global growth plans. If that alone doesn’t accelerate mobile research into the forefront of data collection approaches I don’t know what will.

Paul will be discussing quite a bit of this at IIeX Amsterdam this week (Google is a Platinum Sponsor of the event) and as the year progresses I am sure more advances will be announced. In the meantime, this wide ranging and deep interview should help everyone get a better sense of what the future holds as Google continues to impact market research.


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