Interview Question

Associate Account Strategist Interview

If Google decided to charge g-mail users, how would you

  recommend implementing this? Would it be sustainable and what would be the advantages and disadvantages?

Interview Answer

4 Answers

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I believe it would no make sense. The business model of google is a two side platform, so they don't charge users , because they are the base of information . They charge companies though online advertisement products and other products . As many users for free they have more companies would have interest to work with google and pay for the advertisement products.

Luana on Mar 22, 2014

Since it's a Google Interview question, we've got to give an answer, even if a paying Gmail doesn't make sense since the business model is on advertising.
I would go for a freemium model with an enhanced functionalities+ awesome interface Gmail client, working offline, unlimited space (1To for instance).
Target would be 5% customer base of 1billion =50millions paying customers
Fee : $2 /month
Revenues = $1.2b /year

OlivierSeres on May 21, 2014

The first thing Gmail users will want to know is WHY...all of a sudden...Gmail is not FREE?? And Google should expect to cause a panic in the minds of their customers. Because, if "I have to pay for Gmail...that must mean that soon, everything on the internet will follow suit."

In this regard, I hold that charging money to access and utilize Gmail is not a sustainable business concept. In fact, the feeling of betrayal within the hearts and minds of Google's customers is THE most significant disadvantage.

However, if it MUST be so that Google charges users to access and utilize new and existing Gmail accounts; well, quite candidly, the greatest advantage would be a significantly positive impact on profitability. Considering, of course, that some new "breakthrough" is implemented into Gmail (first as an Upgrade option for paid service, then standardized across the board for all users).

The said "breakthrough" created by Google, in this example, would most certainly demand a marketing campaign centered around coaching the global public on HOW and WHY Google is changing the way we all think about email.

Wow! -- The "WOW" factor created in the hearts and minds of Google and Gmail customers will need to be embedded, repeated, delivered in as unique a way as you wish your customers to identify Google with innovation--changing the world...not changing my bank account!!

Thus, the decision to charge Gmail users should take into account the emotions of all Google customers, and all Internet users. And the families that will be affected by this net deficit to multiple family members, simultaneously, all paying for email service; and the take-home pay of those family members that will be stretched further than it already is, to include paying for ONE (or 2, 3, 4...) MORE fixed cost every month.

J. Nichols on Jul 16, 2014

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