Thursday Buzz: The Secret to Getting Acquired By Google

The tech giant's test when considering an acquisition—and how it can apply to your association's own marketing. Also: time-tested strategies for effective headlines.

“Is the product the target company makes something people will use at least once a day, and that makes their lives better?”

That’s the question Google’s leadership asks before it acquires a company, something called the “toothbrush test.” It’s worked out relatively well for the search giant, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of its initial public offering this week.

(By the way, it should be noted that a lot of smart people made the wrong call about Google’s success at the time.)

Writing on her blog, freelance journalist Deirdre Reid suggests that Google’s acquisition strategy is easily translatable to the world of associations. Specifically, she’s focused on the big questions you can ask about your own offerings.

“If you do offer a ‘golden toothbrush,'” she ponders, “can your clients or members get that same product elsewhere? If they can, what makes your offering so different or special? Why would they have a relationship with you?”

Read more of Reid’s take over this way.

30+ Ways To Keep You Clicking

Headlines are hard. There’s so much you have to get into a story sometimes that trying to narrow it down to a few words is an exercise in surgery.

But it can be done—especially if you have the right tools at your disposal.

Buffer’s Kevan Lee has a nice long list of headline templates for you to steal choose from, all backed by strategy and offering different ways to think about the content you’re trying to push. Our favorite trick in that list involves taking two good ideas and turning them into one:


“If there’re two headlines we like a lot (and they’re different enough from each other), we’ll use both. In the same headline,” he writes.

We won’t spoil any of their other approaches for you—be sure to check out the full list. *(ht @Sandee_Jackson)*

Other Links of Note

Time to update your will: In Delaware, your heirs now have the legal right to access your social accounts once you pass on.

You may be successful now, but do you know why everything’s clicking? If you don’t, that could be a huge problem—something Sony is facing right now with the inexplicable success of the PlayStation 4.


p> columnist Christine Comaford wants you to know how to attract that rock star employee—and keep them.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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