10 Apr 2015
Marketing is huge. It's especially huge for the giants like Google. Marketing is so omnipresent, that it targets you even when you don't expect it. Arguably, for such a company the internal marketing might even be more important than the external one. By internal marketing I mean the process of "selling" the employer to its own employees. It is important because retaining the talented and highly skilled workers is a big issue in Silicone Valley.
A great marketing campaign is the one you don't notice, but do buy-in nevertheless. Here's a great example of how it works at Google.
There's a notion of TGIF at Google. It is an internal meeting that takes place on the main campus in Mountain View, and gets transmitted to all other Google locations around the world. Any Google employee is welcome to attend or watch the meeting. During the meeting the executive figures (Larry and Sergey) get on the stage and share the company news. For our observation it doesn't really matter what the meeting is all about. What's important is that although it's called TGIF (Thank God it's Friday), the meeting runs of Thursday nights. Silly, huh? Well, not really - it's evil smart.
When you hear about the TGIF on Thursday, the first thing that strikes your mind is "Why is it called TGIF then?" You could have called it TGIT, or give it any other unrelated random name of all the names out there in the world. So why is it called "TGIF"? Because the question that pops up in your mind is exactly what they are counting on.
Once you ask this question, there'll be someone nearby who worked here a little longer and knows the answer. She will say: "Well, many companies do hold unofficial gatherings on Friday evenings. However at Google our leaders understand that everyone wants to come back to their families on Friday evening. So they host the meeting on Thursday night." Simple and well-thought - very Googley. The thing is if it wasn't called TGIF, people wouldn't seek a reason for hosting it on Thursday, and, ultimately, wouldn't get to the conclusion that Google does care about its employees even in this particular tiny case.
So this misalignment of name and day serves Google in a way that it reminds its employees how the company cares about them. But you are very unlikely to notice this inner marketing campaign artfully covered by a seaming misconception.