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How to Serve Customers - and Keep Users Happy, Too Users or customers? Three ways to explore who your company really serves.

By Aytekin Tank

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Delmaine Donson | Getty Images

Google and Facebook are two of the world's biggest brands, valued at $309 billion and $159 billion, respectively. These huge companies share something else in common: most of their users aren't customers.

Googling banana bread recipes or posting Facebook status updates is free. However, the more we use these platforms, the more advertisers they attract – and advertisers pay the bills. Google, for example, earned over USD $160 billion from ads in 2019, which accounted for nearly 71% of its revenues.

We know how these business models work, but we often overlook the differences between serving users and customers. In a recent Google video, the company says it's constantly working to enhance the search engine: "In 2019 alone, we ended up making more than 3,620 improvements to search, for an average of nearly 10 improvements a day." Yet, Google doesn't appear to spend nearly as much time on ad tools — its biggest revenue source.

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