Duane Forrester at State Of Search 2015

State Of Search 2015: Duane Forrester

The following is a live blog from State Of Search. Please pardon any typos or grammar issues as we really didn’t have time for much proofing between sessions.

Duane Forrester at State Of Search 2015

Taking the stage to AC/DC for the last session of the event is the former Mr. Bing … Duane Forrester with the closing keynote on Looking Forward.

He starts by noting that Millennials will be responsible for $7 trillion in spending.  This will be the wealth transferred from dying boomers to them.  This will change dramatically ow companies interact with consumers and what those consumers want.

Some Cliff Notes:

  • They are savers.  The world melted down around them.
  • They don’t have a lot of faith in banks.
  • They are more likely to deal with a startup
  • They need to feel like they matter
  • They are mobile oriented

Ford changed their entire focus based on Millennials not wanting cars in their feedback. They are becoming a “hardware manufacturer”.  They will of course still make cars but the angle is changing.

He likes not having to talk to anyone at a Starbucks with pre-ordering on mobile, showing up and just grabbing the coffee without having to interact pre-caffeine.

According to Duane this is the future.

He talks about the benefits of loyalty programs based on his experience in casinos.

Mobile creates a funnel effect.  We know the location but we have less physical space.  Fewer results can be shows and a higher quality of results across facets of search.  THIS is why Mobile Ranking Algos exist.

He notes: “Content is not king … usefulness is king.”

Now we’re talking data signals.  He talks about contact lenses designed to monitor blood glucose levels for diabetics.

He them moves on to Nest.  He seems to think it’s a bit frightening that hackers can know when you’re home and when you’re not.

How much data are we producing each minute

  • 200mil email
  • Google hit 2 million times
  • 700k pieces of content on FAcebook
  • Downloaded almost 50k apps

From beginning of time to 2003 we stores 5 exabytes of data.  In 2015 we are creating that much in the time it takes to get a coffee.

Duane believes machine learning will be a huge jump for humans based on the ability to get through data without getting tired.

He moves on to what search will be.  Search is becoming about being useful and powering experiences.

He talks about Instant Answers and that it works for so well for average searchers (noting that we are not average searchers).

He now is mentioning Schema.org (or other markup).  it needs to be used or you’re left trusting the engines.

He’s talking about the difference between personal digital assistants and agents.  Today we have assistants (that will notify us of events).  In the future they will be digital agents that will automatically adjust the world around us to what it believe we want/need.  Examples would be ordering concert tickets it knows we want, scanning for discounted airfare to destinations it knows we like, etc.

Will Content Matter?

  • Yes
  • It is the answer to every query
  • Quality and usefulness is key
  • Unique eats duplicate
  • Think “relational” (I have “A”, customers might want “B”, “C” and “D”)
  • Focus on “User task completion” and build for that

Will SEO Matter?

Yes but it will continue to change.  It needs to include almost every aspect of Internet Marketing because of the shift to mobile, demographic data, instant answer and the data we have about consumer behavior.  Further there are so many inter-connected channels we have to connect the dots.

Email marketing is the implicit relationship between you and the subscriber where they allow you into their lives to tell them about what you know.  If you focus on information and not sales you will be heir choice when they are ready to buy.

Shift Or Fail:

  • Engine’s goal is to predict user’s need and fulfil
  • Relevancy is assumed
  • Usefulness is key
  • Understand the user, their needs, predict the path and connect the dots
  • Think laterally to find success
  • Be useful, not just relevant

He makes us repeat:

“I don’t sell products … I sell experiences.”

It’s a great principle and GoPro has nailed it.

Millennials don’t buy products they buy experiences.

Ask Yourself This …

  • Are you ready for the day search is internal.
  • Search baked into every touch point we have
  • Search with no destination page but brings you answers
  • “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clark
  • Solve for the person, not the platform.

Summing it up …

  • Data is a commodity.  It is more valuable than oil.
  • Know what motivates the upcoming generation
  • Traditional online marketing is changing … today
  • Stop thinking about driving traffc

Read: Future Crimes. You will be scared.  The future is frightening.

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