Search, Data, Targeting And The Sci-Fi Geek

 , (September 11, 2015)

Combining search with behavior lays the groundwork for intelligent and knowledgeable technology that some might think a bit additive. Since I am a bit of a SciFi geek, this article will explain how.

Let’s start by changing the name “search” to “intent-driven marketing” (IDM), which is something advocated at the Search Insider Summit: The New Face of Search. If we look at search as intent-driven and remove limits in defining or understanding the meaning, it allows us to take search outside of the rigid four-walled box and create the next face or next phase.

If people interpret the Internet in multiple ways through biometric, voice, purchase behavior, location, and dating habits, it might suggest that the notion of intent would become a form of behavior. As marketers you know that.

How does this all relate to advertising? The Online Marketing Institute recently presented a few ideas. As marketers, the challenge we face becomes expanding the definition of behavioral targeting beyond simply dropping a retargeting pixel in a browser that follows consumers from one site to another monitoring purchase behavior.  

Behavior becomes the destination or Web site in which way you go, what you do, who you interact with, and your thoughts. It gets built out through complex data models, based on statistical modeling and what you want, where you go and what you will do.

The industry has much work to do, but when combined and driven by search — because search is the foremost way of establishing intent of the main online advertising media — the door opens wide to many possibilities.

The challenge we face is there is so much data people don’t really know how to use it. Susan Etlinger in a TED Talk spoke about this dilemma.

What does this mean in terms of finding the correct amount of data for any specific campaign? Here’s an example. Take a great dish at a restaurant. You love garlic. Garlic is fragrant, but too much of it would sour the dish.

As marketers, we need to cook up the correct recipe, add the perfect amount of spices and seasoning, to ensure that the data is suggestive. Right now we have the building blocks: search, biometric, location, purchase behavior, device, and third-party data. All of this will need to be harvested, modeled out and made sense of. We are on the path, but we do have a ways to go.

Previously, I mentioned I am a bit of a SciFi geek. I am suggesting that many of the concepts in the movie of ‘Minority Report’ have come to fruition. Some might think we are still years away from this reality, but in reality, the industry stands closer than we think.

To make this type of technology work well for all, companies need to self-regulate. Let’s say we are able to track and show medical ailments. Pharmaceutical companies would throw big dollars to gain that data.

Sadly, we have not shown much success at self-regulation, which creates privacy issues. Businesses will always push the limits to gain access to the best targeting, but even more than CAN-SPAM or the great browser wars, the industry must self-regulate with data.

We are in an amazing time. The building blocks are available that allow search advertising to revolutionize our lives. search


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