Voice To Local

Josh McCoy of KCSEM introducing John Gagnon.

Josh McCoy of KCSEM introducing John Gagnon.

John Gagnon @JmGagnon of Bing stopped by the KCSEM meeting for a vivid explanation of how speech is changing search.

John started off with a benign example of context = timing = profitability.

Formula 1 racing infiltrated Austin, Texas, along with 150,000 people, and Super 8 raised their prices 8x-10x. IMO, that's not context = timing = profitability.  That's simply supply and demand economics.

The second example was much better.  Chegg, the company that saves students up to 90% on books, was heralded by John because of how they used predictive marketing to save 30% on advertising costs.  According to John, they used MCH Strategic Data, then mapped it, in Microsoft Excel, of course, then analyzed for opportunities.

They learned when students go back to school in each city / state, then hyper-targeted those areas, paying the most, so their ads were on top.

Even though they were paying more for each ad impression than last year, it resulted in a 30% savings due the hyper-targeted, predictive approach they could turn on and off when necessary.

John mentioned some trends in search.  

"Near me" is a popular search term right now.  According to John, it's the fastest growing.  What are the intentions of people who use the search term "Near me?"

Growth in questions being asked to search engines.

Growth in questions being asked to search engines.

Searches with questions are increasing.  Who, what, when, where, & how.  What's the degree of purchase intent that can be gleaned from when a question is asked?

Intent of purchase based on type of question asked.

Intent of purchase based on type of question asked.

What really surprised me was voice search.  In fact, voice search is predicted to be 50% of all searches by 2020. Mary Meeker presented this in her June, 2016 Internet Trends report.

A slide from the 2016 Internet Trends, by Mary Meeker.

A slide from the 2016 Internet Trends, by Mary Meeker.

Voice search is more popular with millennials.  

How does voice search work?

Voice search requires search engines to understand speech then convert the speech into text. That text is passed into the search engine like a normal typed-search.  However, voice searches result in queries that are 1-2 words longer than typed-search.  

What does that mean?

That means the long tail is getting longer.

It also means segmenting typed vs voice search is coming soon.

Personal assistants like Amazon Echo, Siri, Google Now, & Cortana are the next manifestation of voice search and search results.  It's being called conversation as a platform.

An interesting fact John mentioned is that Amazon Echo is an astonishing 25% of the new speaker market.

In the end, according to John, local actions or intent can be determined by the type of questions that are being asked.  Mining critical data points, identifying "micro moments," along to path to purchase, can lead to better conversions and lower ad spend.

I love that idea!

John left us with some questions.  What questions does your brand answer?  Are you skilled at articulating those questions and answers in your marketing?

If you're stuck or need some help, just contact Mike Kearns at 5 Star Net.