Google updates local search results by user location

Google has updated the trigger with which it determines the location of the user.

Local search results will no longer be determined by the country-specific browser being used by a user. A new update by Google has done away with domain dependency and transitions towards picking the user location as the main factor for serving local search results.

This means that logging into Google.com.my from Singapore will lead to search results pertaining to Singapore.

Google will no longer rely on top-level domains, such as Google.com.sg, as a trigger for determining the location of the user. Country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, desktop search, and Google Maps will now correspond to the location of the user’s device.

The change only impacts users so advertisers needn’t worry about any changes to PPC and SEM campaigns in progress.

According to a blog post, 20% of searches on Google are related to the location according to Evelyn Kao, the product manager at Google. “So providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information,” she adds.

Similar to settings for Google products such as Google Earth, Gmail, and YouTube, users can change the location manually if they choose to.

“While this update will change the way Google Search and Maps services are labelled, it won’t affect the way these products work, nor will it change how we handle obligations under national law,” Kao writes.

The update is meant to rely on a user opting to keep their location tracker on in order to find the most relevant search results, which ties into Google’s dependency on mobile search as evidenced at the quarter three earnings call.

Source: campaignasia.com; 31 Oct 2017

Google and Facebook commit to ‘gold standard’ to clean up digital advertising

The digital giants have committed themselves to the IAB’s new ‘Gold Standard’ initiative, which looks to “raise the standards” and address ad fraud and brand safety in online advertising.

Google and Facebook have committed themselves to a new initiative by the IAB to address common digital advertising woes such as ad fraud and brand safety.

The ‘Gold Standard’ programme, which launches today (18 October), sees 23 IAB UK board members, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, promise to take three key actions to improve digital advertising:

  1. Reduce ad fraud by implementing the ‘ads.txt’ initiative on all sites carrying ads. This means publishers and distributors are forced to declare who is authorised to sell their inventory, thereby improving transparency for programmatic buyers.
  2. Improve the digital advertising experience for consumers by adhering to the LEAN principles, the Coalition for Better Advertising standards and never using the 12 “bad” ads. In short, ads have to be light, encrypted and non-invasive.
  3. Increase brand safety by working with UK body JICWEBS, which benchmarks best practice for online trading, with a view to become certified or maintain certification.

Initially, the Gold Standard has these three fundamental aims, but could be expanded in future and the IAB will look to encourage its members to tackle other issues such as audience measurement and viewability.

The deadline for implementing the three initiatives will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Brand safety has been high on advertisers’ list of priorities this year since P&G’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard issued a rallying cry to the industry to clean up the “murky” media supply system. Meanwhile, YouTube’s brand safety scandal, which saw advertising placed next to extremist or pornographic content, also led advertisers to pull back – with some brands still refusing to advertise on the platform.

“Everyone agrees that digital advertising standards need to improve to keep this industry sustainable and thriving. The IAB Gold Standard is a practical measure that demonstrates media owner commitment to making this happen,” said the IAB’s chief digital officer Tim Elkington.

“Media owners need to send a clear signal to advertisers and agencies that they take their responsibilities seriously to offer the best environment possible so that brands can confidently use digital advertising.”

Source: marketingweek.com; 18 Oct 2017

‘Segment of one’, the future of consumer marketing

Think with Google’s Guest Editor, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed, shares his perspective on the shift from mass marketing to mass customization and how brands will adapt.

The connected world and the ubiquity of technology have rewritten the rules of building brands, innovation, media, creativity, and retail forever. While the internet served as the enabler for this transformation, the real driver has undoubtedly been the mobile phone.

Mobile is unlocking consumer control, empowerment, and choice to an extent we have never seen before, driving a hyper-segmentation revolution. As we move from mass marketing to massive customization—from focusing on averages to individuals—I believe that in the future we will build brands in segments of one. For marketers who have traditionally created and marketed brands to the dominant majority—the largest segment—this means thinking about marketing very differently than in the past.

Who is today’s consumer?

Today’s hyper-empowered, tech-augmented consumers are increasingly in control of the branded messages they receive and how they shop for brands. As micro-moment behaviour—where people instinctively turn to their device to act upon a need—becomes the norm, consumers’ expectations of value, convenience, and immediacy of response from brands are becoming increasingly demanding.

Search is absolutely central here, acting as the filter that enables the empowered consumer to get what they want, when they want, wherever they want. People—myself included—can’t remember what it was like not to be able to do things before their mobile was in their pocket.

This gives rise to two key characteristics of today’s consumer: immediacy and relevance. For example, searches for “open now” have tripled since 2015 and mobile searches related to “same-day shipping” have grown over 120% since 2015. And when it comes to relevance, expectation is accelerating rapidly. Since early this year, the volume for local searches without including the specification “near me” have outgrown comparable searches which did include it.

What does this mean for brands?

For brands to be allowed a part in the hyper-empowered consumer’s life, they have to be able to both anticipate and assist with their needs. This means being relevant, tailored, and personal—a huge shift from when brands (especially CPG businesses like Unilever) tended to be built for the masses. And they need to do it all in real time, in context, in the language.

There is a huge opportunity here for brands to help simplify lives in this complex world—to make massive choice digestible. Just think about how long it takes you to shop in a foreign supermarket where you don’t know the brands. Similarly, brands can help simplify the online world of seemingly never ending content to help organize people’s experiences in a connected world.

So what should marketers be doing?

It can certainly feel daunting and at times overwhelming to face this new world order. But I genuinely believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Still, what does all this mean for marketers in the day to day? In practice, I think it means three things.

Put people first. Leverage data to deeply understand the new and complex consumer journey, and be clear where your brand should be present to add the most value. Keep your consumer as the true north to connect with them on a one-to-one basis.

Cut through the clutter and build brand love by standing for something meaningful. People don’t just want a product to buy, they want an idea to buy into. Millennials and Gen Z show us time and time again that they want brands rooted in purpose and doing good for the world. Once that purpose is clear, it allows brands to create engaging experiences that sustain a far longer and richer consumer conversation than simply talking about a new product variant or a seasonal promotion.

Unlock the magical combination of data-driven consumer understanding and brilliant purpose-led creative to build deep and meaningful one-to-one relationships at scale. Marketing is magic plus logic, art plus science. Never before have we as marketers had the ability for the logic half of the equation that data affords us today. At the same time—as consumer attention is more selective—never before have we had such a need for the magic. At Unilever we have an ambition to have a billion one-to-one relationships—I don’t believe that a focus on the individual has to mean “niche.”

Mobile is rewriting communication and commerce, changing the relationship between brands and people forever. And with half of the world still waiting to join the online world, we are only at the foothills of what is possible. The brands that lead this, providing consumers with a frictionless experience online and off, are the brands that will win in the future.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Oct 2017

As Voice Has Its Moment, Amazon, Google and Apple Are Giving Brands a Way Into the Conversation

Few of their devices’ skills or apps are branded, but that’s changing

For decades, listening to ‘the voice of the customer’ has been the Holy Grail for marketers. Now, thanks to technology, they can do it millions of times each day.

According to Google and Bing, one in four searches is conducted by talking, not typing, a figure comScore predicts will reach 50 percent by 2020. That same year Echo alone will account for $7 billion in voice transactions—or vcommerce—per investment firm Mizuho Bank.

Voice is having its moment. People are talking, devices are listening and brands are attempting to insert themselves into the conversation, using Amazon Alexa voice skills and Google Home apps.

With a few choice phrases, consumers can order an Uber or Domino’s pizza on either device. Echo fans can also ask Patrón to help them make a margarita, consult Tide on how to remove stubborn stains, or get Campbell’s or Nestlé to serve up dinner recipes, among other skills.

Currently, only a small percentage of Alexa’s 25,000 voice skills are branded (Amazon won’t reveal how many). You’ll find even fewer in Google’s few hundred voice apps.

But that’s changing. Over the next few years, brand voices are about to get a lot louder.

Shots in the dark

Admittedly, many of those 25,000-odd voice apps are gimmicky—good for getting attention but not much else, noted Layne Harris, head of innovation technology for digital marketing agency 360i. But forward-thinking brands are embracing the technology now, he added, making voice skills a key element of their marketing strategy. Just last week, 360i launched a new practice solely focused on Amazon to help brands navigate the world of voice marketing.

When Patrón launched its voice skill in July 2016, it was part of a broader marketing initiative called the Cocktail Lab, involving 50 bartenders around the globe crafting new tequila-infused drinks, said Adrian Parker, vp of marketing for Patrón Spirits. (The distiller also just debuted an augmented reality app called the Patrón Experience for Apple’s iOS 11.)

Some 350,000 consumers have participated in the Cocktail Lab, said Parker, with more than 10 percent coming via the Alexa Skill. Since launching the lab, traffic to Patrón’s website has increased by 43 percent, thanks in part to Alexa users who spend more time on site and download more recipes.

“Voice was the first platform that allowed us to take what would traditionally be a face-to-face experience in a bar and make that virtually accessible,” Parker said. “Alexa is not only giving us the capability to engage with customers on their terms, it’s also preparing us for the voice-led future.”

Utility is key, said Greg Hedges, vp of emerging experiences at Rain, a digital consultancy that helped create Alexa apps for Campbell’s and Tide. The voice skill can’t merely be memorable; it must also be useful.

“The skills that see the most engagement are not just advertising,” he explained. “They take a step further towards connecting with consumers. They give people a reason to come back, because consumers know they can get the answers they’re looking for.”

For brands like Patrón and Campbell’s, getting consumers to drink more tequila and consume more chicken soup isn’t the only goal, said Charles Golvin, a research director for Gartner.

“They’re also trying to establish themselves as the voice of authority or curator across the broader product category that they serve,” he said. “It’s not just about selling Patrón tequila, it’s about being your mixologist expert. It’s not about selling Campbell’s soup, it’s about being your epicurean guide.”

A focus group of one

With the emergence of Alexa touchscreen devices like Echo Show and the new Echo Spot, brands also need to prepare for a voice+ world where results can be seen as well as heard, said Jonathan Patrizio, head of technical advisory at Mobiquity, a digital agency that developed Nestlé’s GoodNes recipe skill.

Using GoodNes on the Echo Show, home chefs can not only hear step-by-step instructions on how to make Baked Pesto Chicken or Korean Beef Bulgogi, but also see them displayed alongside images. Recipe users can also view the images via a GoodNes visual guide on their laptop’s or tablet’s browser.

“It’s a much more frictionless and natural way of interacting,” Patrizio said. “And if a brand can understand how to play in that domain, they’ve gained a great advantage over their competitors.”

But perhaps the most valuable thing brands glean from voice skills is data. Smart brands are building analytics into their skills and using the data to help drive new products and revenue streams.

“You can learn a lot from the things customers say,” said Hedges. “If Tide learns someone is asking about a specific stain and fabric combination, and it’s not one they’ve encountered before, maybe a new product comes out of that. With voice, it’s almost like a focus group of one.”

A key reason for building a voice skill is to gather data on customer usage and intent, said Patrizio.

“We built analytics into the GoodNes skill, and this lets Nestlé monitor Skill usage in aggregate since the developer doesn’t have access to the actual spoken recording,” he said. “For example, ‘Alexa, ask GoodNes to browse recipes’ is mapped to an intent, and we can track how many people used that intent, or how many times a single user requested this specific intent.”

Analytics can also reveal if the skill is working as the brand hoped it would. At this early stage, that’s not always the case.

Adam Marchick, CEO and co-founder of analytics company VoiceLabs, says that only 30 to 50 percent of conversational interactions are successful.

“It’s like we’re in year two of building web pages,” noted Marchick. “But right now, just giving brands conversational understanding—where they can actually see different voice paths and what’s working and what’s not—is a big step forward.”

The conversation is just beginning

Brands have been forced to react to similar technological upheavals before—notably with the shift to web and then to mobile. This time, though, they’re being more deliberate about it, said Joel Evans, co-founder and vp, digital transformation at Mobiquity.

“In the dot-com days websites were more like glorified brochures. We saw something similar happen when companies started doing mobile apps—they were just a check-off item,” he said. “Thankfully we’re not seeing that in the skills universe. Brands have realized it’s got to be the right experience when it actually gets out there.”

The next few years will see a huge acceleration of the technologies driving computer-human interaction—like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, chatbots and augmented reality. The voice apps we hear (and sometimes see) today may be nothing like the ones we encounter tomorrow. Smart brands are preparing for that now.

“Right now we’re creating the horse and carriage of voice technology,” said Patrón’s Parker. “Give it another 18 to 24 months, and we’ll be building Maseratis.”

Source: adweek.com; 10 Oct 2017

Apple Confirms Switch From Bing To Google For Search Results

Apple plans to switch from using Microsoft Bing to Google as the default search engine for Siri iOS Search and Spotlight on the Mac, a spokesperson confirmed Monday.

In the past when Siri failed to provide results for a web search query, it would default to Bing on iOS. Now that default belongs to Google search, as first reported by TechCrunch.

The search query results include the listing of web links as well as video results. Web queries requiring an image from Siri will still come from Bing. Video results will come from YouTube.

“We value our relationship with Apple and look forward to continuing to partner with them in many ways, including on Bing Image Search in Siri,” a Bing spokesperson said.

The shift could put a damper on growth for Bing. The spokesperson did make a point to highlight the fact “We value our relationship with Apple and look forward to continuing to partner with them in many ways, including on Bing Image Search in Siri,” according to a Bing spokesperson. “As we move forward, given our work to advance the field of AI, we’re confident that Bing will be at the forefront of providing a more intelligent search experience for our customers and partners.”

The shift could slow growth for Microsoft’s search engine. Bing, however, has grown every year since its launch and now powers more than a third of all the PC search volume in the U.S.

Bing also powers search for Yahoo, now owned by Verizon, and for AOL and Amazon, as well as the multilingual abilities of Twitter.

Source: mediapost.com; 26 Sep 2017

Micro-Moments Now: Why you should be the adviser consumers are searching for

We live in a world with an abundance of choices, a plethora of brands, and a million and one ways to get things done. We’re all hungry for advice.

When we’re deciding on a big purchase or making a weighty decision—like which refrigerator to buy, career to pursue, or mortgage lender to choose—it’s natural that we’d not only consult friends and family, but also the wealth of digital information out there. These are big decisions, after all.

But mobile has changed things. With unfettered access to information at our fingertips at all times, we’re now accustomed to turning to a device for quick, useful advice, across a much wider range of topics. To inform any decision, we only have to turn to our phones. That means today’s consumer defines what’s high versus low consideration for herself, so marketers across categories have the chance to influence these curious and investigative shoppers with helpful advice.

No decision is too small

Nobody wants to get an unfavourable mortgage or buy a lemon while car shopping. Nobody wants to buy a crummy face cream, umbrella, or pocket tee either. Whether it’s value, style, or quality we care about, nowadays anything we’re considering buying—no matter the category or price—can be, and is likely to be, researched on mobile first. We can turn to our phones to get the answers we need to make the right decision and buy the right thing.

At Google, we see this clearly in search data. Not only have mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% in the past two years, but searches for “best” have shown higher growth among “low-consideration” products than “high-consideration” products. In other words, we’re all becoming research-obsessed, even about the small stuff.

Think about a product you use every day: your toothbrush. Maybe you don’t give it much consideration, but plenty of people do. Mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% over the past two years.

And this is not a trend limited to dental hygiene. Some other categories that show growing “best” searches on mobile include:

Best umbrellas (over 140%)
Best travel accessories (over 110%)
Best deodorants (over 60%)

Image 1
This is a really exciting shift if you’re a marketer working within a traditionally “low-consideration” category. It’s now possible to reimagine your marketing’s role in helping consumers make decisions.

Advice is not one-size fits all

When it comes to seeking advice, what I want to know isn’t necessarily what you want to know. Luckily with search, people can get really specific and still have confidence that they’ll get useful information.

Take shoes, for example. Yes, people want to learn about the best ones—and in some very personal and particular ways. Below is just a sampling of specific mobile searches that have been growing in this category.

Best running shoes for flat feet
Best shoes for nurses
Best trail running shoes
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis

Image 2
The personal nature of advice-seeking also means that sometimes it’s product decisions we’re after, and sometimes it’s more lifestyle related. For example, we’ve seen huge mobile growth rates both for “best anti-aging skin care products” and for “best skin care routine for ‘30s,” things that people previously rarely searched. Explore search data for your own category. What is the range of things that people want to know?

There’s still no substitute for first-hand experience

We’ve always turned to other people to help us make decisions. And now more than ever, we tap into the expertise of others by searching online for product reviews and ratings, photos, and blogs. Others’ first-hand experiences help guide our product choices. We want to hear what others think and see their experiences—the good and the bad.

Searches for product reviews have been gaining traction for years. Still, in the past two years, mobile searches for “product reviews” have grown over 35%. Not only that, but people are increasingly turning to mobile video to watch reviews. In the past two years, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone.

And back to those toothbrushes. Are people seeking reviews even for that basic item? Absolutely. Mobile searches for “toothbrush reviews” have more than doubled over the past two years.

Make your brand an adviser

Google’s research shows that people are turning to mobile and actively searching for advice across categories, even for the small stuff. By making your brand easily discoverable and understanding when and where people are searching for guidance, you can ensure you’re there with the right advice whenever people need you. We, as marketers, can be allies in the process, bringing real information and tips, nurturing potential customers.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Aug 2017

Voice assistants, search and the future of advertising

Over the past few years, voice activated search has come a long way.

When Apple first integrated its voice assistant, Siri, into the iPhone 4S in 2011, it was considered more of a gimmick than anything else. Six years on, and a report by ClickZ and Marin Software reveals that 7% of marketers now mark voice search and digital assistants as top priorities in their marketing plans.

Interestingly, 4% of marketers reviewed in the same report also stated that they would be prioritising ‘smart hubs’ in 2017.

Since the launch of Amazon’s Alexa, so called ‘smart hubs’ have grown in popularity with consumers. Even more so, there is now a demand from consumers to have these as part of their ‘connected’ homes.

As AI technology gets smarter and smarter, it’s evident that we are shifting into a voice led revolution. ComScore said that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches and Google’s recent statistics show that 83% of people surveyed agreed that voice search will make it easier to search for things anytime they want.

Speaking to a machine may have felt unnatural and futuristic only a few years ago, but consumers are now embracing the revolution. Smart hubs have championed the growing possibilities of search, and they have now become genuine channels for daily activities, as consumers are excited and impressed by the speed and efficiency with which these devices can help them complete day-to-day tasks.

With this in mind, it’s clear that there is potential for advertisers and brand marketers to make use of voice assistants.

The opportunity for marketers and advertisers

In terms of search functionality, marketers need to be aware of the varying capabilities of each smart hub on the market, as each one works slightly differently and is powered by a different search engine. With each brand’s product portfolio continuously growing, this becomes even more of a challenge.

Amazon’s Echo, which has been on the market the longest, operates with Bing, whereas Google Home relies on Google to answer questions. Apple’s highly anticipated HomePod, due out in December, will have Siri integrated into the device.

The efficiencies of each search engine vary, and for marketers, these characteristics are crucial in deciding how their brands can attract the right attention.

Understandably, we need to remember that marketers are still testing the waters on how smart hubs can be implemented in marketing plans in the most seamless way. After all, as these voice assistants become part of a consumer’s connected home – and at the centre of the family – it’s natural that consumers may be slightly reticent when it comes to inviting advertisers and brands into this personal space.

This was certainly the case for Google, who was immediately hit with criticism after playing what sounded like an advert for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film, during Google Home’s ‘What’s My Day Like?’ feature.

Similarly, there was disdain after Amazon introduced sponsored audio messages before and after conversations with Alexa. It’s inevitable that there will eventually be paid opportunities on voice assistants, but they need to be able to integrate these messages in a way that doesn’t interfere with the user experience.

How brands and marketers are tapping in

Voice assistants are now part of the omnichannel consumer experience. If used correctly, they are an effective – and natural – conduit between consumer and brand.

Although Burger King’s ‘Whopper’ TV advert caused a stir by hijacking Google Home devices by prompting the speaker to search for the definition of the Whopper burger, it won a Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions, and also helped the brand win overall Creative Marketer of the Year.

This nifty hack was hailed ‘the best abuse of technology’ for generating a direct response between consumer and company, and sparked conversation and awareness around the brand and campaign.

This was clearly a stunt ad, and not a long-term use of the voice activated technology. However, its success highlights the opportunities available to advertisers – and interest from consumers – in engaging with this technology.

Could this be a sign that the future of advertising and marketing is heading in the direction of voice search?

So, what could the future look like? At mporium, we know that many marketers have mastered search-based advertising, and are reaping the rewards. Soon, we could see brands bidding for the top spots on voice-activated results.

We may even see brands collaborating with the technology companies to integrate special offers that would be delivered via voice assistants, or suggest alternative solutions to specific queries.

What the future holds remains to be seen. However, it’s clear that as the technology behind voice activated search undeniably progresses, marketers will find a way to adapt to this new search reality that presents itself in the form of voice assistants.

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 4 Sep 2017

AI-Powered Search Engine Aggregates Audio Clips

Audioburst, an AI-powered audio content platform, has launched a search engine for desktop and mobile allowing searchers to find and share audio files aggregated from sites like BBC World News, The Brian Joyce Show, and CT on the Hill.

The audio clips are categorized by U.S. News, World News, Business, Tech, Sports, Health, and Entertainment. On the platform, users can search for live and pre-recorded audio segments from radio shows and podcasts.

Sites like National Public Radio offer a way to search for audio clips, but Audioburst claims that the larger search engines like Google and Bing don’t do an adequate job of indexing this type of aggregated content from multiple sites and serving it up on search engines. For instance, typing “Charlottesville” into the search box on Google or Bing basically returns written news articles and videos.

Each one- to three-minute audio clip stored in Audioburst’s Content Library is retrievable through the company’s search engine and major engines such as Google, Bing and Safari.

Source: mediapost.com; 15 August 2017

Micro-Moments Now: Three New Consumer Behaviors Playing Out in Google Search Data

Two years ago, Google introduced the concept of micro-moments. We put a name to a behaviour that, thanks to mobile, was becoming pervasive. People had started to expect an immediate answer in the moments they wanted to know, go, do, and buy. The concept of micro-moments was perhaps as truthful, observable, and relatable a consumer behaviour trend as any marketer could wish for.

Illuminating this behaviour and the associated consumer expectations proved to be really useful for marketers. In many ways, the micro-moments conversation has provided a reset and a roadmap for companies who sought a simple mental model for how to approach the otherwise daunting force that is mobile. It helped marketers think about which moments mattered most, and it created urgency. It also inspired an evaluation of a range of legacy habits and approaches—from how to think about share of voice and how to measure business results, to how to deliver useful experiences.

Now, midway through 2017, it’s clear that the centrality of micro-moments—for consumers and marketers alike—is as important as ever. It’s an entrenched behaviour—micro-moments are only multiplying. People can’t remember what it was like to not be able to learn, do, or buy things when the need struck by reaching for the device in their pocket.

New consumer behaviours up the ante

Micro-moments have been accelerating consumer expectations for “right here, right now” experiences. People take for granted that information is at their fingertips and tailored to their specific needs. But the thing about human beings is they never stop wanting that little bit extra. It’s becoming evident that they’ll keep raising the bar, wanting more useful information, more personalization, more immediacy. My team wanted to dig into these evolving expectations and understand how consumer behaviour has changed since we first introduced micro-moments. Here’s a glimpse of the consumer taking shape behind the data.

The “well-advised” consumer

Think about the last time you used your phone to find an answer or guide a decision. For some of you, this might have been about something big—like that safe family car you’re hoping to buy, or the Yosemite adventure you’re planning. But for others, it might have been, well, more mundane—like knobs for kitchen cabinets, best home remedies for wasp stings, or the least stinky sock for hiking.

People today want to be empowered to make the right decision, big or small—and they’re turning to their phones for advice to guide them. We can see this in the data. Mobile searches for “best” have grown 80% in the past two years. And again, it’s not just for high-consideration items or weighty topics. Because they can, people are turning to their phones for information on just about everything. For example, toothbrush searches have grown more than 80% on mobile and searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% on mobile in the past two years.  Before mobile, doing the research might have been more effort than people cared to expend. Now it’s easy and fast, so we can be confident in any decision we’re making, big or small.

The “right here” consumer

People also expect digital experiences to be made just for them—including experiences that are tailored to the location they’re in right now. Several years ago, marketers were able to deliver this type of relevance by taking explicit cues people gave them. For example, if someone wanted to find a sushi restaurant nearby, their search query would likely include the zip code, area name, or even “near me.” Today, people expect brands to gather enough contextual information to deliver location-specific responses without someone having to search for anything more than just “sushi.”

These expectations transfer to site and app experiences, too. Compared to just a year ago, smartphone users are significantly more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location.  Today, people just assume their smartphone will know where they are and will deliver information accordingly.

The “right now” consumer

Ever needed a restaurant reservation at the last minute? What about a hotel room? Or a pharmacy? People turn to mobile more than any other source to help them get things done, make decisions, or purchase. And every day, people are becoming more reliant on their smartphones to help make last-minute purchases or spur-of-the-moment decisions. In fact, smartphone users are 50% more likely to expect to purchase something immediately while using their smartphone compared to a year ago.

Mobile empowers people to be nimble. They can organize themselves as much (or as little) as they like because they know their smartphone is there for them. And, they expect brands to respond by understanding their needs and addressing them right now.

Looking ahead

These consumer shifts are an inevitability we can plan for. Expectations will only continue to rise. People will want to be more informed, have more personal experiences, and get things done even faster. And as these expectations ratchet up, so do the requirements (and opportunities) for marketers.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; July 2017

Marketing to Gen Xers? Here’s What They’re Watching on YouTube

Generation X, born between the mid-1960s and late ’70s, bore witness to the technology revolution. Its members are old enough to remember a time before the internet, but young enough to have adapted quickly to the changing technological landscape.

The incentive for brands to engage this generation on YouTube is, in a word, massive. According to Pixability, Gen Xers account for over 1.5B views every day on YouTube.1

To better understand Gen Xers’ priorities relative to their YouTube engagement, Google conducted qualitative and survey-based research in partnership with Ipsos Connect and Flamingo.2

The findings? Gen Xers’ behaviour on YouTube reflects broadly held assumptions about the generation: their ability to self-start, their love for nostalgia, and their desire to be in the know, just to name a few traits.

Below, check out the stats behind the YouTube behaviour of Gen Xers.

Click here for more on the research article

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Jan 2017