The Mavens Are Coming

Marketers know there's a wealth of information available to them through mining the data, especially from smartphones where experts expect to see more than 40% of traffic this holiday season. Once they find it, the biggest problem remains what to do with it. There's a lot of fear about getting it wrong. A good partner shows them how to identify the origin of conversations and people who listen to them, as well as all major competitors talking about a similar topic.

Daniel Singer, CEO at Mavens of London, believes the company does it right. And he's bringing the model from across the pond from the United Kingdom to sunny Southern California in another month or two. Amanda Valle, who was formerly at Covario focusing on international SEM, will head U.S. operations from San Diego, Calif.



Singer and I also briefly spoke about Google's Physical Web project and the theory of optimizing for physical objects to ensure that businesses and local information serve up in search query results either initiated by a machine or by the person holding the smartphone and physically typing the query into the box. Not just finding the location, but the product stocked on the shelf or the warehouse within the store, Singer said. The technology needs to have a "reasonable awareness" of their surroundings. "At this point you're optimizing physical objects so they are recognized during a search," he said. "It will become a real challenge to make information become that granular, but there's no reason why it can't be done."

The key becomes knowing how to make actionable data from keywords, historic queries stored in the phone, and information aggregated from the hardware devices that send signals to the phone. It's not only knowing the words to use, but in what context they get used and where they originate.

Take, for example, Maven's campaign for Cleanipedia, which provides cleaning advice in the United Kingdom. Mavens began building language sets for between 3,000 to 4,000 terms to determine their origin and how people look for cleaning advice. They also wanted to identify trends and patterns in the U.K.

It turns out the competitors are not only those who make cleaning supplies, but those who talk about cleaning as well. Online articles from a series on how to clean things published a few years ago by a London broadcast television station, continue to rank high in search query results, given the authority of the broadcaster, though they had not been updated since. The data helped Cleanipedia understand the competitive opportunities and challenges to restructure the content on its Web site.

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