Angie's List, Discover, Target, Wyndham Prepare For A Wearable Search World

Jeff Carl, ecommerce marketing manager at Angie's List, accidentally invented a Google Glass lookalike in seventh grade, but didn't patent the design. He wanted a pair of glasses that could search the Internet. The teacher, who thought he just wanted to cheat on tests, gave him a grade of "F" on the assignment.

"I was going to do contact lenses," Carl said during a presentation at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit. "So step it up, Google."

Wearable devices -- the real second screen -- will entwine search marketers in a new form of marketing and advertising that looks more like content within the next two to three years, according to Carl. He points to the wristbands Disney sells to consumers at its parks that aim to make their experience better. The bands provide perks, but also track the wearer's purchases and movements throughout the park, from rides to restaurants and stores to photo booths.

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Through search technology, brands will present answers to questions before consumers ask them, but it will force change -- and  search marketers need to prepare. Earlier in the day during the keynote, Amy Labroo, senior director of innovation for IT at Wyndham, said Google uses about 57 signals to serve content, but marketers need to focus more on why consumers search. "This might be controversial, but some keywords are not as critical and some content structure isn't as vital for the future," she said, and it's important for marketers to only respond to clear signals: I want, I need, I am interested.

The world of search in wearables will become "absolutely about me," Labroo said. "By knowing preferences, demographics, sociographic and psychographic information, our personality will soon become part of the mobile assistant we have."

Keywords will take another step back. Voice search will make keywords less relevant and content will become more creative. Search nerds are become the next generation of Don Draper, as content plays a major role in wearable devices. Panelists debating content and the creative search nerd made that clear. The new Don Draper will require specific skill sets. Polly Kane, search marketing for eBusiness at Discover, cited passion and education, because search remains a difficult concept to grasp and quantify, and Stephanie Quintal, AMS Sr. SEM manager, at Hewlett-Packard, agreed.

Clayton McLaughlin, VP and search director at Havas Media, said it takes an analytical mind with good communication skills, while Target Group Manager for SEO and Paid Search Troy Neidermire points to curiosity, technical experience to know what's possible in search, and the ability to understand business aspects.

Many of Havas Media's superstars in social or programmatic began as search marketers, McLaughlin said.

When asked how Neidermire explains the "wow" factor in search marketing to Target executives, he said it comes from the numbers that show how creative content satisfies guests' needs. "Search isn't that sexy in the traditional way, but in the new way it is," he said.

Target once had separate budgets, from ecommerce to driving consumers into stores, and many didn't have visibility into all. That changed. Along with the change came better performance and more power from search.

 

 

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