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by Gord Hotchkiss, Thursday, June 3, 2010, 11:00 AM

It’s been a fascinating week for me. First, it was off to lovely Muncie, Ind. to meet with the group at the Center for Media Design at Ball State University. Then, it was to Chicago for the National Business Marketing Association Conference, where I was fortunate enough to be on a panel about what the B2B marketplace might look like in the near future. There was plenty of column fodder from both visits, but this week, I’ll give the nod to Ball State, simply because that visit came first.

Our Digital Footprints

Mike Bloxham, Michelle Prieb and Jen Milks (the last two joined us for our most recent Search Insider Summit) were gracious hosts, and, as with last week (when I was in Germany) I had the chance to participate in a truly fascinating conversation that I wanted to share with you. We talked about the fact that this generation will be the first to leave a permanent digital footprint. Mike Bloxham called it the Indelible Generation. That title is more than just a bon mot (being British, Mike is prone to pithy observations) — it’s a telling comment about a fundament aspect of our new society.

Imagine some far-in-the-future anthropologist recreating our culture. Up to this point in our history, the recorded narrative of any society came from a small sliver of the population. Only the wealthiest or most learned received the honor of being chronicled in any way. Average folks spent their time on this planet with nary a whisper of their lives recorded for posterity. They passed on without leaving a footprint.

Explicit and Implicit Content Creation

But today — or if not today, certainly tomorrow — all of us will leave behind a rather large digital footprint. We will leave in our wake emails, tweets, blog posts and Facebook pages. And that’s just the content we knowingly create. There’s a lot of data generated by each of us that’s simply a byproduct of our online activities and intentions. Consider, for example, our search history. Search is a unique online beast because it tends to be the thread we use to stitch together our digital lives. Each of us leaves a narrative written in search interactions that provides a frighteningly revealing glimpse into our fleeting interests, needs and passions.

Of course, not all this data gets permanently recorded. Privacy concerns mean that search logs, for example, get scrubbed at regular intervals. But even with all that, we leave behind more data about who we were, what we cared about and what thoughts passed through our minds than any previous generation. Whether it’s personally identifiable or aggregated and anonymized, we will all leave behind footprints.

Privacy? What Privacy?

Currently we’re struggling with this paradigm shift and its implications for our privacy. I believe in time — not that much time — we’ll simply grow to accept this archiving of our lives as the new normal, and won’t give it a second thought. We will trade personal information in return for new abilities, opportunities and entertainment. We will grow more comfortable with being the Indelible Generation.

Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps we’ll trigger a revolt against the surrender of our secrets. Either way, we live in a new world, one where we’re always being watched. The story of how we deal with that fact is still to be written.

MediaPost Blog – SearchInsider

by Gord Hotchkiss

I promised MediaPost a wrap-up (from the programming chair’s perspective) of last week’s Search Insider Summit. Honestly, from the moment that Brett Brewer from Microsoft first fired up Pivot to the final moments of day three, when Jen Milks and Michelle Prieb from Ball State gave us a glimpse into the minds of Gen Next, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my presenters. I’ve programmed a lot of these shows now and have never had as much positive response as I have from this one. Well-done, each and every one of you.
A lot has been said about the new TED-style format. I actually had a few TEDsters reach out to send best wishes prior to the summit. They also wanted feedback about the success of the show. I think it’s fair to say that the adopted TED format was a hit. Attendees loved the pace of the presentations, the varying perspectives presented — and, most of all, the conversations that were catalyzed by the content.
Here are a few of the many highlights from three days of SIS: Read the rest of this entry »

MediaPost Blog – SearchBlog
by Laurie Sullivan

Members of the generation raised on Google wants search engines to know how they think and feel. They want visual search, and for engines to serve them ideas based on personal information stored in social sites across the Web.
For example, when they search for movies after they’ve had a bad break-up, they want search engines to filter out romantic comedies. That might mean processing brain waves and reading physical movements through a PC camera, similar to Microsoft’s Project Natal.
That’s how a handful of Ball State University students would rethink how they find information online and offline, as well as redesign search on a variety of platforms and devices, according to Jen Milks and Michelle Prieb, project managers at Ball State University. The two shared their findings during the closing session Saturday of MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit. Read the rest of this entry »

Center for Media Design Project Managers Michelle Prieb and Jen Milks spoke at Mediapost’s Search Insider Summit Saturday, April 17.  The presentation, Reinventing Search: Through the Eyes of Next-Generation Consumers, explored the outputs of ideation sessions conducted with Ball State students to rethink  how they “want to find stuff”.

The students’ vision for a new search experience is highly personalized, communicative, very social and seamlessly cross-platform. View the presentation and our summary of the research outputs below and enjoy!

http://prezi.com/bin/preziloader.swf

Search Insider Summit
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

One predominant emergent themes from our ideation sessions was that students want a personalized search experience. They want search (and thereby marketers) to really get to know them as individuals, rather than as data or statistics.

These next-gen consumers want search to know them holistically within the context of their lives including their location and the times when they tend to search. They also want search to learn from what they do online to understand trends and patterns in their lives, so search knows their routines.

This desire for hyper-personalization provides an opportunity for marketers to understand their audiences in ways that go beyond determining intent and profiling.


Dialogue:
Open Communication with Search

Our next gen consumers express the desire for search to be less like typing keywords into a text bar and more like having a conversation with a friend who knows them very well. They want to give and receive feedback via ratings and preferences so search can learn to tailor results and refine the search process for them.

Our students want to reserve the option for search to be targeted when they need something specific or exploratory when they’d like to “be adventurous” and receive results that are a little more open-ended (yet within the bounds of their likes and dislikes). They’d also like recommendations from search that are based on everything search knows about them from their online history, social networks (friends, interests and status updates) and context.

This dialogue with search creates very unique opportunities for marketers to make connections with users that are meaningful based on the personalized experience.


Social:
Extending search into the social arena

Echoing the predictions of Summiteers, students want search to draw from their current social networks to provide richer, more contextual results. With the motto “we all get better the more we share,” next-gen students recognize the value of tapping into diverse communities for trusted word-of-mouth recommendations from grounded experts rather than paid or optimized results.

As they hope to garner insight from this rich and varied search pool, they affirm the need contribute to the free-flowing tide of information. The real-time instantaneous access and global reach of social networks uniquely extends the search experience with an improved (perceived) authenticity.


Accessibility and Design:
Robustly cross-platform search designed for users

Our students discussed the importance of instant and constant access to their search process. To facilitate effective and social dialogue, search must be seamlessly cross-platform and it must be optimized for all devices. They see cloud computing as the way that this can be accomplished.

Students want to see augmented reality incorporated into the search process, regardless of device (but again, designed for optimal cross-platform experiences). Students also want search to be designed to interact with them in the way they interact with people – they want visual, voice, tactile, physiological and emotive interaction with search. Essentially, next-gen consumers want search (and marketers) to read their minds.


Indexing Life
: The categorization of everything

This new search experience mimics human behavior and therefore requires developing a new Dewey Decimal System for life. Moreover, indexing all of human behavior necessitates an openness to sharing information to a higher degree than ever before, which ultimately incites abounding privacy implications. Next-gen consumers express a willingness to negotiate the exchange of information, but the option to control their own privacy settings remains paramount.


Characterization of Search
:

In a move away from the current disconnect they feel between themselves as users and results as pushed advertising content, students want a relationship with search and answers. They describe next-gen search as an intuitive soulmate, a loyal sidekick, a benevolent servant and prognosticating sage.


Moving Forward:
Considerations for search in the near future

Our students recognize that what they created during this ideation process is rather complex and incorporates a multitude of capabilities and technologies that they’ve seen applied in some form or another, all wrapped up into one integrated process. Accordingly, they note a number of considerations for marketers and technologists as we move towards this integration.

First, they express concern for the infrastructure that currently supports search and how it might need to change as we move towards more robust cross-platform functionality and hyper-personalization. Furthermore, they see a need for this infrastructure to move towards sustainability so as to exist in harmony with the environment.

Secondly, our next-gen consumers recognize that preparing for the transition to a seamless search experience will require a lot of work. Most of the capabilities they desire are scattered throughout the industry, siloed on singular platforms, embedded within applications or limited to textual input. There is a great deal of quantitative research to be done within current user databases and qualitative work needed to assess user perceptions and attitudes related to these functions.

As our students created their vision for search, they demanded that it be enjoyable and easy to use. This necessitates user experience and usability research to understand how search can learn from users and optimize their search process for every device.

MediaPostBlogs – Search Insider

by Aaron Goldman

This is the sixth and final column in a series I’ve been publishing in MediaPost featuring excerpts of interviews I’ve conducted while writing my book, “Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From Google,” due out this fall from McGraw-Hill. Previous installments included Seth Godin, Rishad Tobaccowala, Scott Hagedorn, Paul Gunning and John Battelle, and 11 assorted marketing all-stars.

Today, I’ll share 140-character-or-less responses from 19 marketing gurus regarding the most important thing they learned from Google:

Aaron Magness — Director of Brand Marketing and Business Development, Zappos

“Find your brand promise and live it every day!”

Alan Charlesworth — Lecturer and Author, University of Sunderland, UK

“With the right product in the right place at the right time, starting with a niche market and building from that foundation can work.”

Avinash Kaushik — Author of “Web Analytics 2.0” and co-founder, Market Motive:

“Launch early. Iterate. Fail Faster.”

Chris Copeland — CEO, GroupM Search:

“Only you can define yourself. Never let others tell you who you are or what you can be.”

Damian Blackden — President – Digital, EMEA, Omnicom Media Group

“Simplicity and relevancy combined can be equally magnetic as compelling content.”

David Berkowitz — Senior Director of Emerging Media and Innovation, 360i:

“Don’t be evil, unless you want to.”

Gian Fulgoni — Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, comScore:

“It’s staggering how much data can be processed in just a fraction of a second and delivered back to the searcher.”

Gord Hotchkiss — President, Enquiro Search Solutions

“Listen to your customer (user) first, everyone else after.”

Janel Laravie — Co-Founder, Chacka Marketing

“Deception gets you nowhere, unless you are Google. Only Google doesn’t have to follow Google’s rules.”

Mark Goldstein — Vice Chairman/Chief Marketing Officer, BBDO North America:

“If you build enough interest, the business will follow.”

Matt Spiegel — Global CEO, Omnicom Media Group Digital:

“Smart people with smart technology can accomplish great things.”

Michelle Prieb — Project Manager, Research and Communications Organization, Center for Media Design, Ball State University

“Provide quick, easy, accurate, reliable and safe results, and people will trust you with their lives.”

Paul Gunning — CEO, Tribal DDB Worldwide

“You still can change the world.”

Rishad Tobaccowala — Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, VivaKi

“Think Big. Move Fast. Revere Talent. Measure Everything.”

Rob Griffin — SVP, Global Director of Search and North American Director of Analytics, Havas Digital

“Reinvent a belabored industry with a new model, simplicity of design, & form function.”

Sean Cheyney — VP, Marketing and Business Development, AccuQuote

“Don’t over think it. Sometimes simple creates the best experience.”

Sean Finnegan — President, Chief Digital Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group

“Focus and simplicity can lead to widespread adoption.”

Scott Hagedorn — CEO, PHD U.S.

“You can learn a lot from a failed experiment. But not experimenting will make you a total failure.”

Scott Shamberg — SVP, Marketing and Media, Critical Mass:

“Google has eliminated the linear ad model of click-to-site and allowed for the abstract model of click-to- anywhere.”

What have you learned from Google? Drop a comment on the Search Insider blog or tweet your response to @GoogleyLessons, and I may use it in my book.

MediaPost Blog

by David Goetzl

Many in Utah deem the beer offensive, maybe rightly. Still, it was too bad the bar didn’t have Polygamy Porter. The local favorite’s label features a nude guy surrounded by six women. And its tagline is hard to top: “Why have just one?” So, it would have been fun to watch people react as a bartender handed over a bottle. And maybe a keg of laughs if a battle of the punch lines broke out. Read the rest of this entry »

Online Media Daily

By David Goetzl

PARK CITY, Utah – Victoria’s Secret was lucky not to lose a customer. In fact, when word trickles back to headquarters about what happened with a recent email promotion, new quality control might be implemented. Read the rest of this entry »

Who Are We

Insight and Research at the Center for Media Design (CMD) has begun to receive quite a bit of attention from industry publications and mainstream media outlets in the last several years as a groundbreaking and reputable media research organization. This archive is only for educational purpose, if the content involved any copyright issue, please contact: Michelle Prieb: meprieb@bsu.edu
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