Gage Logo

Go Back

The Era of the Person may be about to begin

A few thousand people saw our Google+ slideshow in one of its various incarnations, volume which blew anything we'd done in the past away. We also did a webinar last week for Gage clients and a blog post last week on the upshot of G+ for marketers - you can check that here.

To briefly recap the webinar, G+ is indeed going to work, for a few specific reasons. Brands who are dependent on SEO and PPC in Google (which owns 70% of the search market) will flock there because they will feel they have to, even though the network only has about 25 million users. The smart brands will try hard to get their fans on Twitter and Facebook to come over to G+ and engage there as well, offering them exclusive interactions, promotions, etc. They’ll do this mostly to protect and (maybe) improve their Google search results, but also because the connection between +1s, G+, and search outcomes will be made clear in the analytics package that comes with G+ Profiles for Business (a nice departure from Facebook). Meanwhile Google also bought Motorola. Now Google will have a much greater ability to dictate to android OS handset makers to build experiences on par or better than what they can (and will) build themselves. The Motorola acquisition also gives Google a huge leg up in the battle with Apple over control of the home. But I digress. 

In a year, G+ will probably have 100 million-plus members and we'll all be wondering again at the incredible speed of massive change in this crazy business. 

It's all well and good. I want to talk now about what will happen next: the total integration of search and social.

You know who Facebook has a strategic partnership with? B-I-N-G. Microsoft chose to ally itself with Facebook years ago after acquiring a small ($240 million, ~1.5%) piece of the startup. I think it's a pretty safe bet that Bing and Facebook will find themselves increasingly driven into each other's arms as Google+ takes off. Microsoft's purchase of Skype came only weeks before Facebook unveiled a video chat client using the technology. Bing has already fully integrated Facebook’s social graph to show which friends have liked your search results. Even Windows Phone 7’s “People” tab has deeper integration with Zuckerberg’s social network than any competing OS. Bing and Facebook will roll all this out with increasing urgency to compete with the sudden huge threat coming from Google. If Facebook is smart, they'll work a Bing deal in such a way that they can also integrate personal recommendations into Yahoo and Ask and putting Google in search/social in the same boat as Apple is in the mobile market - vertically integrated, but isolated too. 


 

So what will THAT mean for marketers? WOM recommendations are going to be more important for businesses than they already were, because they're going to matter in "e" at the point of attraction and conversion. It's going to be really hard to be a "quiet" company - especially a "quietly bad" company - anymore. It also means that more and more, every time a company has a good transaction with a customer, they are going to have to ask that customer to undertake a dizzying array of follow-on WOM activities, such as:
  • Like us on Facebook (needed to keep those Bing results up, you know)
  • Add us to your Circles on G+ (needed to keep Google search results healthy)
  • +1 this service on the webpage that describes it. Oh, and could you "Like" it, too?
  • Share it with your friends on countless other social networks, email, SMS, etc.

If they're particularly enlightened (and wired), they'll offer the customer a discount on the next transaction for each of these activities as well.

Until now, search results have been driven by two core variables: Relevance and Popularity. In the new era of the Person, you will have relevance, popularity, and personal recommendations. And I think that's a good thing.

Search is a bit of a mess these days - in SEO, there are all kinds of bizarre actions sometimes recommended by practitioners to improve perceived relevance and popularity. A lot of it is a lot of work, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the business itself. With PPC, results are mostly just a function of the highest bidder. Both of these fields are currently such a far cry from rewarding the company with the best product or service and who is most pleasant to work with, it makes you wonder. Personal recommendations, at least for now, are hard to fake, and are directly related to the quality of the product or service offered as experienced by someone you trust.

Strikes us as a probable improvement. What do you think?



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • DZone It!
  • Digg It!
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Del.icio.us
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Blinklist
  • Add diigo bookmark

RSS Feed
  • Channel Marketing: 4 Key Qualities to Help Make Your Channel Partners Real Partners

    No, this is not from Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, even if it does bear a similar title to her chapter on spousal involvement in a successful relationship. There are, however, interesting similarities between partners in a domestic relationship and partners in a commercial channel relationship. Common Goals – ...

  • Why Channel Marketing Initiatives Fail: 3 Key Mistakes

    Content strategy developed? Check! Marketing campaigns created? Check! Sales force alerting channel partners about the campaigns? Check! Telesales ready to field incoming calls and orders? Check! Product ready for immediate shipment? Check! So why didn’t your channel marketing initiative work? All of the planning will be for naught if you ...

  • Marketing Automation: How You and Your Partners Can All Succeed

    Why do your digital assets go unused? Why do your partners complain they don’t have the right marketing support material? How can you be sure your channel marketing investments are working? The problem probably isn’t that you have lousy marketing collateral, incompetent partners, or insufficient funding. The likely problem is ...

  • Channel Marketing – Pulling It All Together

    Does your channel marketing sound like this? You fire off a promotional campaign to your channel partners based on a short-term objective. Sometimes it’s successful and sometimes not. You refine and start over. In addition to these short-term campaigns, you’re also likely communicating and encouraging stand-alone offerings like training, incentives, ...

  • Personalization the Digital Way

    If I walk into my local pub, I am greeted with, “Hi Andy!” and my beer of choice is poured for me before I sit down. That’s great service; it is also the non-digital version of personalization.   With the technology tools and amount of data available in the digital space, the bridge can be ...

  • Has mainstream media turned a social media corner?

    Warning: This is not exactly an earth-shattering or even particularly insightful post; just pointing out a landmark(?) as the scenery blurs by. I just heard a major local radio news outlet's commentary on why President Obama's health care plan failed to win the public's support, despite the latest finding that ...


What We're Thinking


How Else Can Gage Help You?

The world’s best brands trust Gage to help with their biggest challenges. How can we help you?
Contact Us  |  Careers

Gage  //  Minneapolis, Seattle
Copyright © 2014 Gage