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The Digital Deep Dive With Aaron Conant

Generative AI and the Future of Search Marketing

Thu May 04 2023

Generative AI in Search Marketing

00:04 - 05:41

  • Generative AI is transforming the search marketing world.
  • Many brands are interested in AI but struggle with how to use it.
  • Net Elixir has built its own analytical AI marketing platform to identify highly curated audiences and target them through various channels.
  • Generative AI is a new industry that has fundamentally changed the entire industrial landscape forever.
  • The quantum of change brought by generative AI is not yet fully appreciated.
  • In the search marketing space, generative AI disrupts or changes the classic lens and has potential implications for advertisers.
  • There are three areas to consider when discussing generative AI in search marketing: how it changes the classic lens, potential impacts or consequences for advertisers, and sensitivity towards these changes.

Challenges and Opportunities in Search Results

05:16 - 10:37

  • Less than 20% of people go to the second page of search results.
  • 80% of people prefer speed and getting relevant information on the first page.
  • Almost half a million searches happen every day that are brand new.
  • 15% of all Google searches in 2021 were brand new.
  • The first page of search results is becoming cluttered with ads, pushing organic listings down.
  • Conversational search could be a solution to finding relevant results quickly.

Chat GPT and Microsoft in Changing Search

10:21 - 15:37

  • Chat GPT and Microsoft are changing search by allowing users to engage in a series of chapter conversations that lead them to their desired answer.
  • This fundamentally changes search by giving refined answers instead of having to filter through ads and other irrelevant information.
  • Google has become more of an advertising bill rather than having a conversation, which is why chat GPT and Microsoft are important.
  • Prompt engineering allows for smarter questions and better responses, making the process more personalized.
  • Conversational search expands the entire search universe, making it easier for non-native English speakers or those with grammatical issues to find what they need.
  • The conversational aspect also saves time compared to scrolling through infinite search results.

Expanding the Search Universe with Conversational Search

15:21 - 20:39

  • Conversational search expands the addressable universe by 33% over the number of people who are certain.
  • Microsoft's smart move is integrating chat GPT everywhere, and LinkedIn would have the same capability.
  • Easy accessibility can impact information and reduce friction points, making search more humane, friendly, and inclusive.
  • The entire search category has expanded into something beyond search; it could be chat, discovery, or anything that you engage in your life.
  • There may be an opportunity for a connected ecosystem with conversational search at the center to make more incremental money through a different monetization model like cost per action or cost per result.
  • The classic CPC model would be very disruptive in conversational search because of its relevance and lack of advertising.
  • A bigger ecosystem whereby users are directed to a website from conversational search is a possibility for monetization.

Monetization and Impact on Digital Marketers

20:16 - 26:08

  • Conversational search may lead to a bigger ecosystem with new monetization models.
  • The classic CPC model is not going away, but there may be tie-ins from advertising in standard CPC with results from conversation search.
  • SEO rules would need to be completely changed if conversational search takes off.
  • Interruptions to the hands would kill the sense of conversational search, but monetization avenues will emerge and be different from what we're used to.
  • Google will find different ways to make money despite the impact on digital marketers.
  • Digital marketers are struggling with customer acquisition costs, deprecation of third-party cookies, KPIs, and AI.
  • The shift is too big for humans to comprehend how to maximize it. We tend to look into anything on the future with strong focus on our past preconceptions.
  • Marketers are obsessed with productivity and ROI. Productivity is easy to show and helps bonuses at the end of it.

Adapting to Market Changes and Embracing Innovation

25:41 - 30:51

  • CMOs have an average tenure of 1.5 to 2.5 years and prioritize productivity that can be easily measured to boost their bonuses.
  • The post-COVID struggles, COVID depreciation, and changing consumer behavior are causing massive changes in the market.
  • Conversational search is becoming more popular due to people's aversion to constant advertising and desire for personalization.
  • It will take two to five years for the market to settle down after such a magnitude of change.
  • Marketers should build a culture of experimentation and embrace failure as a means of learning.
  • Companies should rethink their organizational structure to encourage innovation from all levels and provide psychological safety for sharing ideas.
  • A digital R&D budget can help companies test and fail frequently in order to learn what works.

Fostering Creativity and Innovation

30:25 - 35:56

  • In R&D, most experiments fail but you learn a lot from them.
  • Democratize idea generation process and give everyone a safe space to come up with ideas.
  • Annual innovation context can spark creativity across the organization.
  • Psychological safety and space to experiment is important for creativity.
  • Chief AI officer will be present in most large companies as AI touches every department.
  • Innovation is an outcome of how quickly you're able to fail and encourage failure.
  • Smaller businesses should lean on concept and build their own knowledge ecosystem by identifying people who are more informed about this particular space than them.

Prioritizing Innovation and Building a Knowledge Ecosystem

35:32 - 41:16

  • Businesses need to make a fundamental change in how they operate and focus on innovation.
  • CEOs should spend at least 10% of their time focusing on the future and innovating.
  • Small businesses need to prioritize innovation even more due to limited resources.
  • Asking questions about your company to chat GPT can help inform large language models and potentially impact SEO and conversation search results.
  • Mapping out each task and challenging teams to find ways chat GPT can save time can increase productivity.

Embracing Change and Leveraging Bing

40:48 - 46:16

  • Using chat GPT can increase productivity and energize the entire company.
  • Challenging the team to come up with productivity hacks for an ultra-federal world can make them feel more secure.
  • Unleashing creativity within the team can lead to new use cases that were never thought of before.
  • Bing has shown innovation and should be treated as a separate individual channel.
  • Recommended clients to invest 15-20% more in Bing budgets due to a shift in searches coming to Bing.

The Future of AI and Digital Marketing

45:58 - 49:30

  • Bing's percentage share may be dramatically different in six months.
  • AGI will democratize innovation and redefine industry equations.
  • Microsoft and Bing will be important players in AGI.
  • AI is here and it is good, so embrace it.
  • AI can democratize the entire organization.
  • Empower your team to innovate and fail faster.
  • The digital marketing channel ecosystem is going through a massive shift.
  • Build your own knowledge ecosystem to succeed with AGI.