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The shift to decentralized search and conversation

This article was based on the interview with Christian Ward, Chief Data Officer at Yext by Greg Kihlström, MarTech keynote speaker for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Christian Ward from Yext discusses the shift towards decentralized search and conversation in the marketing industry. Traditional search engines like Google are no longer the sole source of information and engagement for consumers. Instead, there is a growing trend towards personalized AI assistants and direct dialogues with brands.

The speaker highlights the collapse of the modern MarTech stack, referring to the technology stack used by marketers for marketing and advertising purposes. They suggest that marketers need to accept this shift and adapt their strategies accordingly. This means moving away from solely relying on ads and focusing more on creating a dialogue with consumers.

The concept of decentralized search and conversational marketing is described as a world where individuals can have direct conversations with AI assistants and receive personalized recommendations and offers. Christian gives the example of planning a trip to Disney World, where instead of searching on Google, one can simply ask an AI assistant to plan a three-day itinerary. The AI assistant would then reach out to various companies and provide a personalized plan, eliminating the need for traditional search engines.

He argues that this shift is not far-fetched and has already been implemented to some extent. They emphasize the importance of brands being ready for this change and understanding how their current MarTech stack is focused on tracking and pushing monologues rather than engaging in a dialogue with customers.

To capitalize on this shift, Ward suggests that marketers should focus on creating interactive experiences and gathering data through search bars or chat features on their websites. They also encourage brands to invest in their own website search capabilities, as consumers often visit a website with the intention of asking a question rather than navigating through drop-down menus.

There is a notable shift towards decentralized search and conversation in the marketing industry. Ward emphasizes the need for marketers to adapt their strategies and focus on engaging in a dialogue with consumers. By embracing this shift and investing in interactive experiences, brands can create personalized and engaging customer journeys that go beyond traditional search engines.

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