Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Hello, Dave. Will You Be Searching For Anything Today?"

Binary Marketing - How Computers Are Influencing The Marketplace

By David Miranda

We all remember the most compelling character from Stanley Kubrick's film classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey - the HAL 9000 ( which stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer), the artificial intelligence on-board computer that runs the entire spacecraft, Discovery. Today, we have new HALs. They go by different names - names like Google, Yahoo, Lycos, and, for example. They are search engines - heuristically programmed algorithmic entities that determine what results we are given when we search the Internet. Like HAL, without the voice recognition enhancment, these search engines are a powerful force in the marketplace - a binary dynamo influencing choice.

Historically, the mission of marketers was to influence the potential buyer to prefer their brand over competitors using a myriad of marketing and sales tools and techniques. The landscape now has dramatically changed. Search engines have the power to put your brand in the top tier of a results screen. How? Heuristically programmed algorithms. Getting to the top of the list requires more than marketing. It requires sophisticated mathematics - trying to understand how the system works and how to beat the system. The formal term for it is "search engine optimization." Companies and agencies are adding computer scientists and mathematicians to their ranks in growing numbers - individuals who attempt to influence the artifical intelligence, not the consumer.

It is a binary marketing age where the language of success is ones and zeros.

The traditional marketing mission of influencing potential customers will still be the prime objective of any company, but smart firms must realize that this will not be enough anymore. As the Googles of the world gain even more market influencing power, companies will have to understand this cannot be ignored or do so at your own peril. Computers will have more and more influence on the information a person receives including what, when, where, and how.

As we move into a voice recognition marketplace, HAL becomes less fiction and more reality.

For example,

"Good morning, Google. I would like to search for a real estate attorney in the 31002 zip code"

"Good morning, Dave. I have found seven real estate attorneys for you in the 31002 zip code. May I recommend the firm of Jones, Powell, and Crawford? I'm showing they are the most popular choice of recent searches."

Far fetched? Think again.