Search is changing in dramatic and exciting ways. Once a function limited to a text box on a web page, search, today, is integrated into apps, websites, and devices, ranging from gaming consoles to phones. Search has evolved to being the connective tissue that binds together people, places and things that consumers care about the most. This guide will paint a much broader and much more powerful picture of the future of search—one that has an incredible impact for consumers and marketers.
Search is Personal, Predictive and Pervasive
Enhancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing are the transformative forces having the most impact on search and its evolution. The future of search is grounded in three Ps: personal, predictive and pervasive. Companies today are reimagining existing business models and are finding new ways to engage their customers. The one key ingredient that’s set to change the future of marketing and search is personalization.
In fact, 96% of marketers agree that personalization helps advance customer relationships, as per the 2017 Trends in Personalization study from Evergage Inc. and Researchscape International. Today, the search results you see may be very different from those of another consumer for the exact same search query. Why is this so? That’s because search results today take into account a person’s past behavior, demographic, location, and much more. As our lives continue to become more digital, our ability to understand consumers and deliver personal results will also continue to grow.
We’re headed towards a future where a search for ‘birthday gifts’ will no longer return random results, but will generate gift ideas tailor-made for the person you’re buying the gift for, along with pricing and delivery dates; this will ensure your gift is delivered at the chosen time.
With digital assistants already a growing component of our lives, this future is not too far away. Digital assistants like Cortana, Siri and Alexa are a direct display of the future of search being personal. Most people ask questions like, “Where’s the nearest Mexican restaurant?” But as digital assistants become more powerful and more intelligent, we can get used to asking questions like, “Which Thai place should I eat at tonight?”
These digital assistants are also becoming more pervasive. For instance, Cortana is already embedded in devices running Windows 10; it’s also found in PCs, mobile phones, and even HoloLens. Beyond voice inputs, evolution in image recognition and even biometric data analysis will be essential to the personalization of search.
Search today is dictated by the devices we have access to and how we use them. Search is no longer confined to your desk or to your pocket. It’s everywhere. It’ll soon be available in appliances, on our wrists, in our cars, etc.
Stay tuned for our next post on the future of search and how it’ll soon be found inside websites, apps and the devices we use every day. We’ll begin to see new search capabilities and the rise of smart speakers like Alexa that’ll drive the pervasiveness of search forward.