Future of Digital Experience

The intersection of the Search and Social Paradigms will define the future of the digital experience.  Layering social signals on top of search signals provides a picture of the customer previously impossible to create.

Watch as RKG CEO, George Gallate, explores this concept and shares what he sees as the future of the digital experience.


George Gallate: Hi, I’m George Gallate, the CEO of RKG.  Today, I want to talk a little bit about what I see happening in the whole realm of digital experience and how digital experience is something that a brand can build effectively in service of the business.

When I started in communications, which was a very long time ago, we have one opportunity, and that opportunity was to interrupt a communications message with advertising, and we would hope that our message would be seen because we paid a lot of money for that to be seen, whether that was in a newspaper, on radio and heard, on TV, or through direct mail.  The industry changed with digital, dramatically.  With digital came two really interesting paradigms that have changed what we do as the See Paradigm, or Seeing Advertising, changed everything that a marketer was able to do and those two paradigms are the Search Paradigm and the Social Paradigm.

The Search Paradigm is really interesting from a brand or marketer’s perspective because search is pure customer intent.  It is the closest digital signal to a cash register, and it is basically what’s important to me now.  It is a pure form; it is a signal that is incredible.  The Social Paradigm is actually a little interesting on top as a modifier.  The Social Paradigm is what’s important to people I like or what’s important to people like me.  That Social Paradigm is a signal of what the group is thinking, or what I’m thinking, and it is incredibly influential; it is digital word-of-mouth.  If you look at that ‘what’s important to people like me’ signal, collaborative filtering, or what happens on Amazon, that is an incredibly powerful signal that we as direct marketers used to do a very long time by looking for lookalikes in a database.  If you look at what’s happening in the pure social space of people I like are doing this, that is word-of-mouth and incredibly important.

What excites me most about this understanding of the three paradigms, particularly the intersection of the Search and the Social Paradigm is that at that intersection point you have the ability to absolutely change behavior, to change perception, and for brands to prosper.  ‘How that’s done though?’ is the question.  I’ve spoken for a while at conferences all over the world on this intersection point saying, “Hey.  That intersection point is informed by data.  That intersection point is informed by content.” Content is what a digital experience is all about.  Content is what will change that opinion, but content is also what drives response.  What we do as marketers is discoverability, the opportunity to create something, or to curate something, and have that found; basic search engine optimization, the fundamentals of search engine marketing, but also, the fundamentals of great social business activity.

How do we make that all work? How do we tie that all together? We need to have an understanding of what content is and how to make content light up, really spread, to be effective, and to be found by the right people.  For content to be truly effective, it has to have what I call ‘The 4 S’s’: It has to be social, it has to be searchable, it has to be scalable, and it has to be straight, authentic, transparent, or truly of the brand and not some smart, hidden, funny dancing cat video playing a piano that then you try and sell a tire-replacement kit.

If you look at those 4 S’s; social, searchable, scalable, and straight and you create content around that, content that people do want to say, “Hey.  Look at what I found,” content that’s tagged appropriately and put in the right places so it can be found or searchable, content that’s not a one-off that costs a brand a fortune, but content that can be scaled and content that is true to the brand, then you have something powerful.

How do we then get that intersection point? How does that intersection point work? That intersection point is what great search marketers have done for years, and years, and years, which is link management.  That is the intelligence around how you connect information to various sites and to various forums.  Then look at what social’s about.  Social’s about community management; the ability to understand what people actually want and the form that they’re on and how you work them.

How do you tie the two together? How do you take that and ensure that your content is being shared? It’s through data.  With the internet, which is obviously completely accountable and measurable, we have the opportunity now to be able to marry link management and community management in a very intelligent data-driven way and then bring Search and Social together; the two most powerful paradigms of the internet.  The two paradigms of the Internet that do pure discoverability and that therefore become very, very, very accountable.  This is where RKG is focused and where our next iteration of excellence will be.  Thanks.