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BERT and Google put customer intent first

Google recently put people front and centre via its latest update: BERT. While we find it incredibly exciting, we acknowledge everyone doesn’t. So here’s the TLTR version.

There has been some exciting news over the past 24 hours, with Google advancing its search capabilities via an update called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, to be exact). 

 

While we find it incredibly exciting, we acknowledge everyone doesn’t. So here’s the TLTR version: 

What does BERT do in a nutshell? 

On the example on the left, Google (previously) interpreted that the search term came from a US citizen, instead of it being a Brazilian traveller looking to travel to the US.

On the example on the left, Google (previously) interpreted that the search term came from a US citizen, instead of it being a Brazilian traveller looking to travel to the US.

What’s it mean for me/my content?

What is customer intent research, and will it help?

Somewhat ironically, a puppet is making search more conversational for humans.

In a nutshell, yes it will unequivocally help.

 

Too many brands try to talk to people without their permission, about stuff they don’t care about.

 

Customer intent research lets you understand the actual outcome a person – or tribe – is seeking, and to craft your marketing around their objective, interests or needs.

 

This insight should then be used to power everything from your performance marketing, to content, to TV creative.

 

Here’s an excerpt from a recent article I wrote about how to understand customer intent:

“Search and social media are tremendous data sources to build tribes. Overlay this with your first-party data, and you have an unadulterated view of customer intent. Search is my personal favourite as it is a data-driven truth serum – a look into what consumers really want at any given time. You should define each keyword into ‘category clusters’ that allow you to pinpoint your marketing bullseye: a tribe of like-minded people, not a persona.”

You can read the full article detailing how to undertake this data-led diagnosis here.

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