Omar Jamil, CEO Latitude blogs for Aurora from New Delhi
Session 4 - Conversation as a Route to Driving Certainty
Nikesh Arora, Sr VP and Chief Business Officer, Google
Here to talk about the debate of the future – how technology is going to disrupt and change the conversations of tomorrow.
Session was initially planned as a panel – panellists dropped out, so became a conversation between two people, but other person dropped out. So now just Nikesh. Which is why Nikesh calling the session: the last man standing.
Session to be focused around User Generated Content – so audience to ask questions and Nikesh to respond and form his address around the questions. Microphones in audience (oh wait, no there aren’t! Audience waiting for the mike… which as Nikesh says, will magically appear…. And yes, here they come.).
Question 1: Google ruining the world because kids no longer creative because Google can answer everything. Ok here comes the question: what can Google not answer and is Google killing creativity?
Question 2: Social media – what is the one thing that will continue?
Question 3: how long will it take the real world to see eyeball-to-eyeball with the virtual world?
Question 4: what went wrong with Google Plus?
Question 5: Conversations one on one discussions; but are we ready for that?
Question 6: Google/YouTube?
Question 7: Search was driving revenues for Google; these are declining now because of competing services – e.g. Facebook advertising – what’s the future for Google?
Question 8: How do brands control content online?
Question 9: Two words: China, Motorola
Question 9: Two words: China, Motorola
Question 10: Google TV – is Google moving towards branded entertainment production
Question 11: Why is the US more friendly towards Facebook than Orkut – why did Orkut fail in the US?
Question 12: Will you share what Google is doing in the future with tech of car-less drivers. How far from lab to factory and factory to market
Question 13: Best question: Mr Google, can you define yourselves from point of view of business model?
Question 14: What’s your experience of expression ‘net sentiment vs corelation’?
Question 15: Google knows all due toconsumer usage. Will Google use this data for marketers?
Question 16: What did Google get right that other search guys didn’t?
Question 17: Mobile advertising in India vs US?
Google a young company – built around the notion that if it’s out there (on the web) then you’ll find it. Notion of comprehensive. Every two days the equivalent of 40 hours of TV created. Like drinking from a fire hose. Too much information. Had a wave of information,thought this was it, then there was another wave of information. Content being consumed on the web now vs on television. Latest wave is social networking. Moment of too much info, you go back to community. No longer about what everyone thinks, but what my friends think. The digital world is a reflection of community. Much rather trust my friends’ opinions than the public.
Going from a web of information to a web of people. Going from a world of anonymity to a world of where you’re yourself online. Don’t want avatars, don’t want nicknames. People wanting to represent themselves and that’s where the next trend will be born. Examples of Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street – creating new conversations, creating flash mobs… conversation happens, then people disperse.
Too much information. Too many people. So users beginning to take control.
All this will fundamentally change structure of the marketing industry. Take video – last bastion of advertising, i.e. television. Only TV we watch now is live TV – otherwise we time shift our viewing. So next big hit is TV – programming on demand. Ubiquity of broadband and a screen somewhere around you (handheld device or TV or whatever)… so you consume content wherever you are and whenever you want.
So how does that affect marketers? Instead of one ad showing to tens of millions of people, you’ll ask how can I tailor my message to the ten million people watching in different places at differenttimes. So the basic message here: targeted advertising. And this is where online takes the edge. Because of the knowledge and data available. Nikesh feels move will come towards different creatives for different situations and different audiences – the same product and brand. Obviously a huge challenge for creative agencies.
How to converge your creative the same way media is converging?
By going back to the principles of brands wanting to build brands, create conversations with individuals, create customised mass market messages… all challenges ahead…
Nikesh asks about the brands created in past 15 years… interestingly I notice that most of these brands are relatively recent. Also most of the brands built are tech brands. Most major tech brands – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are all incredibly youthful brands. And the marketing spend these brands spent was much much less than traditional FMCGbrands that spent billions.
And here we’re back to brand engagement. And this is where tech companies have an edge because the conversation itself starts with the product, not with the brand. And I can experience the product anywhere any time. And when it’s about the product conversation, it’s the experience that dictates the brand experience, not the advertising or marketing.
Nikesh makes a point that really resonate with me: in a few years time, there wont be any distinction between offline and online – there’ll only be ‘one line’ as he puts it.
The way the net is evolving is about becoming a social experience – the social web. So the next conversion point, says Nikesh, will be high bandwidth content on the web – essentially TV broadcast content (which is already starting to happen with the likes of ITV catch-up and BBC iPlayer). This changing way of consuming content – wherever, whenever – will in turn influence all industries, requiring a basic underpinning of technology. The next leg to fall in advertising will be TV – couple the fall of tv with increased information about users online, coupled with more content online. And you move towards a completely ‘Clouded’ experience. “We are all already living in the Cloud,” says Nikesh.
In fact, he makes an interesting observation – that this is the first time that technology has been produced for consumer needs, rather than enterprise needs. Cloud computing is all personalised – and when we’re all living in the Cloud, then the medium becomes irrelevant. Portable devices and the Cloud make content consumption mobile.
Nikesh closes saying these are interesting times, times of Big Changes – and that it’s now up to brands and agencies to take the next step and move into a simpler converged world.
And now, finally, a tea break!