in Business & Marketing

Connecting the physical and digital customer by Matthew Phelan

At Friends of Search 2017 #fos2017 listening to Matthew Phelan talking about the future of Search and connecting the physical and digital customer.

After talking about the obvious, Matthew stressed one very important point that I expect to be the take home of this presentation: Focus on intent of the user.

If there is one thing you should do today in Search it’s to classify you keywords based on Intent. Understand what question the user is really asking and what their intent is. 


Combining offline and online signals is key to connecting the customer across physical and digital. 

Matthew and his duo colleague Mark Tapper spoke about using geo-targeting to drive people into the stores via paid search advertising (i.e. SEA or PPC).

A DMP (data management platform) and the linking of different data sources becomes critical to connect the customer and assist them in their purchase journey. Here is one example of how Matthew and Mark explain it:


The future starts today – good one Mark!

Start putting your tracking codes in place and collect the data you need to drive data driven decisions.

Nice slide from Matthew – The future of Search is People. 


So basically what I started with above is true. To do well in search you need to understand people and their intent. Understand what they want and work on delivering an answer to the question. Be creative about it too! There are many ways to answer people’s questions.

Here were the questions from the audience:


Understand people. Understand intent. Understand the technology you need to answer these questions at scale. Build a strategy to answer these questions through technology. 

And I met Mark and Matthew for lunch! Very cool dudes!! 

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