Human behavior is shaped by how we access and discover information. With every evolutionary change, the paradigm of search changes: From manual search, to bibliographic cataloging, to page-rank based search in the digital world, and now to discovering information in an app-first world.
Discovery on mobile is a problem that has not yet been solved. Since apps are not linked, searching and discovering information across apps is impossible today. As if searching were not hard enough, the problem is further complicated by the sheer explosion of apps across various app stores, products in e-commerce destinations and content (video, music and the like) within the mothership apps.
How can we make discovery effective across ALL of these domains for the user?
My team and I are proud to be working on a solution that addresses this larger-than-life problem in the world of apps, outside the “walled gardens”’ in something I like to refer as the “wild gardens.”
Imagine a world where advertising works like this: You are browsing inside a fitness app when you are nudged to consider entering a “discovery zone” where you are offered fitness tips, or fitness-related clothing and accessories, or even proposed songs to accompany your workout. Everything looks beautiful, but more importantly, it is intuitive and useful. This timely, relevant information leads you on to consider each suggestion, and perhaps even shop for suggested products. That is the true power of advertising: relevant information provided at a useful moment in time.
So, how are we going about it?
- No more in-your-face advertising! Empower consumers through contextualized, personalized, visually appealing “stories” instead of unwanted, irrelevant ads. Present consumers with “discovery zone” within their favorite apps where they can access a cross section of relevant, curated products.
- Welcome to a world of destination-less shopping! Brands should no longer attempt to draw consumers to a shopping destination - physical or digital. Rather, the consumer will be inspired with the absolute best recommendation, at the right moment, within the app environment they are already in.
- Harnessing the power of serendipity! The core value of advertising is meant to enable “discoveries.” We are attempting to create a world where advertising replicates the experience of talking to a trusted friend, two-way conversation where information is exchanged. Which product do they recommend?
This is an audacious dream for us to be dreaming. It's a dream that brings us up against the big boys in the mobile ecosystem. But, as we stand by and stand up for every consumer in the world, we are confident we are doing the right thing.
We want consumers to revel in serendipitous discovery. We want consumers to be receptive to advertising like it was a recommendation from a trusted friend. We want consumers to trust that someone has their back.
We are trying to reimagine advertising from the consumer’s perspective and we will not rest until we have fulfilled this vision for the world.