CommonSense Blog

The Emergence of Custom Search Engines and Why the Best Models are Simple

By Bob Pearson | Nov 19, 2013

My experience is that the best new models are very simple.

A great example relates to the B2B market.

Companies have been spending millions of dollars for years to reach CIOs, physicians and other experts who have tremendous influence on their business.  However, they don’t know how to reach them effectively, so they resort to a wide range of ways to get their attention from direct mail to advertising to emails to sales calls to webinars to symposium to special events and much more.

Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, which is why marketers often say they know that half of their money is leading to ROI, they just don’t know which half.

However, what if “direct” took on new meaning?

If we make the model simple, we get the breakthrough.

For example, let’s take healthcare.  We don’t want to reach all 240mm Americans online to reach U.S. physicians.  So what if we tracked all 600,000 physicians online?  We can see what content they like, who they share content with, what language they use and when they are active online.

We did this by first indexing 3.5 million medical providers and then figuring out how to identify with 100% accuracy who a physician is online.  We can then answer questions like “what are cardiologists in Dallas interested in?”

If we move to technology and we’re in the enterprise technology space, there are about 2,000 CIO’s that really matter.  What if we tracked all CIOs and all IT managers in one place, so we could see the entire IT conversation with a focus on the Forbes 2000.   We might be tracking 20,000 people total, but they represent the true “buyer’s market”.

We can then answer questions like “what is the top issue that CIO’s care about in Europe or Spain”?

To do this, we’ve had to rethink how you build a B2B ecosystem engine, which we call a “custom search engine”.

We’re working on our platform daily now, starting with MDigital Life for health and moving with speed into other areas.  We take a look at conversational and behavioral patterns to better understand what really matters to a specific audience.

The result is a new and important media channel.  It’s the customer themselves.

No third party intermediary is necessary to see what they think or what they do. The only thing keeping a company from becoming part of their world is their ability to be relevant, also known as being helpful.

The B2B audience is interacting right in front of us. With this knowledge, we can build out the social cloud architecture that will ensure we become a relevant peer with our customers, so that we add value to their professional lives and, in return, we get to stop wasteful spending that probably never reached our audience in the first place.

Great models are simple.  Great models also take time to build, which is what we are committed to doing.

More here in this brief video and much more from our team on Custom Search Engines in the year ahead.

Enjoy, Bob