[Source: This article was published in kmworld.com By AlexAnndra Ontra - Uploaded by the Association Member: Mercedes J. Steinman]

If it’s important, it’s in a presentation. Presentations, and PowerPoint in particular, are the de facto medium for communicating formal business ideas. Presentations are used for sales, training, fund raising, project planning, research—you name it. A lot of human capital and other resources go into creating these presentations, and because of this expenditure, more companies are turning to presentation management to leverage this content. Presentations are no longer one-off documents, used for one meeting, one proposal, and then thrown out, only to start over again the next time. They are communications assets that can be reused and repurposed for the benefit of everyone in the organization.

At most, businesses have a tangled mess of PowerPoint and other files buried somewhere on their network, shared worksites, hard drives, and emails. When someone needs to make a presentation, they start from scratch recreating slides that probably already exist somewhere, if only they can find them—a gross waste of time. Or, they spend hours hunting and pecking through all of these files trying to find that one “right” slide, and whether that slide is current, branded, or has the proper messaging is—another waste of time, never mind the potential branding and legal risk that comes with presenting inaccurate or outdated materials.

Nintex survey found that 49% of employees have trouble locating documents, such as presentations, and waste up to 2.5 hours a day looking for information. This is why more companies are implementing a presentation management strategy, where search is a critical element that radically reduces the time wasted looking for those presentation assets.

How search works within a presentation management

Presentation management puts a strategic workflow process around presentation files, such as: PowerPoint, video, images, PDFs, and any other file types you use in business. (In presentation management, all files are formatted to present, so any file can be considered a “presentation” file.) So, anyone in your organization can find the “right” slide or file and reuse it on demand. It is visual, and above all searchable.

It starts with creating a central file repository that is easily accessible and permissioned. Permissions direct the right content to the appropriate users and mitigate the risk associated with someone using an old, outdated version. This repository should be visual, with easy previewing, so the user is not forced to download a file, open it, and scroll through it to find the slide or section they want before starting over with the next file, and the next. Instead, with presentation management, they click on the file or slide, where they can see it, read it, and decide in a split second if that’s the one they need. Common sense dictates that if you can’t see a file, you won’t use it, so visualization is critical.

The value of visual search

Visual search capabilities let users type in keywords or phrases that generate thumbnails of files and slides, with the keywords highlighted within the document. This not only gives them access to that one great slide or file out of thousands, but also lets see them keyword in the context of the document, which makes it easier and faster to decide if it’s the right one for your meeting.

With presentation management, search should be organic. Files are indexed upon upload, so users not only search according to file name and meta tag, but all of the content within the file, such as titles, text, and speaker notes. With the proper presentation management solution, everything is searchable.

The result is that all files become active and productive. When each member of your team has an easy way to find that one correct slide, or that file out of tens of thousands, then they can reuse it in their presentations. Better search makes for better, more informative presentations.

Search also improves business insights, which lead to better content. Data accumulated through search, such as most searched topics, who is searching, when are they searching (before or during a meeting) etc., will give marketing teams insight as to what content and corresponding products are popular in the field. It is market feedback in its most direct and rudimentary form.

Data helps you prioritize

Internal data can also be collected through presentation management. It can log who is using which slide or file, where, when, and over what time period. Equally as informative, the same data will indicate which slides and files are not being used. That information will guide the content marketer’s decision as to what new content to create, to update and even expire. After all, why waste time creating content that no one uses? For example, let’s say a CEO gives a presentation rolling out a line of new products. The sales team uses that presentation over the next six months to sell these products. The analytics shows that there are two particular slides that have the most hits, the most engagement, and even the most search queries. It also shows that there is one product that gets zero hits. Now the marketing and product development teams know which two products are resonating in the field, and therefore where to allocate their resources.

External sources of data are also critical for industries that rely on third-party sources, such as banking and media. Media companies use services such as Nielsen ratings to confirm their audience viewer numbers, which is what they are ultimately selling. Synchronizing this data in real time, directly into formatted presentation slides can offer an ad sales rep an advantage when talking with clients. The rep comes across as well-informed, direct, and ready to discuss and plan a better strategy for the client to reach the intended audience. It builds credibility and trust between seller and buyer. It might sound ironic but in this case, data is actually fostering a better human relationship.

A digital-first generation

Presentation management is particularly appealing to millennials, who grew up with data and search on their mobile phones and are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. They will bring their personal habits into their job. They expect to be able to find a specific piece of content, a file, a slide, a video, with one search. A network server with a bunch of folders, sub-folders, and files hidden within? That won’t work for them. They expect to see their business content, visualized in preview. And they expect to use it, at that moment, just as they do on YouTube. Furthermore, they rely on their mobile phones to communicate. They will pick up their phone—not to call you—but to show you pictures and videos as they are talking with you. And they will do the same in a business setting—pick up their phone, or iPad or laptop and show their client data the product pictures or promotional video. They will resist using a rigid, linear, and PowerPoint slide show, in favor of a more free flowing interactive discussion. A millennial’s presentation follows the conversation.

Your company’s enterprise presentation management strategy is bolstered through search and data. Better and more readily accessible content empowers employees to be more productive in their tasks. With a comprehensive presentation management solution, everyone knows how to get the content they need to do their job, and this translates to client meetings, letting your employees connect with customers in a more meaningful, effective way. Employees can follow the conversation and directly address the customers’ concerns. No one is limited to a canned, inflexible presentation. Furthermore, marketing and HQ get real-time data on how their products and services are resonating in the field, so they can also be agile and adjust as needed. Search and data tools embedded in your presentation management strategy will give insights and guidance so your company can better serve you clients.

Categorized in Internet Search

[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Amy Gesenhues - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Carol R. Venuti]

Users no longer have to go to their Google Account page to access privacy controls

Google updated its user privacy controls on Wednesday, allowing users to delete their search activity — and control the ads the see — directly from the Google Search home page both on desktop and the mobile web, as well as from the Google Search iOS app.

As long as a user is signed into their account, they will be able to access their search data without having to go to their Google Account page and click through to the “Personal info & privacy” settings. On the mobile web experience, “Your data in Search” will be a persistent menu item on the home page as well as on results pages.

Google search data

Why search marketers should care

Since news broke that Cambridge Analytica had used an app to harvest and exploit Facebook user data and then the later launch of the EU’s GDPR legislation, Google and other popular online platforms have been forced to pay more attention to how they store user data and be more transparent about how that data is used for ad targeting purposes.

While this latest update from Google is a step in the right direction in terms of user privacy, advertisers could be impacted in two ways. First, it’s now easier for users to delete and control their search data, making it more difficult to target ads to them. Second, users will be able to react more quickly to ads they don’t want to see. One could argue that such controls would help advertisers avoid serving ads to likely unresponsive audiences, therefore allowing them to focus on more receptive individuals.

“To control the ads you see when you search, we give you access to your Ad Settings. Additionally, you can access your Activity Controls to decide what information Google saves to your account and uses to make Search and other Google services faster, smarter and more useful,” writes Google’s director of product management, Eric Miraglia.

your data in search

Giving users more direct access to control what information Google saves will potentially limit available ad targeting data. But, whether or not such efforts will impact advertisers will depend on how readily users avail themselves of these privacy tools. Certainly, having a call-to-action on its desktop home page, and a menu option within the mobile experience, will make this more top-of-mind for Google searchers.

More on Google’s latest user privacy control updates

  • The updates are rolling out on desktop, mobile web and the Google Search app for iOS on Wednesday, but won’t be available on the Android app until the coming weeks.
  • Google says it plans to expand these privacy control efforts to Google Maps in 2019, followed by releases in “many” other Google products.
  • In addition to being able to delete recent search activity, control ad settings and have access to Activity Controls, users will also see a “How activity data makes Search work” message aimed at educating them on how their settings and activity on Google impact search results.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Greg Sterling - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon]

Digital agency ROAST has released a Voice Search Ranking Report (registration required), which seeks to categorize and understand how Google processes and response to voice queries. It also tries to determine when Google Home uses featured snippets/Answer Box results and when it does not.

The company used keyword analytics to compile a list of “616 key phrases in the UK featuring snippet answer boxes.” It then determined the top phrases by query volume across a range of verticals (e.g., medical, retail, travel, finance). The tests were run in November and compared Google Home and traditional search results.

The study sought to answer the following questions:

  • How many of the key phrases were answered [on Google Home]?
  • Do the answers given match the answer boxes’ results?
  • Which keyphrases prompt Google, not to user answer boxes?
  • Can we compare visibility on voice search to answer boxes? Is there a difference?

In the majority of cases, the Google Home result mirrored the snippet/Answer Box, according to the study. But in a number of cases, when there was a snippet, Home provided no answer or a different answer.

Comparing Desktop Search Results with Google Home

Comparing Desktop Search Results with Google Home

I didn’t do any testing of ROAST’s findings, but in two ad hoc cases where the company said there was no answer, my questions received the same answer featured in the snippet. It’s also the case that rephrasing questions can yield results that initially received an “I can’t help with that yet” response.

The report grouped Google Home answers into six different categories:

  • Standard answer (referencing a source/domain, the most common type of response).
  • Location result.
  • Action prompt (suggestion).
  • Definition.
  • Flight search.
  • Similar question (“I’m not sure, but I can tell you the answer to a similar question”).

Google Home answered just under 75 percent of the queries in the test. When Home provided an answer, roughly 80 percent of answers were the same as the Answer Box, according to ROAST. In 20 percent of those cases, however, answers came from different data sources (e.g., local, flight search).

There’s a more detailed discussion of these findings in the report. However, here are ROAST’s verbatim conclusions:

  • Just because you occupy the featured snippet answer box result, doesn’t mean you own the voice search result. Sometimes the assistant won’t give any answer or it references a different domain.
  • Watch out for key phrases where Google doesn’t use answer box information for results — for example, fights, locations, actions.
  • Google My Business is key to any local related searches.
  • You need to start to develop a key phrase list specifically for tracking in voice search reports — this list will be different from your normal key phrase list for search.

ROAST says it intends to produce more such reports in different verticals in 2018. I would also encourage others to do similar testing to add more insight to the conversation.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in london.edu written by Matt Baldwin - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Jasper Solander]

When you walk into a new office for that crunch job interview, several thoughts will pop into your head. While planning for those tough questions, you’ll also be working out how to fit in.

According to new research from Thomas Mussweiler, London Business School (LBS) Professor of Organisational Behaviour, the desire to be accepted is driven by social comparison – a process which takes place almost involuntarily – where you compare yourself to other people.

Much of Professor Mussweiler’s research focuses on social comparison processes – examining how we compare ourselves to others and thereby change our self-image, motivation, and performance. Work in this field has shown that social comparison facilitates thinking in personal perception, emotion, attitudes and problem-solving.

Now, with co-author Dr. Matt Baldwin, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Social Cognition Center in Cologne, their new paper The culture of social comparison published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) maps US social comparison data from Google, available through Google Correlate.

The paper looks at search frequencies for a variety of emotion-related words that indicate social comparison such as ‘jealous’ and ‘pride’. Using a novel and innovative technique meant a lot of background work went into validating the method used in the paper, to ensure the results captured psychologically relevant reactions.

Why compare?

Humans’ ability to coordinate behavior economically and politically across distance and time is unique. To keep these processes running smoothly, we look to others as a comparison to create standards of behavior. 

On an individual level, everyone compares themselves to peers almost all of the time. Social comparison is an involuntary mechanism about understanding yourself and others. For example, when starting a new job, the newcomer looks around to gauge what everyone else is wearing.

Mussweiler explains: “The fundamental human tendency to look to others for social cues about what to think, and how to feel and behave, can give rise to a range of emotions. But it has also enabled humankind to thrive in a highly complex and increasingly interconnected, social world. We now understand much more about what drives that tendency.

“In socially tight situations like the first day in a new office or a job interview, there is a strong driver to know, and to mimic, what others do.”

Hanging tight and loose

The degree to which a society expects individuals to fit in is defined as ‘tight’ or ‘loose’. A tight society has a lot of conventions and punishes people for breaking them, whereas a loose society is more relaxed and has fewer rules. The scientific study of tight and loose cultures has received some recent attention in social psychology, but this is the first time search term data has been used by researchers to analyze this cultural dimension. One hypothesis the paper explores is whether people in tight cultures are more likely to look to their peers for cues on how to behave, in turn shedding light on the role comparative behavior has in creating cultural norms.

Tight and loose cultures have their own strengths and weaknesses and are considered to have developed in response to environmental pressures that might threaten our species’ survival. It is hypothesized that tight cultures emerged in response to stress like famine and disease. In these challenging environments, you need strict rules and a high degree of behavioral regulation and restriction. In other words, a society under pressure can’t afford to allow people to act however they please because doing so can endanger the group.

Drawing upon the existing research, the paper includes a Culture of Social Comparison Map of the US, showing which states are ‘tight’ and which are ‘loose’. The map is the first time tightness has been linked to making more social comparisons. 

The interactive map compares each US state on this scale of tight through to loose. The southern states led by Mississippi scored as the tightest. Oregon and the north broadly ranked the loosest.

Why use Google to examine social comparison?

Using Google Correlate is valid in this study because these are real queries, from real people, about the world they live in. The challenge was separating the relevant searches from the irrelevant.

“While social comparison has been studied in the lab, the lab has a certain artificiality,” observes Professor Mussweiler. “Typically the social comparative information provided in the laboratory is not the same as the genuine information individuals seek in the real world.

“Nowadays people seek comparative information about others on the internet so that is what makes this data valuable.”

Researchers have previously used the Google Correlate database to map the spread of flu through search queries. Using a similar correlation method, this paper demonstrates that Google searches related to social comparison are more frequent in tight cultures than in loose cultures. 

The implication of the findings is that social comparison is the link between ecological threat, the broader social behavior it creates and the outcomes for individuals. A conclusion which could be drawn is that comparative thinking is not just a building block of our own thoughts but of society as a whole.

The next steps for the methodology are to use it to explore how social comparison varies over time and in response to different events like disease outbreaks, natural disasters, terror threats, and elections.

Categorized in Search Engine

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