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Sabrina Garufi Benchmark 2018 Talk Summary

Marketing in the Age of Assistance – Sabrina Garufi’s Benchmark 2018 talk review

Beginning with an incredible example of the rise of the smart phone, Googler Garufi talked the Benchmark crowd through the methods of marketing in the ‘Age of Assistance’


Beginning with a brief description of the importance of the mobile phone, before moving to a comparison of two photographs of Vatican Square one in 2005, the next – a sea of mobile devices – in 2013, Garufi’s talk was a fantastic deep-dive in to the fact that ‘we no longer go online, we live online’.

While dealing with subjects that regulars on the Click Consult blog will be familiar with – the increasing importance of user experience (UX), voice search and mobile – coming straight from a Google representative, the talk may well have been the final nudge necessary for anyone that had remained unconvinced of the future we have been describing.

Garufi, with an entertaining mix of pop culture references and statistics, was able to brilliantly describe the reasoning behind Sundar Pinchai’s announcement that we are no longer in the age of mobile, but the age of assistance and, further, that Google is ‘now an AI-first company’.

Backed by recent articles on reclusive founder and figurehead Larry Page’s focus on Google X – the ‘moonshot factory’, Garufi’s description of the future of Google, and to a large extent the future of search, as being the domain of machine learning and digital assistants is ever more convincing.

Garufi’s talk closed with four final thoughts and important questions that brands large and small need to be asking themselves:

Final thoughts

  • Consumers are curious, demanding and impatient
  • Reach potential customers before they have fully decided
  • Technology can help with these challenges and opportunities
  • Things move quickly, you need expertise on your side

Questions to consider

  • Are you keeping up what your users/consumers want – ie mobile?
  • Are you thinking about machine learning?
  • What can you do to set yourself apart from the competition?
  • What skills and staff will be needed in 2 years’ time?

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