Heard at Huddle – Why the cows are connected

Last week amid the hustle and bustle at Mindshare Huddle, we pitched up a tepee, roasted marshmallows over an open fire, and chewed the cud over what big data means for us today, and most importantly in the future.


The Bing Ads teepee at the #mshuddle

As well as warming hands with hot chocolate, we brought together brand marketers from across the spectrum to discuss what we can unlock through our increasingly connected digital footprint. Those huddled – excuse the pun – on our orange sofas became part of the story, giving their thoughts on the topics debated through Bing Pulse, our audience engagement technology.

For those not in the room, here’s how the story went as we uncovered the joy of big data infrastructure:


The joy of big data infrastructure

We’re moving from smart to intelligent search

We’re facing a new intelligent web where search has evolved through changing habits and growing internet touchpoints. At Bing we stitch together pieces of the digital web to reassemble them into a clear picture – one that learns from the past to seamlessly connect to people, places and other things that users care about. It’s had to evolve to become contextual, but it doesn’t stop there. Search will only truly become intelligent when the engine can anticipate what I need, even before I verbalise that intent. That is one of the promises of digital personal assistant like Cortana who relies on Bing information architecture and machine-learning to anticipate your needs. One of my favourite examples is her ability to urge me when to leave for my next appointment by making sense of my current location and the traffic conditions to my destination.


Using “wisdom of the crowd” with Bing Predict

Understand intent and you can anticipate. Anticipate, and you can predict the future

Search engines understand intent and at the same time, social networks are the depository of sentiments. At Bing we’ve developed the ability to process, analyse and understand these two huge real-time information sets together. We can understand your sentiment for certain events or entities, estimate popularity trends, as well as predict outcomes of future events. By using “wisdom of the crowd” with Bing Predict, we’ve done this for the Scottish Referendum and the Rugby World Cup.

I have to add that by this point, on our Bing Pulse poll, we’d shifted response around ‘How does Big Data make you feel’ from 35% feeling excited, to 78%!


Cows connected? You bet!

Bring machine learning to brand models. Then you connect the cows

Brands need to think outside the (search) box and harness the full potential of the search data. Imagine not assuming but knowing. This is where I gave away a secret about spending summers cattle herding with my Grandma in the French Alps and a story of predicting the fertility patterns of a cow herd using pedometers and predictive data. Not just that but if the calves would be male or female. We can do wonderful things in the world when we collect, analyse and render the data that’s available to us. Trajectory marketing, for instance, would geo-target consumers based on the location they will be at rather than the location they are in. In understanding what can be unlocked, brands can offer truly real time responses to consumers.

And that time is in the near future.



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