Yesterday at its customer conference, Yext introduced a redesign of its platform that seeks to better position its customers’ data for “conversational” interactions via voice and chatbots. It also announced that Snapchat would join its data distribution network.

Yext Brain a local knowledge graph. At the event, the company announced Yext Brain, which it described in an email as “a complete reimagination of Yext’s core platform.” Effectively this enables the creation of an internal knowledge graph that can map data or attributes to one another. As Yext Chief Strategy Officer Marc Ferrentino explains it:

Yext Brain is an AI-ready data structure that allows users to define any type of relationship between entities. For example in healthcare you see health systems needing to organize information like which doctor practices where, and what he or she specializes in. In food these relationships may take the form of the cost of a menu item, and what limited time offers it is part of, its nutritional information and at what locations it is available. With Yext Brain, we are allowing brands to build ever-more intricate connections between the entities they want consumers to know about in a central platform, ready to publish everywhere they want consumers to see it.

Businesses are able to identify relationships between entities or facts. So consumers searching for more specific information — a doctor who accepts particular insurance — can find it more quickly and easily. Related to this, Yext also said that it can now support search on its customers’ own sites (i.e., store locators, menu search, doctor finders). It will also enable natural language queries to be more easily answered.

It’s not clear how this capability can or will interact with existing site search on a brand’s website. My sense is that it’s completely distinct.

Transactional modules, Snapchat Context Cards. The company also introduced what it’s calling “transactional modules” that will be hosted on “Yext Pages,” which are landing pages integrated into customer websites. The modules include appointment scheduling, reservations or ticketing. The company says that “anything stored in Yext Brain can become its own smart landing page for consumer discovery and action, whether it’s a location, event, or a professional’s profile.”

Finally, Snapchat has been added to Yext’s data syndication network. What that means is that Yext customer data will appear on Snapchat Context Cards, which appear when Organic Venue Geofilters are invoked. Yext will also “power Organic Venue Geofilters with location and other information from the Yext Brain, ensuring they appear in the correct geofenced areas.”

What it means for marketers. There are numerous companies that offer presence management. However, Yext has managed to stay ahead of the pack through a combination of product innovation and savvy marketing. Indeed, the company has also evolved and expanded the definition of presence/listings management by adding new content types and capabilities, such as Yext Brain.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.





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