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 explains it:
What’s exciting and new here is in the ability to define any type of relationship between entities. So X doctor takes Y insurance and practices at Z hospital; or this menu item costs X and is part of this combo that costs Y and has this nutritional information. It’s allowing brands to build ever-more intricate knowledge graphs of their own information, so they can have a central place with all of the brand information and how it’s connected defined, and ready to publish everywhere consumers 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 (as stated above) — 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. While there are numerous companies that offer presence management and location data syndication, Yext has managed to stay ahead of the pack through a combination of product innovation and savvy marketing.
Accordingly, Yext is also repositioning itself from a location data management tool to an “online brand management” platform as it seeks to further differentiate.