A new strategy for search marketing

The growth of voice technology, improvements to measurement and the emergence of Amazon as an ad platform has been driving the growth and change in search marketing.

According to WARC Marketer’s Toolkit 2019, voice technology is driving brands to adopt a new strategy for search.

While information-seeking, transactions and navigation remain the three core activities of search, the landscape is quickly changing.

Advertising spend for paid search has trebled over the past decade and is expected to account for over a fifth (21.9%) of the total in 2018.

Across WARC’s 12 key markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK , US – spend for paid search is forecast to rise 11% in the last year, topping USD$100 billion.

This growth is driven, in part, by the confidence with which brands can measure the outcomes of search marketing. In WARC’s Marketers Toolkit survey, 36% of respondents claimed they can measure the effectiveness
of online search “very accurately”, more than any other media channel.

Many brands also say that expect voice searches to be the most important development in 2019 especially voice optimised searches.

APAC Head of Innovation and North Asia Commerce, iProspect Nate Shurrilla said: “The more pronounced trend is around voice. In 2018, iProspect conducted research on voice adoption in six key markets across APAC: China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. The results were eye-opening.

“Our research found that 82% smartphone users in India, 77% in China and 62% in Indonesia are currently using voice-activated technology.”

Visual search, meanwhile – defined as anything using an image, rather than text, as the search input – is growing facilitated by smartphones and is already changing the search landscape, particularly among younger
audiences, leading to a shorter path to purchase for brands.

WARC senior editor Alex Brownsell said that the disruptive power of Amazon, the switch to conversational-style language and the growth of voice and visual technology are converging to drive the biggest change in search procedure.

The Marketer’s Toolkit 2019 is based on a survey of more than 800 client marketers and agency executives around the world, backed by CMO interviews and WARC’s case studies and best practice guidance. 

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