Search Marketing

Duke Tanson guest blog's for The Candidate, bringing over 10 years' senior level eCommerce experience and knowledge to a post all about Search Marketing and how he predicts it will change over the next 10 years and beyond.

Search marketing, over the years, has been inundated with buzz words, the most recent being content marketing. These buzz words usually represent a step change in search marketers approach to engaging with customers.

For those of us who've been in the industry for a while, we've witnessed significant changes in strategy and best practice process driven by a deeper understanding of our target market, changes in consumer behaviour and technology.

As we approach Q4, one key trend I expect to be at the forefront of search marketing is Audience Marketing, accelerated by technological development and insights. In the midst of online price wars, the shift to mobile and apps, increased digital consumption by consumers, a business that has a better understanding of its audience, use insights and technology to facilitate engagement will win.

Audience marketing requires an understanding of who your current and potential target audience are, their present and future needs and their digital consumption pattern. This will undoubtedly shape content marketing, social media, CRM, PR, paid search approach and how technology will be used to engage with consumers during their micro moments.

The Digital Levers

 Search Marketing over the next 12 months and beyond

Audience is at the heart of any digital strategy and provides a clear direction of which digital channel will be effective in engaging with which customer at what stage on their digital consumption.

Content marketing will be effective if the right audience is at the heart of the planning and execution. The right content geared towards the right audience at the right time through the right digital channels will receive higher engagement and sharing.

Gone are the days when effective paid search was all about detailed keyword research and good optimisation. There are so many bidding layers available (RLSA, mobile, age, gender, location, time of day etc) all of which has a potential to deliver good results if the target market is clearly defined.

Businesses, not only have a challenge of connecting with the right audience at the right time, but have to do so very quickly and at scale. Having the right technology becomes imperative, one which will provide a clear competitive advantage.

Emails will no longer be sent in batch to all customers. They would have to be delivered to the right customer at the right time with a personalised offer/message. The right product recommendations will be made at the right time based on a clear understanding of the customer shopping habit, product association and preference.

Programmatic TV and Display is transforming the way display adverting and TV are bought and sold. There is a shift from contextual ad space purchase to addressable audience media buying. Addressable audience opportunity isn't static so winning the micro moments will require real time system to manage the purchases.

Developing the right engagement tactics, aimed at the right audience using the right technology will provide the competitive advantage for businesses throughout Q4 and 2016.

Businesses who get it right will win a bigger share of the target market's spend. 


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