2015 saw the coming together of two worlds. Technology and advertising combined led to one word on marketers’ lips: data.
More importantly, marketers in 2015 were faced with the challenge of reaching the consumer at the right time with the right content on the right device.
And moving into 2016, these challenges aren’t going away. Figuring out how consumers want to be engaged with in each of their different environments and understanding the consumer decision journey and path of intent is more important than ever before.
Our Bing End of Year trends research revealed that ‘Augmented Reality’ was the most searched industry buzzword across the UK in 2015. This was closely followed by ‘Real-time’ and ‘Personalisation’.
As the value of consumer engagement increases, the expectation from brands continues to rise. As a result, marketers are looking towards the proliferation of touch points for new opportunities to challenge themselves and the meaning of engagement for brands.
Top 5 industry buzzwords searched for in 2015
- Augmented Reality
- Content marketing
- Social marketing
Looking back at what the UK marketing world has been searching for in 2015, alongside insights from conversations with our customers and partners, we’ve grouped together six predictions for 2016:
1. Search media spend will surpass TV in 2016
Search accounted for the second highest digital adspend channel in 2015 – 22 per cent of all digital media spend (IAB). As the industry sector is predicted to grow, 2016 will see Search surpass TV budgets in 2016.
To stay competitive, understanding how best to utilise search within the marketing mix and leveraging insights from this channel will be vital.
2. Search goes far beyond the box
2016 will see marketers recognise the ubiquitous nature of Search. Search will permeate more devices and services than ever before, becoming smarter and more important as a source of consumer engagement and comprehension.
3. Mobile is not solely about mobility
Mobile will no longer be part of the marketing strategy, it will be the marketing strategy. Consumers prefer to use their mobile device even when not on the move because their digital experience is convenient and more personalised than on the desktop. Marketers should consider how desktop supplements the mobile experience, not the other way round.
Cross device attribution is important in understanding how the two mediums work hand in hand to operate effectively.
4. Voice search drives new behaviour and understanding for marketers
The adoption of voice recognition and gesture control demonstrates that consumers today don’t want to rely on typing; they expect to interact with information in more natural ways. As a result, 2016 will see new search behaviours emerge, focused on the conversational nature that voice search supports. With digital personal assistants already in pockets, we’re bound to see wider audiences adapting behaviour to utilise this new technology.
5. Marketing strategies driven by search intelligence
2016 will see search data deliver valuable business intelligence from the spectrum of online interactions to inform marketing strategies. It’s about understanding intent and being empowered to seed the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. This can be taken a step further by using this intelligence to inform wider business strategy. Unlock the potential of search data.
6. Using data to predict outcome
Search engines are the database of intent. And social networks are the depository of sentiments. Search engines have developed the ability to process, analyse and understand these two information sets together in order to predict intent for future events.
2016 will see industry leading companies using data to not only understand consumer behaviour now, but intent for the future. This will enable more meaningful connections across platforms.
Ravleen Beeston is the sales director for Bing Ads at Microsoft UK