The Future Of Search (And Why It’s ALL About The Tech)

The Future Of Search (And Why It’s ALL About The Tech)
SHARE
THIS



With recent reports revealing Aussie businesses now get as much as half of their customers via search, getting your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) right has never been more important. To find out where SEM’s heading, B&T sat down with two of the country’s top minds on that very subject. Yes, it’s Deb O’Sullivan, Head of Strategic Sales at Microsoft Search Advertising ANZ and Chris Wallington, Segment Lead for Microsoft’s Search Advertising ANZ…

How do you both see search engine marketing (SEM) evolving over, say, the next five years? What are the things marketers should be readying themselves for?

Wallington: 
The way we think about Search has changed. The information we get, the way we access it, the way we consume it and the way we search for it has changed. We want predictive, personal results. We’re on that journey, we’re in the early stages of the rise ‘personal digital assistants’ such as Cortana, Siri and Google. ‘Spoken queries’ will be different to the keywords we might clumsily tap into the keypads on our phones. More importantly is how digital assistants will learn about their user delivering relevant, anticipated experiences of the same quality of the user generated search.

chris_headshot_small_400x400

(Pictured) Chris Wallington

O’Sullivan: Search is all about answering people’s questions, wherever they are and whenever they need. In the future, voice search is going to play a much more crucial role. My kids can’t read or write yet, but can find answers by asking Cortana questions. For example, ‘What do Hippos eat?’, to which Cortana says, ‘Hippos graze on the land, preferring short, creeping grass’. Cortana is powered by Bing, so it’s really Bing which is answering their questions out loud. Once you get the hang of voice search, it’s actually much quicker than having to type into the browser.Deb-OSullivan-photo(Pictured) Deb O’Sullivan

Is it ALL about the tech? How is that shaping the future of search?

Wallington: Technology is now delivering marketers the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. But at the same time, search is becoming more intelligent and predictive; gathering signals closer to consumers’ end action and intent, and intelligently predicting what they want next, by being where they are no matter what device they use.

 

O’Sullivan: Microsoft has over one billion devices in market globally and we want to make it super easy for people to search throughout the Microsoft ecosystem, be it Windows, Office, Cortana, Skype, Xbox, Outlook or Bing. Our focus is less on making people go to a destination site, like Bing, and more about bringing search to them wherever they are.

What role will data play in all this? And, adding to that, will we see more concerns around users’ privacy?

O’Sullivan: Data is crucial to search as it helps advertisers reach the right person at the right time. The data that we use to inform advertisers is based on broad base user search behaviour rather than being based on personal information. We take privacy extremely seriously at Microsoft and that’s why we are conservative with our data use.

Wallington: Data is evolving as it powers intelligent machine learning which, in turn, delivers increasingly better consumer search experiences. But, yes, privacy remains ever important to consumers. The ability for consumers to understand and control their privacy options allows them to make meaningful choices about how and why data is collected and used, ensuring that consumers have the information they need to make the choices that are right for them.

If it’s not already, how much will SEM play in the actual customer purchase into the future?

O’Sullivan: Search is amazing at intercepting a consumer at the moment of intent, which gives the advertiser a much greater chance of converting that consumer to purchase.

Wallington: Search will continue to play an active role and create efficiencies in task completion based on intent. The personal digital assistant (Microsoft’s Cortana, as an example) will drive the search and task completion experience. It will be able to learn what users like, where they choose to make a purchase, understand how they prefer to pay in any given situation; plus, what they might like to do next.

In terms of brands, what role will SEM play in something like customer loyalty?

O’Sullivan: Search plays a massive role in brand loyalty. Research shows that response rates go up when a user is served an advertiser’s search engine optimisation (SEO) listing and a paid listing in the same search. It increases the advertiser’s level of credibility in the eyes of the user. Absolutely make sure to bid on your brand terms, to get the right message across to the user.

Wallington: The relationship between brand owners and consumers has become increasingly conversation-driven across paid, owned and earned media. Whether first or last click, the evolution of the search experience is providing the consumer with ever increasing signals; take customer reviews as an example. And validation, too, such as social media engagements (follows, likes, shares and commentary). Understanding the relationship between these signals, validations and the search ecosystems is an increasing focus for marketers managing brand loyalty.

How will SEM ultimately connect to other media such as Facebook or Instagram?

Wallington: Consumers are now spoiled for choice and don’t operate in a single ecosystem or ‘walled garden’ environment. Quite simply, an open approach of partnering across the web brings greater value and knowledge to the consumer. This creates a vibrancy in results that resonates with searchers. For example, Bing partners with Yelp, TripAdvisor, GoDaddy and many more to source the best data available. We do not rely on simply the data we own. They (the consumer) see better results, they see more accurate data and get better answers. Stealing from Kenneth Blanchard (American management expert), this is the perfect example of “none of us is as smart as all of us”.

In conclusion, our Microsoft experts say that search, both organic and paid, will evolve much more dramatically in the coming five years, compared to those we have seen over the last five year period. Savvy marketers will better harness the value of data and insights from search, to tap into a consumer’s intent and actions; while technology will continue to influence the way in which search experiences are delivered to consumers, wherever they are.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Social Change Maker Profile: Emma Heath

B&T has partnered with UnLtd to showcase industry heroes! Well, it's arguably more heroine in the case of Emma Heath.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve
  • Advertising
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Ad Fraud: A Problem We Can Solve

Unlike B&T's mystery office farter, this columnist argues ad fraud is a problem that can possibly be solved.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Why We Pivoted Our ‘Specialist’ Agency Five Times In 15 Years

In this opinion piece, Gavin McDonough (pictured above, left), co-founder and managing partner of Urban, shares through his own experience some valuable advice for independent specialist agencies. In November 2017, my brother Ryan and I celebrated 15 years in business. We started business out of my front room in Melbourne in 2002 – not with any […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges
  • Advertising

W+K’s Susan Hoffman Chosen As 39th AWARD Awards Chair Of Judges

Susan Hoffman, co-chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy (W+K), has been appointed chair of judges for the 39th AWARD Awards. Known to challenge the status quo, Hoffman is behind some of W+K’s most memorable and game-changing ads, including Nike’s ‘Revolution’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and Chrysler’s Super Bowl spots starring Eminem and Clint […]

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers
  • Marketing

Experiential Agency Kreate Gets Bought Out By Staffers

Leading experiential marketing agency, Kreate Australia is embarking on an exciting growth strategy following its purchase by three of the agency’s existing management team from its UK founder, Steve Evans.

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Hurry! B&T 30 Under 30 Entries Closing Friday!

This is a clarion call for B&T 30 Under 30 entries, although it's probably more mariachi band than angelic harbinger.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast
  • Media

The Hit Network Chooses Comedian Tanya Hennessy To Host Weekend Breakfast

Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network has announced that rising radio star and comedian Tanya Hennessy will take over hosting duties for its weekend breakfast slot in 2018. Hennessy will bring content to the airwaves each Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am to 9am with a regular rotation of guest co-hosts. The self-described talker, not walker […]

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients
  • Marketing

Straight Up PR Wins Five New Clients

Health, wellbeing and lifestyle PR agency Straight Up PR has welcomed Changing Habits, Unichi Wellness, enerGi, SleepX, and Healthie Hampers to its client portfolio. Straight Up PR’s projects will include bespoke PR services and influencer marketing packages specifically focusing on communications strategy and execution, media and influencer relations, PR launch events, product seeding and gifting, […]

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

March One Creates ‘Cheese For Change’ Fundraising Campaign For White Ribbon Australia

Independent creative agency March One has developed a new fundraising event for White Ribbon Australia that turns a social moment into a social movement. Starting on Thursday 22 March and going until Sunday 25 March, Cheese for Change will ask Aussies to create a cheese platter that matters by gathering friends, family or co-workers together […]

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced
  • Marketing

Sixth Annual IGN Select Awards Winners Announced

The winners of IGN Australia’s sixth annual Select Awards were revealed during a huge special event at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney on Friday, February 16. Some 225 Media & Game Publishers alongside 320 IGN Community Gamers attended the annual event. 2017 was absolutely crammed with terrific games and several categories were extremely tightly-contested. The top […]

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Mentors For B&T Bootcamp 2018!

When it comes to an industry "who's who", you'll find there won't be too much who-ing with this impressionable lot.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs
  • Marketing

ANZ Unveils Its 2018 GAYTMs

Mardi Gras is only weeks away and B&T has already hoisted the mirror ball and donned the hotpants to bring you this.

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

International Creative Services Redesigns Business Model To Broaden Talent Offering

Marketing consultancy International Creative Services has announced a new roster of diverse creative and production talent to provide a fully integrated solution for advertising and branded content. The roster includes a broad range of global and local directors, animators, illustrators, motion designers, visual artists, light projectionists, photographers and cinematographers – many of whom Australia will […]

Dirty Data Done Dirt Cheap
  • Opinion

Dirty Data Done Dirt Cheap

Does the mere thought of data fog the brain and stuff the sinuses? Decongest immediately with this lozenge-like read.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Johnny Ruffo & Lynne McGranger Host Emotive’s New Video Series For HelloFresh
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Johnny Ruffo & Lynne McGranger Host Emotive’s New Video Series For HelloFresh

HelloFresh Australia, together with content agency Emotive, have launched a new video content series hosted by Home & Away actress Lynne McGranger and entertainer Johnny Ruffo. Dinner Diaries showcases the talent eating their way across the country as they drop into HelloFresh customers’ homes to see what the nation are cooking at dinnertime. The campaign […]

AppNexus Appoints VP Of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Experience
  • Advertising
  • Technology

AppNexus Appoints VP Of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Experience

Independent advertising technology company AppNexus has announced the appointment of Antoinette Hamilton as its vice president of diversity, inclusion and community experience. Filling a new position at the company, Hamilton (pictured above) will spearhead initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive global community within AppNexus, broaden the range of the company’s talent pipeline, and drive […]

Mango Melbourne Appoints New Head Of Comms
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Mango Melbourne Appoints New Head Of Comms

If you were to lick your computer monitor while reading this Mango story, it may actually taste like a computer monitor.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine