Our four favourite findings from the ClickZ Digital Advertising Breakfast

What does the future of paid search and paid social advertising look like? A banner from the ClickZ Digital Advertising Breakfast, with a ClickZ logo above the title of the event, followed by the date - 22nd February 2017 - and the hashtag #clickzbreakfast. At the bottom is the logo for Marin Software.

Last Wednesday, ClickZ sought to answer that question, holding its first Digital Advertising Breakfast in London.

The breakfast considered the most significant findings of the State of Digital Advertising 2017 report, created in partnership with Marin Software, and took glimpse at what’s to come in paid search and paid social advertising, with talks by James Murray, EMEA Product Marketing Manager for Bing Ads, Andrew Warren-Payne, Senior Consultant at ClickZ Intelligence, and Richard May, UK Business Director at Marin Software.

Here are four findings from the breakfast that we found most interesting, and that have the greatest implications for the future of digital advertising.

37% of brands find replicating campaigns across publishers a top challenge in delivering ROI

As the customer makes stops at different channels and devices on their journey from awareness to purchase, it’s crucial for brands to be able to consistently serve their campaigns across multiple platforms.

But according to our survey, more than a third of all advertisers said that replicating campaigns across Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search providers was the biggest challenge around delivering ROI from paid search.

However, Richard May, UK business director at Marin Software, says that new tools are making it possible for marketers to manage campaigns across a number of different publishers. This replication across publishers may make investment in search engines other than Google more attractive, as one particular rival continues to snap at its heels.

Bing is looking to be the ‘Dyson of search’

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, and 80% of US desktop search traffic originating from the search engine, Google’s a pretty big monster. But is it unchallengeable? James Murray, project manager for Bing Ads, doesn’t think so.

Despite Google owning the verb to search, Murray is confident that by giving searchers a more personalised offering than what the search giant can muster, nimble Bing reclaim some of this ground, in the same way the once ubiquitous Hoover gave way to new-vac-on-the-block Dyson (while ‘Hoover’ as a verb remains in action).

“Bing is bigger than you think,” Murray said. On desktop, it takes 23% of UK market share, with 32 million unique searchers carrying out 900 million monthly searches. Big numbers, to be certain, which is partly driven by voice search – Alexa and Siri, as well as Microsoft’s Cortana are powered by Bing search.

By 2020, half of all search queries will be voice queries

Murray predicts that in just three years’ time, voice search will start to dominate, rendering stopping to type a query hopelessly laborious. This is a shift that advertisers need to be ready for, as natural language becomes the norm for search, contextual search plays a far greater part, and keywords take on a different significance.

There will be three protagonists in this new search story, Murray explains – the user; the agent, or digital assistant; and the bot – which will ‘talk’ to each other to create highly personalised, relevant experiences.

This new breed of search will flourish as long as it’s possible to draw meaningful insights from the vast amounts of data it creates. “Data scientists will be the new rock stars,” adds Murray.

Mobile paid search is great for building customer awareness. But that’s not the end of the story

Andrew Warren Payne, senior consultant for ClickZ Intelligence, presented some of the findings from the State of Digital Advertising survey, conducted at the end of last year among more than 500 brand and agency advertisers.

Payne explained that according to the survey, when it comes to paid search, although mobile is effective across the customer purchase journey, ROI is harder to get from mobile than it is from desktop.

Fifty-nine per cent of advertisers rated mobile advertising as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ for creating brand awareness, and 44% gave the same rating for bottom of funnel or conversion.

However, while 54% of advertisers rated with ROI from desktop paid search as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, just 42% rated their ROI from mobile paid search as highly.

It’s certain that the future is mobile, but as advertisers beef up their cross-channel capabilities, we may start to see its ability to deliver ROI on the upswing. Let’s see what the figures tell us this time next year.


ClickZ Intelligence’s report State of Digital Advertising 2017, created in partnership with Marin Software, is available now. Click here to download your complimentary copy.

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