Search Investments Rise On Mobile, Voice, Gesture

by , Apr 9, 2012, 1:53 PM
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SearchMarketers will spend nearly $33.8 billion in 2012 for search engine marketing -- up from approximately $29.7 billion, according to a study from GroupM released Monday.

The breakdown of investments in search engine marketing this year includes $16.6 billion in North America, compared to nearly $8.4 billion in Western Europe, about $1.3 billion in central and Eastern Europe, and $7.4 billion in Asia-Pacific.

How much and how soon can we attribute any of these dollars to voice search? It might be too soon to tell, but deep in a report released by GroupM titled Interaction 2012 that estimates the amount companies will invest in online advertising media like search, display ads and "algorithmic tweaks" designed to address social triggers in search results, there is an insight that reveals the future and the possibilities of voice-activated search.

It reads: "Machine learning now has a voice, if lacking perfect pitch so far. The potential of voice and gesture cannot be understated. It's the most natural of all communication interfaces and it seems inevitable that these will replace physical interfaces over time."

There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to search marketing powered by voice and gesture, such as the future of keywords. Will search lead to the end of keywords and how search marketers market in a keyword-less world? This is a topic that Kenshoo CMO Aaron Goldman's panel will debate at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit, following a presentation by Evi Founder William Tunstall-Pedoe. 

How does voice influence mobile search? While the industy has yet to analyze all answers, the GroupM study points to China and India as the world's two largest mobile markets, followed by Indonesia and India.

The study states that Microsoft in mobile has placed large bets on the acquisition of Skype and a partnership with Nokia to supply devices with the Windows Mobile Operating System. It's all to compete with "the Apple and Android grip on the smartphone market and the ad revenue that accompanies it would be a feat of marketing and engineering. 2012 functionality of Nokia's new Lumia range (and other Windows partners like HTC) will probably determine if the iOS/Android duopoly -- around 60% of the smartphone operating system market -- is vulnerable."

Mobile search will only continue to gain in strength. The GroupM study estimates overall mobile at $12 billion of advertising revenue this year worldwide as a result of device penetration, the ability to always have it available, and its close-to-the-point-of-sale business model. There's also a lack of "advertising clutter" on these devices that people check more than a few times daily.

How many times do you check content on your mobile device hourly?

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