Marketers in North America spent nearly $16.6 billion on search engine marketing in 2012, with several milestones influencing media and advertising in 2013, according to GroupM. The agency expects that number to rise to nearly $18.6 billion this year.
The report points to a year of milestones in 2012 that will influence search engine marketing this year. The hundred billionth downloaded app, the billionth Facebook user, the billionth smartphone sold, the billionth mobile broadband subscription, the sale of the 100 millionth iPad, and the fact that several markets experienced more mobile searches than desktop will have a huge impact on search engine marketing this year.
Mobile and local searches are quickly becoming the dominant tool to discover products and services. That data from location and consumer behavior will become the best signal for consumer intent for both a typed search and verbal query.
New players also entered the space -- namely Facebook -- and sites like Amazon and eBay continue to show brands like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's the techniques required to combine images and text to produce the best of both worlds.
As the report points out, paid search accounts for a large part of online ad investments, and "search engines are hardly intended to detain the user," but rather direct the consumer to a landing page for more information. What happens when Google begins to process ecommerce and m-commerce orders from its search engine on desktop and mobile? It already allows consumers to search some brand Web sites from the engine.
Google's switch to Enhanced Campaigns, where tablet targeting gets lumped into laptops, also continues to influence the services that agencies offer. The Search Agency this week released information on a service that ports old AdWords campaigns into the new system. Keith Wilson, VP of agency products at The Search Agency, said many advertisers rely on technology to drive their business activities, which is valuable, but technology is an enabler. "Advertisers need to have the right foundation and account segmentation within their paid-search account, such as granular segmentation of keywords based on unique audience intent) to best align behaviors," he said. "With Enhanced Campaigns, Google is changing the way advertisers approach campaign and keyword account structure, so advertisers must re-architect the organization to properly deliver an intent-aligned ad creative and landing page."
Global Internet ad spending rose 16.2% to $99 billion -- representing 19.5% of investments on ads, according the GroupM report. The agency expects ad spending this year to reach $113.5 billion. North America contributed an estimated $38.3 billion; Asia-Pacific, $30.6 billion; and Western Europe, $24.1 billion, according to the This Year, Next Year: Interaction 2013 study.
What events do you think will influence search engine marketing most this year?