Paid-search spend continues to decline. Some would rather hear that "growth continues to slow." Okay, whatever works for you. Although that's a true statement, some of the marketing budget that historically would get reinvested into search continues to find its way into more personalized media such as email and display.
Remember that eMarketer reported that for the first time display would outpace search in 2016. Not based on seasonality, but because marketers find that data -- even search data -- can support a variety of other media and produce high, and sometimes higher, return on investments.
This year marketers will advertise and market to people, not devices using mobile search query, psychographic, wearable device, and location-based data, to name a few resources.
Rethinking search requires thinking about how the technology will become the platform and not the media. The platform to pull in information before the person asks for it, and before they become aware ithat t's important. It may seem a little creepy, but search will pull in the data across platforms and devices to serve information at the perfect moment, personalizing the experience.
On Thursday Mobiquity Networks announced a partnership with Screenvision to install beacons in 300 movie theater complexes and nearly 2,500 screens nationwide to enable movie studios and related brands to target location-based campaigns directly to moviegoers on their mobile devices before and after the show. (Movie theaters are not the only buildings installing these. It's happening in retail stores, too.)
Sometimes these movie theaters are in a mall or near your favorite retail stores. You might have searched for information about a dress or shirt days prior, but it was too expensive, so you closed the desktop browser and continued with your day. Now the merchandising platform connected to the retailer's Web site alerts you that it's on sale. You're two doors away. A message pops up on your smartphone as you leave the movie theater. So you stop in to Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdale's to try it on.
Personalization becomes the tool this year. One of the major topics marketers will focus on in 2016 is recognizing specific audiences across devices, according to a study published this week by the Data Center of Excellence. In fact, nearly 70% will focus on this topic. The online survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, with help from Winterberry Group, aggregates responses from 120 IAB special-interest council members.
Sophisticated analytics and modeling will help marketers achieve this goal. Some 52.2% will focus on analytics and modeling, while 48.9% will focus on better reporting and measurement, according to the study.
The details will mostly come from first-party data and support from companies like Criteo, Magnetic, Simplifi, and Yieldbot. About 16.3% who participated in the IAB study say they will focus this year on new data source from psychographic and wearable devices.
The technology exists. Companies just need to piece it together.
Personalization, of any type, must be based on permission to be effective. It's not personable if it can't happen. Many mobile users will turn off the "alert" function to prevent mobile spam intrusion. On the other hand, pure search allows the user to control the when and why the sentiment moment is initiated. If paid search campaigns are designed properly, growth is still in the equation. The quest for the buy and need moment is part of the human DNA. True search meets a need rather than being a target of a "feed."