In the past two months I have bought several items through the Amazon marketplace by entering a non-branded keyword to search on the site. In both instances the brands were new to me and I purchased both products, but when the items failed to arrive for one reason or another, I received a credit for each.
My experience leads me to question whether Amazon can handle its growth. Numerous consumer surveys in 2018 suggest that more online shoppers in the U.S. now begin their product search on Amazon. An eMarketer article points to a few.
The Adeptmind survey, published in May 2018, suggests that 46.7% started their product search on Amazon compared with 34.6% who went to Google first.
In 2019, I believe Amazon will struggle with growth and we will begin to see an increase of product searches begin on Amazon compared with Google and Bing. Consumers will place the orders, but Amazon and the merchants that sell products on its marketplace will not have the capacity to fulfill them.
Andy Gallagher, domain lead in media and digital at Kantar Germany, calls Amazon “the archetypal disruptive brand” in the consulting firm's recently released report, which outlines its analysts’ predictions of 12 key media trends for 2019.
All 12 predictions apply to search advertising and marketing in one way or another, but in this commentary I will just highlight a few.
These predictions range from how advanced analytics and artificial intelligence will solve the challenges of integrating online with offline and using voice technology in creative planning, to creating new types of experiences such as combing attitudinal insights with predictive modeling to make programmatic buying more flexible and accurate.
Brands will find their voice in 2019, predicts Jane Ostler, global head of media and insights at Kantar. She predicts that technology like smart speakers, connected in-car entertainment and formats like podcasts, voice search and voice assistants will create new opportunities for marketers -- but the challenge of how to develop an approach for sonic logos, taglines, and mnemonics remains.
Voice will require companies to merge traditional marketing silos with customer service. Trust in brands will become even more important to determine the companies that move to the top of the list.
Alexa and others will begin to be integrated into in-car entertainment and dumb objects such as the kitchen microwave. Voice also will be used more as a market research tool to answer questions, review experiences and submit product reviews.
As voice grows in acceptance, Ostler expects new jobs to be created such as an audio influencer, a sponsored voice assistant, or the voice of branded audio content.
For search marketers, voice will likely require additional skills in other media with an expertise on cross-channel marketing and advertising.
In my opinion, we typically think of search marketers delving into social media or mobile advertisers as having much more experience, but marketers that want an expertise in voice also will need to know more about media such as programmatic and technologies such as artificial intelligence.
This is how brands will create exponential experiences, according to Niels Neudecker, vice president of brand experience management at Kantar and Maura Caracini, head of media and digital in Brazil at Kantar. They believe media managers will turn into network managers and will create an integrated experience across all ways consumers interact with brands and businesses.