Marketing Briefing: Google Antitrust Case Ends, Marketers Consider the Future of Paid Search Ad Spending

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The impact on paid search may be unclear, but marketers and agency executives say regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, the future of search will become more fragmented and brands will need to adapt to changing consumer search trends. I think we need to adapt.

“The biggest impact on the future of search is the need for advertisers to learn and become experts on platforms other than Google,” says Mark Himmelsbach, founding partner at brand experience agency Episode Four. he said, adding that younger consumers are using platforms such as: Search for TikTok, Reddit, and Snapchat will continue to encourage marketers to diversify.

While marketers aren’t too worried about the lawsuit and its potential consequences (agency executives say they’ve heard little about it from their clients), they’re paying more attention to their paid search efforts. I feel like I’m paying for it. this year. That increased attention is coming in the form of higher spending and further consideration of testing budgets across a variety of platforms other than Google, agency leaders said.

There are several reasons for this. Some of our clients have seen a decline in organic search traffic this year (given changes in search such as the surge in the use of generative AI) and are increasing their investment in paid advertising to offset that decline. Other marketers are ramping up their e-commerce efforts to drive more consumers to their sites than ever before, turning to paid search this year to drive traffic and overcome challenges. I decided to increase my investment. Investments in this area vary by client and agency.

“We’re seeing an alarming drop in direct traffic and organic search traffic,” said Jeremy Witt, executive media director at Hanson Dodge. “So we’ve had to rely more on paid.” When asked to estimate the increase in client spending, Whitt said that if last year’s client search spend was 20%, this year He said it would likely be closer to 25% to 30% of the client’s budget.

The focus on paid search is not just about increased ad spend. Agency executives are recommending increasing search testing budgets to diversify ad spending. Some executives suggest that customers try platforms that may have underperformed in the past but have made improvements and shown promising results. One example is Microsoft’s Bing, which has “upped its game” with an expanded network and promising placements, according to Valerie Schlosser, director of connections in VML’s paid search group. is.

Other executives believe search is becoming increasingly fragmented and should no longer be viewed as a platform-specific media channel, but as a consumer behavior function that brands need to follow and adapt across platforms. There is.of Growth in search on platforms like TikTok (Even if the future of TikTok is questionable.) And Reddit in particular means marketers need to test their search budgets there, too.

“The appetite for testing is very strong,” said John Morgenstern, investment director at VaynerMedia, noting that clients are allocating budget for testing, but not at the expense of Google Search. .

TikTok has been the main focus for marketers when it comes to testing new search channels, but this ban could change that.

“I don’t think the Google case is causing much worry in the advertising industry, but I think the fate of TikTok will have a lot to do with the future of search,” said Stephen Fry, director of integrated media. Currently being planned by Media by Mother. “As younger generations become increasingly tired of Google, new avenues will inevitably emerge.” [through] People seeking information. Reddit has become a variation of this, and TikTok is also starting to join search behavior around the web. ”

Frey continued: “Now that the future of TikTok is uncertain, the future of search is even more uncertain. Will Google be able to maintain the relevance and credibility of its platform? Or will Google continue to monetize the search process as much as possible? As we continue, will people find better alternatives?”

This year’s marketing environment is very different from last year. How have you adapted as a brand?

We strive for balance across the marketing funnel. Sometimes people can get into a place where they’re focused on the bottom funnel, but they’re not feeding the top. We strive for a balance between brand and performance marketing. In fact, we’ve been doing it for a while. We saw the tide turning a little earlier and slowly and gradually we focused on it. Again, this is not something you can set and forget. What previously held balance has shifted and can change. So we’re constantly monitoring what it’s like and what it means to us.

It took a while, but Google’s deprecation of third-party cookies now affects at least 1% of Chrome browsers. What action plan does Cricket have in place in light of these changes?

Everyone is looking for the million dollar answer that will help us all. I’m not going to give away all of our secret sauce, but I will tell you that we’ve been preparing for this for a while. We’ve been testing other methods of targeting to enhance your campaigns. We’ve been looking at various opportunities to enhance the way we measure our campaigns. Retiring cookies will not only impact how you target and reach, but also how you can effectively measure your campaigns. The other is to work with Google and our partners to see what we can do to better prepare for that future.

What is your display strategy?

We’ve already talked about how to properly measure display, because it’s not only where a lot of targeting happens, but also the role it plays in the consumer journey. Typically, when you’re on the display channel, you’re not necessarily actively ready to buy. You need to evaluate and rate that particular channel based on how your consumers use it. That’s what ultimately matters. In addition to some cookie-based targeting, there are other types of targeting.Might need to go back and reconsider some of them [traditional targeting tactics] Let’s take a look at how you can continue to invest in your channel in other ways while leveraging what you’ve homegrown in the past. While it may not necessarily drive lower-funnel results, it can play an important role in mid-to-upper funnel goals.

The approaches are different and the ways to measure it are different. Because it’s still a very important part of the consumer journey. Eliminating this ultimately results in missed opportunities to reach and connect with consumers as they progress through their purchase journey. — Kimeko McCoy

In terms of numbers

The role of the CMO has changed, to say the least. Economic pressures have allowed marketers to do more with less. Meanwhile, expectations about what marketing professionals have to offer continue to rise. In fact, CMOs continue to take on broader responsibilities in their roles, including overseeing things like marketing and communications. According to new research from the Spencer Stewart consulting firm.. For more information, please see the report below.

  • When companies seek an external CMO, they are now actively considering candidates from across industries.43%Of the Fortune 500 CMOs hired externally in 2023, more 37%In 2022.
  • By 2023, women will have achieved parity with men and will hold half of all CMO positions at Fortune 500 companies.47%In 2022.
  • However, CMO representation of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups decreased slightly.14%By 202212%In 2023. — Kimeko McCoy

This week’s quote

“I always thought that the pharmaceutical industry was a few steps behind as an industry…We were coming into line with the industry. [consumer brands]As more and more brave clients emerge. ”

— Tim Jones, Executive Creative Director, Klick Health When asked about how pharma brands are now starting to embrace influencer marketing..

What we covered

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“This is another elegant expansion!!”
“There’s a sense from agency sources that marketers are paying more attention to their paid search efforts this year…”
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