From Search to Searchers: Bing Ads' 2016 predictions

by: on 09 December 2015

Bing Ads’ UK Sales Director, Ravleen Beeston, looks back at top Marketing trade buzzwords searched for in 2015, and also provides insights into industry predictions for 2016.

"To stay competitive, understanding how best to utilise search within the marketing mix and leveraging insights from this channel will be vital in 2016."

2015 saw the coming together of two worlds in the industry, technology and advertising. With these two words in mind, it also led to one word being mentioned by the majority of marketers’: Data. More importantly, marketers in 2015 were faced with the challenge of reaching the consumer at the right time with the right content and on the right device. As we move into 2016, the sad thing is that these challenges aren’t going to go away any time soon. The key is to figure out how consumers want to be engaged with in each of their different environments and to really understand the consumer's decision journey and path of intent more important than ever before. 

Bing’s end of year trends research revealed that ‘Augmented Reality’ was the most searched industry buzzword across the UK in 2015. This was closely followed by ‘Real-time’ and ‘Personalisation’. As the value of consumer engagement increases, the expectation from brands continues to rise. As a result, marketers are looking towards the proliferation of touch points for new opportunities to challenge themselves and the true meaning of engagement for brands.

Top 5 industry buzzwords searched for in 2015:

1.     Augmented Reality

2.     Real-time

3.     Personalisation

4.     Content marketing

5.     Social marketing

Looking back at what the UK marketing world has been searching for in 2015, alongside insights from conversations with our customers and partners, we’ve grouped together six predictions for 2016:

1.     Search media spend will surpass TV in 2016. Search accounted for the second highest digital ad spend channel in 2015, with 22 percent of all digital media spend (IAB). As the industry sector is predicted to grow, 2016 will see Search surpass TV budgets.

To stay competitive, understanding how best to utilise search within the marketing mix and leveraging insights from this channel will be vital.

2.     Search goes far beyond the box: 2016 will see marketers recognise the ubiquitous nature of Search. Search will permeate more devices and services than ever before. It will also become smarter and more important as a source of consumer engagement and comprehension.

3.     Mobile is not solely about mobility: Mobile will no longer be part of the marketing strategy. It will be the marketing strategy. Consumers prefer to use their mobile device even when not on the move because their digital experience is convenient and more personalised than on the desktop. Marketers should consider how desktop supplements the mobile experience, not the other way round.

Cross device attribution is important in understanding how the two mediums work hand-in-hand to operate effectively.

4.     Voice search drives new behaviours and understanding for marketers: The adoption of voice recognition and gesture control demonstrates that consumers today don’t want to rely on typing; they expect to interact with information in more natural ways. As a result, 2016 will see new search behaviours emerge, focused on the conversational nature that voice search supports. With digital personal assistants already in pockets, we’re bound to see wider audiences adapting behaviour to utilise this new technology.

5.     Marketing strategies driven by search intelligence: 2016 will see search data deliver valuable business intelligence from the spectrum of online interactions to inform marketing strategies. It’s about understanding intent and being empowered to seed the right message, to the right audience, and at the right time. This can be taken a step further by using this intelligence to inform wider business strategy. Unlock the potential of search data.

6.     Using data to predict outcome: Search engines are the database of intent. And social networks are the depository of sentiments. Search engines have developed the ability to process, analyse and understand these two information sets together in order to predict intent for future events. 

2016 will see industry leading companies using data to not only understand consumer behaviour now, but intent for the future. This will enable more meaningful connections across platforms.


By Ravleen Beeston, UK Sales Director at Bing Ads