As the digital landscape continues to evolve at breakneck speed, the focus is often on new platforms and technologies. And while it’s also changing and developing, search remains at the heart of all digital activity. Search Advertising Lead at Bing, James Murray, believes search has never been more exciting and will be speaking at the International Search Summit in May to share insights from the search engine to help support international search campaigns and improve global performance. Ahead of the event, we spoke to James to understand why search is a good place to be.
What is your favourite part of your role at Bing?
The best part of my job is coming to conferences just like the International Search Summit to speak to a bunch of nice people and share some cool stories. Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions we have and I love sharing some of the amazing stories that Bing has to tell, and watching people as those stories excite, educate or inspire them. It’s also great to watch other presenters tell their stories. Events like these are as much about learning for me as they are about getting across our message.
Why is search an exciting space at the moment?
There are so many things to be excited about with search right now. I think we are at a pivotal moment in our industry where search in five years will be unrecognisable from what we think of as search today. I’m really excited about the new device forms like wearables and the internet of things, the application of voice search and the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence. With these factors combined we are moving closer to the reality of a search engine that can truly understand our needs as searchers and give us contextually relevant information wherever we are, whenever we need it and in some cases before we’ve even asked for it. That is a wonderfully exciting prospect.
There is more data available to marketers than ever before – what are the biggest opportunities and challenges that come with that?
The biggest challenge with data is always how to make use of it. Data can be overwhelming and I think a lot of marketers struggle to make the best use of what they have. Added to this there is a perception that they need more data, even if they can’t make use of the stuff they already own. The opportunity to me is in level setting and making small but meaningful steps to effectively utilise the data that is already there. I am always amazed for example at the number of agencies and advertisers who don’t utilise simple functionality on Bing Ads, like the ability to increase your bid on tablet. The data is readily available for you to test modifying your tablet bids to see if search campaigns will perform better. Small changes can have profound effects.
When it comes to international campaigns, understanding trends and behaviours of each target market is vital to success – what information is available and how should businesses use it?
I think hopefully we are moving away from the days were marketers had a “one-size fits all” approach to search and hoped for the best by simply mirroring campaigns from key markets into other international markets. The data that is available now means that the only barrier to entry is time, so for those marketers willing to invest the effort in optimisation in a specific region, the rewards are there to be had.
What will people learn from your ISS session?
My session is going to focus on some of the ways we see search changing at Bing, as well as the cultural nuances that can have an effect on a campaign’s effectiveness in different markets. We have some great anecdotes and case studies to share which I hope the audience will find interesting and insightful with some key takeaways to enhance their search campaigns.
And why should marketers attend the International Search Summit?
People should come to learn and to broaden their horizons. Search is an incredibly generous industry to work in, where people are generally much more open and collaborative than in other marketing disciplines. There is a real opportunity to meet some fascinating people and absorb knowledge from some of the brightest people in our industry.
Early Bird rates for International Search Summit London are still available, expiring on 23rd March. It promises to be a fantastic day, full of insights, tips and tactics to support global marketers. Check out the full list of speakers and sessions and save 15% with code webcertain16
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