Google was once the tried and true place for consumers and search marketers alike, where they  spent the majority of their shopping and advertising budget. But as digital marketing has evolved, Google has undergone its own evolution of search marketing capabilities. Eric Frazzano, Code3’s Director of Search, is sharing his POVs of what modern search means today, and how brands should keep up.

What is Modern Search?

To me, modern search is all about preparing and structuring your digital marketing campaigns to work seamlessly with the latest technology. I would describe modern search as leaning into the trends we know will be sticking around, like automation on Google and leveraging their AI tools.

One significant trend in modern search is the consolidation of campaigns. In the past, accounts were often segmented based on various factors like device, audience, and keyword type. However, the game has changed, with platforms like Google favoring consolidated structures. This approach allows the platform to leverage insights and adjust strategies dynamically.

Another key aspect of modern search is the move towards dynamic ad units. Rather than creating multiple ad variations manually, marketers now input multiple headlines and descriptions, allowing platforms to determine the most effective combinations for each user dynamically.

Moreover, modern search extends beyond traditional text ads. Platforms like Google are expanding their offerings to include connected TV, YouTube, Gmail, and more, providing marketers with opportunities to engage users across multiple touchpoints. Historically we’ve thought of Google as just search and bottom of the funnel strategies, however, they now have campaign types to fit the entire funnel, allowing marketers to reach consumers at each phase of their buying journey on Google alone. This is a huge evolution and one brands should be considering when setting  their overall marketing strategy.

Implications for Marketers

The shift towards automation in modern search means that search marketers have to evolve in our role, too. When I began my career, a lot of tasks were manual, such as bid management and performance analysis. I spent a lot of time in Excel! These types of tasks are now automated, and while this can seem scary, the evolution frees up marketers to focus on higher-level strategy and creativity.

For marketers accustomed to the hands-on approach of the past, embracing automation may require a mindset shift. Instead of manually adjusting bids and analyzing performance metrics, the focus should be on providing the right inputs to optimize automated systems effectively to obtain the outputs desired by clients.

Modern Search Strategies for Success

So, what can brands do to align with modern search and capitalize on these trends? If you can only implement one aspect of modern search into your current strategies, adjusting bid strategies can have a significant impact. By adopting portfolio strategies that consolidate campaigns and aggregate data, brands can provide platforms like Google with more data points for optimization.

Additionally, staying abreast of emerging technologies is crucial. One recent feature I’ve been excited about recently is Google's personalized shopping tools, which allow users to receive more relevant ads and search results based on their preferences. Although not every technology is a perfect fit for every brand, Identifying ways to test and use tools when possible is critical.

Looking to the future, it’s no surprise that automation will continue to play a central role in search marketing. As platforms like Google introduce AI-driven capabilities like automated ad copy generation, marketers must innovate and find creative ways to leverage these tools effectively.

Modern search represents a paradigm shift in digital marketing, driven by automation and AI technologies. Marketers must adapt their strategies accordingly to align with these trends, focusing on consolidation, dynamic ad units, and emerging technologies like personalized shopping tools.

By embracing automation and staying ahead of the curve, brands - and marketers alike - can position themselves for success in the ever-evolving landscape of modern search.

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