Forbes: Google’s Search Dominance Is Fracturing: Here’s How Marketers Can Seize The Opportunity

Performance marketing has taken center stage in virtually all marketing agendas—at least judging by the CMO search specs that continue to hit my email box. With continuous pressure from Wall Street and non-stop heat from competitors, pretty much all firms are looking to their marketing leaders to drive growth—and fast. Just look at the rise of the “Chief Growth Officer” title, especially among companies that aren’t growing enough. Search marketing has typically been a major engine of growth in that performance effort—and will likely continue to be for some time to come.

Like most areas of marketing, search has undergone changes that marketers must understand and harness in order to deliver on the lofty growth aspirations held by bosses and boards. To get a handle on what’s new and vital in the world of search, I spoke with search expert Dominic Joseph, CEO of Captify – a leading global search intelligence company.

Peter Horst: So, what’s new and changing in the world of search that CMOs need to be aware of?

Dominic Joseph: Everyone understands the value of search. It’s the most explicit form of consumer intent, revealing what people are looking for, when and where. It’s a huge driver of advertising revenues, taking spend away from other sectors. The biggest problem in search is the fact that with Google dominating the field, there’s been stagnation in terms of innovation. Competitors gave up on the space and the area got fairly mundane and boring because of the dominance of Google.

More recently we’ve seen a breakup of this dominance, led by consumer behaviour as they’re starting to looking at things in a different ways outside of using search engines, like using voice and trusting partners they have a established relationships with., not just using search engines. We’re seeing the rise of vertical search, a major shift in the entire sector: consumers are trusting the search results of publishers that they know and have built a relationship with. For instance, if I’m planning a holiday, maybe the first search is with Google, but then I’ll go to verticals like hotels.com, or booking.com. The search function in those venues has improved over time. The whole sector is breaking up.

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