Blog post

Search Marketing’s Next Hurrah

By Anna Maria Virzi | August 23, 2018 | 1 Comment

MarketingDigital Marketing Strategy and Execution

Twenty years ago,  Google was founded, disrupting marketing’s playbook. Seemingly overnight, marketing leaders needed specialists to help them figure out how to incorporate search advertising into their media mix and how to optimize their websites so they’d rank high in organic search engine results.

Fast forward to today. Marketing leaders still wrestle with search marketing but for different reasons. Trouble is, many marketers regard search as the medium it was rather than the medium it is (and will become). A set-it-and-forget-it approach to search means that some brands emphasize a handful of brand and category-specific campaigns and activities, focusing on journeys that are indifferent to the context, method and intent of search. Little work has been done to map the actual, and potential place of search in their audiences’ journeys. As a result, marketers miss out on key opportunities to engage via search.

Gartner research and L2 Digital IQ data and know-how can help you burst out of your search bubble, understanding the key shifts in search, and offering valuable perspective on the competitive landscape in search across a number of industries. To kick start your search marketing re-think, here are some developments to consider when approaching the discipline of search marketing:

The Growth of Voice Search

Marketers need to adapt to how people are using voice search on their mobile phones and virtual personal assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home) to learn about products and services. According to comScore, half of smartphone users engage with voice technology on their device.

Visual Search Redefined

This also has the power to change the way consumers gather information and shop. Here, Pinterest has its Lens visual search tool and Snapchat is said to be teaming up with Amazon to develop a visual-search feature.

Paid Search – Beyond the Traditional Search Engine

While marketing leaders continue to buy media on Google and Facebook, they are seeking other options. Among them: Amazon, which has grown its advertising business, going from about $580 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2017 to about $2 billion during the same period in 2018.


If you’re a Gartner client, see: “What Search Advertising’s Evolution Means to Multichannel Marketing” by Mike McGuire and Ewan McIntyre for additional context and recommendations. Also, see “Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising 2018″ for an innovation profile on visual search for marketing.


The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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1 Comment

  • To achieve the position in voice search, you need to build two things, conversational oriented content and citation on trusted sources.

    Having 100% completed profiles on GMB, FB & citation sources will be helpful to position your website for voice search ecosystems.