In the early days of paid search, when there was a time that Google, Yahoo and MSN had equal shares of the search market, advertisers and search marketers operated without 3rd party agencies, wished that search engine editors could scale keyword relevancy reviews, and were hopeful of the promise of semantic technology. The complexity of a search marketer’s world 15 years ago was centered on building the right keyword lists. Think how simple that world was, a world without native, content creation, retargeting, programmatic display, and social media. Today, all these elements can fall under the required scope and management of a search marketer. How their world has changed. Today, search marketers have more and more diverse responsibilities, especially search analysts inside agencies. The narrow label of “search analyst” is fitting less and less, as “media buying strategist” is becoming more appropriate. What’s brought search analysts to this point?
As programmatic buying drives more and more of display advertising buying, display will continue to gain credit for conversions at all stages. This growth will lead search engine marketers to become more knowledgeable about their clients’ overall advertising strategy, and the scope of search analysts will increasingly cover social and display-buying responsibilities. Full-funnel optimization will necessitate that search buyers become full buyers, understanding all the non-search factors that influence search results. As campaigns increasingly run as multi-platform and multi-channel, and as agency teams become integrated and organized around programmatic buying, search specialists will return to their perch atop the media buying pecking order.
And ad tech solutions that align with role will find themselves on media buying schedules.