Following the release of our PPC Bid Management Technologies Buyer’s Guide, we’re continuing to share some of the insights that those working in the field provided us with in the run up to the guide.

Last time we shared 18 key tips for companies considering bid management technology from our contributors. For this post we share answers to the question, “What are the most important trends occurring in the bid management technology market?” 

Peter Woolston, Keybroker

Continual commoditisation of bid management logic within Google’s standard functionality means that merchants must be looking to innovate with search marketing in 2012 in order to compete favourably.

We believe that the greatest opportunity for growing sales and profits lies in a much closer integration of advertising with merchandising, not simply to use Google as a signpost to its website, but as a dynamic shop window of its bestselling and most profitable merchandise.

Ollie Bath, IgnitionOne

Mobile search is a highly valuable and under utilised channel. The number of queries on mobiles and tablets are growing quickly and CPCs are typically lower, making mobile search a great investment.

Based on our current 2012 growth figures and the exponential increase of smartphones, tablets and resulting traffic we forecast that mobile and tablet spend will account for 12 to 18 percent of all search spend by the end of 2012.

According to a marketing attribution report recently published by Econsultancy, only 14% of their participating respondents consider last-click analysis to be “very effective.” Yet over 50% of them are still using last click measurement. As marketers become more savvy, media-mix modeling and custom attribution strategies will play more of an important role in how budgets are allocated across channel and intra-channel….the limitation of tech is not the issue but rather the lack of skilled analytical people who understand attribution.

Mark Batson, Intelligent Reach

Merchants are less inclined to run trials with new activity than they were a few years ago. Where previously pioneering new activity and being ‘the first’ were a great attraction for merchants, it’s now superseded completely by the necessity to prove a profitable return, as efficiency and cost reduction become ever more the core focus of a business.

Chris Camacho, Starcom MediaVest

PPC technology continues to evolve and the next stage of that process will bring greater integration of other biddable channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and DSPs. Technology providers are also becoming increasingly sophisticated in dynamically changing and optimising campaigns based on different attribution models, be it first click, last click, U-shape or equal distribution.

This move towards a more holistic and accountable form of multichannel marketing will only benefit advertisers as they are able to gain more precise data and see “real-time” exactly what they are getting for their buck.

Jonathan Beeston, Adobe

While there’s still growth in desktop PPC, mobile and tablet search volumes are growing dramatically.  Both have different characteristics to desktop: mobile tends to have lower CPCs but doesn’t convert so well, tablet is similarly priced to desktop but can sometimes convert even better.

Also understanding PPC’s place within the buyer funnel is more important than ever. Many advertisers are running ad campaigns on Facebook and display channels and want to understand how that influences buyer behaviour. Unifying the management, tracking and optimisation of all those channels is key. Advertisers are demanding that capability, rather than running channels in budgetary and technological silos.

Karl Knights, Kenshoo

I think the biggest trend for 2012 will be integration. With multiple new channels emerging, marketers will want to consolidate all their activity into one platform and see the impact of various campaigns on the bottom line and give proper attribution to each advert. Armed with the full integrated picture, marketers can better make investment decisions and optimisations within individual channels.

Another key trend will be greater monetisation of social. Word of mouth marketing has taken on a whole new meaning with social media; and technology is now able to help us identify what the value of a Facebook fan could be or that of a Twitter follower. Accordingly, companies will be looking out for better tools to manage, optimise and prove value of their social campaigns.

Robin Davies, Mediaplex

For some time now, the Cross Channel Tracking platforms out there have already had bid management tools as part of their marketing stack offering.  We are now seeing the point solution platforms partnering up with other technology point solution vendors to compete with the marketing stacks out there in the market place.

Paul Shearing, Search Laboratory

The PPC market landscape is ever changing and nowadays bid PPC technology is required to manage campaigns on a far larger scale. Campaigns are more split out, have more targeting options and there are new devices to consider such as mobiles and tablets.

Campaign management is far more complex and thus there is an increased need for technology that is simple to set up, easy to use and effective at managing keywords with low volumes of conversion data.

Lee Brignell-Cash, FusePump

Agencies are “tooling” up as they also need to invest more and more in technology to retain a value proposition. Otherwise clients will take more management in house and utilize tools to do this. Martin Sorrell’s joint venture with Infosys is proof of this.

Ed Stevenson, Marin Software

A big trend in the search market has been advertisers looking to optimise search based on offline conversions. There has been a lot of talk over the years about integrating the online and offline experience, but in search and bid management terms this is now a reality. As a result of bid management integrations with call tracking vendors and online couponing analytics platforms, advertisers can now attribute and optimise search spend based on conversions happening over the phone or in-store.

Laurent Boninfante, Acquisio

The most significant trend is the rise of mobile advertising. As we are increasingly untethered from the desktop by the advances of smart phone and mobile technology, those that can fully harness this for PPC will increase their business edge. It is a rapidly growing area and taking a lot of our clients’ mindshare. But I would also say that there are a lot of “walking dead” tech companies in this sector who have been surviving since 1999-2000 era, waiting for the year of mobile to finally arrive.

It may be hard for them to secure additional financing, unfortunately. Also, mobile advertising is a very loose term that often includes a lot of very different forms of advertising and blending them all together is misleading.

Your thoughts?

What do you think are the most significant trends within bid management technology? How will the market change for both clients and vendors? And do you think there are any threats from the search engines?

Share your views below.