Matt Bush, Google's Director of Agency Performance, explains why the IPA Search Certificate is crucial in a rapidly evolving age.
The last decade has been extraordinary for marketing and for the people who work in it.
In my case, it has taken me from a new graduate at a traditional media company to the crazily-paced and complex world of search marketing where I’m now Director of Agency Performance at Google.
OK, so there were a few false starts along the way, as the lure of the new (and the pay rise) led me from a start-up to The Guardian to Northcliffe.
It was only when I joined VNU that I discovered digital and became fascinated by it – so I stayed put for a while until a few years later an offer from Google came along.
What I love about performance marketing is the pace at which it's evolving.
Tech savvy companies around the world are building incredibly sophisticated products that can help companies take advantage of new opportunities in the digital space.
We’re working closely with our advertisers to cut through complexity and help them to understand how search can work for their business.
The future of search is tremendously exciting and, for me, three opportunities really stand out.
1) Fully unlocking mobile and making it absolutely central to marketing communications.
Think of the power of mobile devices to give advertisers rich contextual signals that can make marketing messages more relevant and useful than ever before. The potential of this is enormous for delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.
2) The decreasing gap between online and offline, led broadly by performance marketing.
Increasingly we’re seeing digital drive offline behaviour - from consumers looking for store locations on the go to ‘webrooming’ and the like. And we’re getting better and better at measuring these interactions. Performance is driving new ideas right across marketing - even brand campaigns are using search to amplify their success.
3) The way search is evolving from demand to suggest.
Look at personal assistants like Google Now and Siri, which try to predict what you want before you want it. When I’m about to board a flight, Google Now automatically surfaces my boarding pass before I have to search for it. It’s only at the early testing phase as a marketing channel but once we understand how consumers are using it, the opportunity for marketing to add value for the user is huge.
Staying on top of this whirlwind of change is tricky. Luckily, I have a phenomenal team to help me. I also read as much as I can, from Google News to Business Insider and TechCrunch. It helps that I’m a bit of a geek, who just loves all this stuff.
This market is changing faster than ever before and the pace will only accelerate.
My advice for anyone starting out in performance marketing, or marketing generally, is to take charge of your own development and learn from as many people and sources as you can.
It’s important in any marketing role to understand the bigger picture and where your job fits into it.
Stay open minded, keep learning, and push the boundaries of what you think is possible – success in this new world requires thinking way outside of the box.
That’s how you add value and how you succeed.
Matt Bush is Director of Agency Performance at Google.
Future-proof yourself - develop your search engine marketing skills with IPA Search Certificate.
Last updated 07/05/2015