Paid search has been an important channel in a comprehensive marketing strategy for years now.

But we’ve also seen some major shifts in the way that PPC works, and as with most technological things, the pace of change isn’t slowing anytime soon.

After all, every bit of advertising drives interest and awareness with the potential to lead to a query on a search engine that paid search can then convert.

Like a net at the bottom of your entire media portfolio, search engine marketing is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year to capture demand and route it to your best landing pages.

The near future

The near future is all about automation. To get remarkable results in paid search, or any biddable media channel, automation is essential.

Anyone who works in the marketing industry will probably be a bit unimpressed by the mention of this technology by now. But machine learning will, eventually, change the game for paid search.

One day, machine will be able to make better decisions than humans about bidding, targeting, and even ad copy.

A lot of this hinges on the progress of deep learning, a type of machine learning which imitates the way the human brain learns by creating neural networks.

Amazon Will Move into the Space

More marketers are beginning to purchase ad space on Amazon. The audience there is broadening, and it’s currently cheaper to market on Amazon than it is to advertise on Google.

Now is the time for you to consider making the shift for your own business.

Particularly if you offer goods or products that consumers might be searching for on Amazon, there’s the potential for you to get a lot more value from your ad spend on the e-commerce site.

Every search represents a potential customer

If 90 percent of searchers haven’t made their mind up about a brand before starting their search, it would seem that getting in front of a consumer when they’re just starting their purchase journey should be prioritized.

And the time when consumers are searching for middle funnel terms as they round out their research and get closer to buying can be a very valuable inflection point for brands to influence them.

Human marketers will keep their jobs

This will be a year when PPC marketers adjust their day-to-day tasks a bit. They won’t have to do so much bid management (how many of us are really going to miss that, anyway?).

And they won’t have to spend so much time running basic ad split-tests and adjusting budgets.

Marketers can also invest time in learning about their target audiences, and in learning how to segment and target those audiences (more on this in a moment).

They could also invest time in creating more customized ad creative, and in developing customer journeys that are more efficient.

Short conclusion

Wearable technology, virtual reality, nanotechnology, human-computer integration – these are all technologies that are in their infancy at the moment, but, once mature, will fundamentally change the way people interact with the world.

And, most probably, make search engines seem incredibly old-fashioned as a means of finding information.