2016 has been a great year for PPC, with some huge and exciting changes to the playing field. Now, as we approach the home stretch and look forward to the Christmas break, the 4Ps team and I make some predictions for what 2017 might have in store for us.

PPC Traffic Share Will Grow

Let’s face it, PPC was Google’s favourite child this year. We were spoiled with things like the 50% growth in character allowance, the removal of squashed side bar ads, and an abundance of new ad extensions to play with. All of this led to paid ads receiving more traffic share, and I see no reason why this will slow down in 2017.

Becky, Senior Account Manager at 4Ps, believes images will play a bigger role in ad copy next year, which we would expect to have a significant impact on CTRs. With all the new characters and extensions available, there’s a danger that our ads will start looking too spammy. I expect Google to address this with an ad presentation clean-up next year, for a more minimal landing page experience.

Marketing Methodologies

Earlier in the year it was Matt Delaforce, Strategy Director at 4Ps, who got me excited about the relationship between Neuromarketing and PPC. It has since been our mission to spread the use of this methodology as an approach to ad copy writing. In 2017, Matt predicts that Neuromarketing and other marketing methodologies will start to dominate the industry approach to writing ad copy that appeals to users. If you want to explore the world of Neuromarketing further, have a read of ‘Brainfluence’ by Roger Dooley, or ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman.

User Personalisation Focus

Growth in personalisation was one of my predictions for 2016, albeit not a particularly ground-breaking one. It’s talked about so often as the future of our industry, and so one could assume that personalisation would now be a given. This is largely not the case however, and in 2017 I think real personalisation will be how advertisers separate themselves from the rest. This means creating an experience that is tailored not only to the demographic and interest segment of the user, but also by where they sit within the conversion funnel, and how they have interacted with your brand previously.

Becky expects advertising channels to help us achieve advanced personalisation by releasing targeting updates throughout the year. This could potentially start with customer match being extended to the Display Network, allowing us to begin segmenting how we reach users in a traditional broadcast medium.

PPC Measurement Revolution

The ‘PPC Measurement Revolution’ was coined by Matt Delaforce when asked his predictions for 2017, and I couldn’t agree more. Matt and I discussed this concept at the annual 4Ps DigitalEdge conference in October, and focussed specifically on awareness activity to highlight our belief that measuring non-conversion metrics is a fundamental part of understanding the true performance of awareness activity. To do this successfully, advertisers must stop focussing on individual channels, and instead focus on the customer buying journey. Once this is achieved, we can start to facilitate the desired behaviours at every stage of the journey – this is the revolution Matt expects to see, and I hope he is correct.

Automation and Programmatic

Automation will go to another level, with the above personalisation being achieved with ad customers and data feeds, as well as other information points. I expect this change will also make our channel accounts smaller, as we won’t need multiple campaigns / ad groups to serve tailored ads. This will also save us important time on account management that can be reinvested into optimising data feeds and other information points. I think it could also be likely that programmatic type media buying will continue to grow, eventually expanding into playing a bigger role in the search auction as well.

Voice Search

Voice searches are expected to account for 50% of total searches by 2020, which means some serious growth over the next few years and a necessity to start paying attention now. As we see growth in voice searches throughout 2017, we will need to react to the trend, adjusting our keyword lists to reach users when they are speaking to us on a more ‘human’ level. Scott Lacon, Digital Exec at 4Ps, is looking forward to seeing the impact that Amazon Echo and Google Home will have on these voice search volumes throughout 2017.

Closing Thoughts

The above are some things we anticipate happening next year, but of course nothing is certain. The only predictions I am 100% sure on is that 2017 will be another exciting year in PPC, and the strategies that continue looking after the users’ best interests will be the ones that succeed.

4Ps isn’t just another PPC management agency. To discuss how PPC bid management can work together with innovative ad copy and dynamic content, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.