Retailers to invest in machine learning and voice search to improve digital marketing in 2018/19, new survey finds


The digital marketing challenger agency, QueryClick, has released The CMO Performance Report 2018, which has found a significant number of retailers plan to invest in transformative technology including machine learning and voice search to enhance their digital marketing campaigns.

The report, which includes a survey of over 150 Chief Marketing Officers for UK consumer brands with a revenue of over £150 million and an e-commerce offering, found that 66% of CMOs for large retail brands have plans to invest in machine learning to enhance their digital marketing strategies within the next 12 months.

The survey also found that over half (53%) of retailers will invest in voice search technology within the next 12 months. By 2019, the voice recognition market is predicted[1] to be a $601 million industry, and its value is set to accelerate even further as research predicts[2] 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

Overall, 75% of CMOs said their brand will change its SEO strategy to ensure it appears in voice-led search results. Of those, 43% said they would do this within the next 12 months. 32% said they would make the changes in over 12 months' time.

Only 3% of brands surveyed have already adapted their SEO strategies to ensure their brand appears in voice-led search results, despite consumers already making[3] 50 billion voice searches per month today.

Another growing trend, the study found that retailers will continue to invest in influencer marketing to promote their brand and products. 63% of CMOs for large retailers said they will be investing in influencer marketing within the next 12 months. This follows reports that influencer marketing grew[4] by 198% in 2017.

Chris Liversidge, Founder and CEO of QueryClick, commented: "Consumer attention is under an unprecedented assault from brand messaging and content across more channels than ever before, and retailers are fiercely competing for their share. Amidst the challenges however lie opportunities for retailers able to rebuild their strategies using data science to truly understand what consumers want, and consistently engage with them.

"An investment in digital, including machine learning technology, that allows retailers to track and unify the customer journey across all channels, and allows them to deliver timely, targeted messages to capture demand, is fundamental to their success."

QueryClick is an independent agency that challenges group agency models, delivering high performance results for enterprise brands. Working with a client-base of the world's most-well-known brands, it manages over £1 billion of client revenues in 28 international markets after a decade of growth.

In 2017, QueryClick added £395 million in organic revenue for its clients, and optimised £16.7 million of spend, delivering an average ROI of 12.7:1 for generic Paid Search growth.


QueryClick partnered with Censuswide in March 2018 to survey 150 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) at major brands, each holding positions with brands that have a recorded revenue of over £150million a year and an e-commerce offering. The CMOs surveyed have the responsibility of managing their brand's marketing budget and agency relationship.

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