section sponsor - Ed Stevenson, European MD, Marin Software

Ed Stevenson, European MD, Marin Software 2010 is shaping up to be the most important year in the history of paid search for two reasons. First, the entrance of Facebook and other social channels has fragmented the market, opened up new audiences and increased demand for performance display - AKA search. And second, as the economy recovers, we expect to see a surge in demand for campaigns and record levels of search spend coming into the sector.

How search marketers, both agency side and in-house, react to these changes over the next 12 months will determine their longer-term success. Those that get it right and design campaigns which lead their brands out of recession will open up a gap that may be difficult for their rivals to close later. The winners will be those that can manage the increased complexity that new channels, exchanges and growing numbers of keywords will create. They'll be the marketers that tap into the latest management technologies which automate much of the search drudgery and enable them to get back to designing creative campaigns. They'll be the ones that can cope with millions of keywords and have the ability to fine-tune their spend in real time.

At Marin Software, our clients are already reaping the benefits of this approach and are best set to capitalise on both the recovery and the ongoing transformation of the industry. Razorfish, for example, deployed Marin Search Marketer in 2009 and has already reported time savings of up to 50%. Its search marketers no longer spend their days manually stitching together spreadsheets in order to stay on top of their campaigns, but can now get back to the job of marketing, unearthing and exploiting opportunities that they previously never had the time to get to.

For agencies and advertisers, the next 12 months will be a golden opportunity. If they choose their technology partners wisely, they can capitalise on the opportunities for growth and take search to the next level. Marin Software is now the largest and fastest growing aggregator of search in the world, running over $1bn in annual paid search spend. Some of the largest global advertisers, such as Macy's, Sears, Philips, Neo@Ogilvy and Gap, run their campaigns through Marin Search Marketer. They're all set to capitalise on the evolution of search this year. There's nothing stopping you doing the same and opening up the gap between you and your competition.

Marin Software