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After manoeuvring our way through the dreary depths of January, we at McCann Connected believe it’s the perfect time to reflect on the new and latest digital marketing trends that have unveiled themselves over the inaugural month of 2020. 

As we're now a month into the new year we've got a pretty good idea just how the year in paid search is shaping up.

So, we felt it was time to get someone from our paid search team to talk us through the biggest changes we can expect as we move through 2020, and who better to give us their expert analysis on the rising trends than our Senior Paid Search Executive, Alex Copping.

Here are Alex's top paid search trends to watch over the next 12 months:


It’s simple, the biggest PPC trend of 2020 is automation.

Automation has been at the forefront of PPC professional’s thoughts, plans and email threads for the past few years. If you’re not using rules, scripts or smart bidding you don’t have a seat at the (pivot) table.

However, the difference in 2020 is our Google overlords are starting to really drive these strategies home, making it increasingly difficult to resist their promises of enhancement, improvement and self-sufficiency.

Our McCanntra is simply this: test but don’t trust, embrace but don’t replace. We suggest rolling with the times and trialing the new shiny functions across your accounts but make sure to always have your trusted procedures in place to fall back on, should Google decide to flip the script again.

And as we gradually handover menial tasks to our robotic friends, there may be an unfamiliar feeling of having ‘room to breathe’ among PPC professionals.

There is nothing sweeter than an afternoon free to formulate your next ingenious plan of action to boost ROAS. Embrace your refunded minutes and instead of having double coffee breaks, use the time to dive headfirst into the satisfying sea of strategizing.


Tik Tok has over 500 million active users worldwide and over 1 million videos are viewed every day. That’s a lot of potential customers.

It has become increasingly apparent that search, social and shopping platforms are diversifying, and it's something both brands and agencies are constantly adapting to. 

Now we’re not saying spread your budgets across 100 different platforms because we’re not clinically insane but improving your understanding of where your customers spend their time is pivotal (table). (Doesn’t really work there).

We’ve started a love affair with Amazon Sponsored Products recently and have no plans to cool things down.


BERT. Not Bert and Ernie. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, OBVIOUSLY!

Due to the recent advancements in AI including - search engine processing of natural language and Google’s BERT model - there have been significant steps taken in the road to understanding ever-elusive user search intent.

Putting paid search under the spotlight, our job as PPC professionals is to transition from our trusted keyword research to intent research, like a beautiful butterfly dancing in the wind… Too far?

However, do not fret, you have an arsenal at your disposal! Feel free to dabble in tools like Also Asked or Answer The Public to help get your head around the world of intent research.


Time to hit you with some hard facts:

Q4 2019 YoY Spend Growth

  • Google search ads - 16%
  • Microsoft search ads – 17%
  • Amazon sponsored products – 63%
  • Facebook ads – 15%
  • Instagram ads – 38%
  • Google Display Network – 8%

I’ll give you a second to digest this. All forms of paid media are in the ascendancy and we’re not ashamed to say we’re enjoying the ride.


To conclude, January is over and pivot table puns never get old. Make sure you keep your PPC ears to the ground because these trends are likely to change, grow and develop throughout the upcoming year. So if you’d like to find out more about our ever-changing approach to paid search or how we can help you to navigate to the best ROI, get in touch with the team at McCann Connected today.

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