This week we launch our Industry Profile, showcasing the talent across Rakuten Advertising. Today, we speak with our APAC Director of Search, Yuly Gonzalez

Name and Job title
Yuly Gonzalez, Director, Search

Years working for Rakuten Advertising
I’ve been with Rakuten Advertising for seven years.  

How did you get into Search marketing?
I took a digital marketing course at university in partnership with a Google AdWords Global Program. Google allocated funds for universities to run local paid search marketing campaigns. It was the first course around digital marketing at my university and helped me land my first agency position.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
It’s an ever-evolving landscape that allows for constant growth and an opportunity to expand my experience. I thrive on learning new things, so this component of my job is consistently gratifying. A second to add is the opportunity to meet clients from all over, form relationships in markets I never thought possible, and learn about industries I never thought I’d be exposed to!

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing search marketers today?
Consumers are driven by immediate gratification, and with the search channel being so intent-focused, it can leave little room to build a narrative around a brand and truly deliver an experience. It can be very easy to fall into the day-to-day management to deliver on targets without thinking of the bigger picture that the search channel plays. It’s important to think beyond transactions and performance-driven strategies.

What are the biggest trends you’re seeing in your market and from others?
For retail clients, feed quality and processes to support it are invaluable. Shopping campaigns continue to gain momentum in the search landscape as consumers engagement with the shopping ads increase. Delivering a great experience from the very first sight of the listing – product image, pricing, description – will determine whether the user will navigate to the site. Exposure to the product is no longer hidden behind a text ad, so it is of utmost importance to not only be present for searches but to be present with all of the right information. While shopping campaigns are not necessarily a new trend, the reach of shopping listings has entered a new dimension. Recently, Google announced the rollout of free shopping listings. With this in mind, the stakes are higher in terms of more competition entering the space with no budgets necessary. Therefore, there will be more emphasis on the feed quality to connect with what users are looking for to deliver the right product.

Any advice you give to companies looking to optimise their campaigns?
Don’t be afraid to revisit existing campaigns for opportunity. A sign of a healthy search account is testing. Campaigns need to evolve over time to really reach their full growth potential. It’s very easy to leave your strong-performing campaigns as is (if it ain’t broke…) given those campaigns are generating the foundation for channel performance.  However, as those campaigns mature, they can become outdated against the ever-evolving search landscape. If your account is not testing new features and rollouts, it’s almost guaranteed that one of your competitors are, and could gain the upper hand. Of course, it’s important to protect top campaigns and proceed with caution. With the right testing strategy, campaigns can continue to evolve strategically and carefully.