If you have recently searched for 'Kenya safari,' 'gold jewelery,' or 'insurance price comparison' lately, you are responsible. Responsible, that is, for an article published last week in the Financial Times that claims how these search terms and others like them 'suggest that consumer confidence is perking up.' According to the FT, search query patterns suggest that 'consumer sentiment in the UK is up 6 per cent since the beginning of the year.'
These figures are based on data from Google's Barometer, which tracks a basket of 50 positive keywords and 50 negative keywords to gauge the health of the overall economy. Created in response to the recession, this type of trend spotting within Google search data is part of a wider effort at Google to demonstrate how patterns in search queries can not only alert marketers to emerging trends but also accurately model real-world phenomena. For example, whether you're interested in monitoring Flu Trends, learning about today's hot trends, or each year's Zeitgeist, small teams of Google engineers have been able to discover deeper consumer insights using data on the web.
What does all this mean for marketers? Put simply: it will be increasingly difficult for advertisers and planners to ignore the web when making media mix decisions. Furthermore, it should lead marketers to question the interaction effects between online and offline spend relative to consumer behaviour. From our perspective, the companies that get ahead in this new digital environment will be the ones that find clever ways to harness the web to work in conjunction with their existing offline campaigns but also for generating new consumer insights. Unlike other traditional forms of gathering consumer insight, online insight tools are often cheaper, based on much larger sample sizes, and are quicker to deliver results.
At Google, we have have set up an entire YouTube channel dedicated to helping small-, medium-, and large-businesses understand how this type of digital marketing and digital research can help your business speed up during the slowdown.
To access the more than 375 bite-sized videos, visit Google's Survival of the Fastest YouTube channel, which includes contributions from Jeff Immelt (Chairman and CEO - GE), Bob Thacker (SVP, Marketing & Advertising - OfficeMax), Brent Hoberman (Co-Founder - Lastminute.com), Nassim Taleb (Author - The Black Swan), Paul Bennett (Chief Creative Officer - IDEO), and many others.
Contributed by James Elias, Head of Business Marketing - UK, Google in partnership with Branding Strategy Insider
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop