Julian Grainger

Head of SEO at Unique

Customer insight via Google

This is the second part of my statement that the real value of Google is not in the lead generation, but in critical bits of information about brand and consumer behaviour. This is about what are people searching and how are they looking for your product.

Google provides timely information about how your customers behave, how they buy and what, at a particular time, they are looking for.

I previously did this with the history backed up from reports from Google Adwords and if you have that you can get really granular and operate very, very quickly. I still use that but only in exceptional circumstances.

However, times have changed for the better so here is a graph from Google Trends for “government bonds” searches in New Zealand.

Consumer behaviour and demand

Consumer behaviour and demand

It shows a very sharp rise, surprise surprise, in people searching for government bonds in the last month. Something to do with that credit crisis.

What it really reflects is fear. And a very tangible mass movement of investors trying to bury their money safely in a ditch so they can’t lose it. In fact here is the chart for the search “invest in gold”.

Google searches as people run for gold

Google searches as people run for gold

There really is no better reflection of the motivations of the mass market, outside the market, that happens in real time through Google Trends and the Google Adwords reports. This is because they are updated more frequently than you can run a market survey, the data is much greater than an opinion poll and its all free and immediately accessible.

If someone managed to compress, monetize and distribute this a little better we could see the end survey research in its traditional form. Most good marketers, who are talking to there customers will know where the market is leading. This gives you the product they want to buy and a trend of when they are trying to buy it. All you have to do is work out the price.

It represents real time market demand.

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