Consumer interests at heart of 'reverse search engine'

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 4, 2005

Consumer interests at heart of 'reverse search engine'

Most marketers rely on consumer profiling to some degree, and a so-called 'reverse search engine' from Pureprofile is now reported to be providing insights such as current and future purchasing decisions and motivations, and using consumer dialogues to find out why one company's product wins over another.

It's a simple concept: the consumer tells Pureprofile what they're looking for, and businesses that can meet their needs can communicate their offers through the system. On a practical level, the "reverse search engine" (already in use by UK companies such as Avis, Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Churchill Insurance) works by allowing consumers to create a virtual shopping basket by publishing online personal "Profile Pages". Contained on these pages are the consumer's own requests for information on products and services they are hoping or planning to buy, and feedback about products they have already purchased.

More than sales leads Participating businesses can then access this information online, effectively gaining a pre-qualified and responsive audience for their marketing campaigns, and a range of consumer opinions covering an array of products and services.

Paul Chan, CEO for Pureprofile, said: "Marketers can benefit from this 'real participation' media. They can have access to consumers who are not only a responsive audience - who have invited marketers to talk to them - but who are also a source of information on purchasing decisions and attitudes."

Consumer pay-off From the consumer's point of view, the service aims to change the way consumers search and shop for products and services online. By registering with the service and creating their personal profile pages - which can be updated and added to at any time - the consumer knows they will be approached by companies that actually have products or services matching their exact requirements. The consumer's privacy is protected at all times, with the only contact being made through the Pureprofile system.

Central to the service is a "Value Exchange" whereby individuals will be paid in cash for giving businesses their time. Each marketing message received from a business is worth at least £1.00 to the individual when they read it. This helps to guarantee that consumers only receive the information and participate in the campaigns that are most relevant to them, and that marketers reach a receptive audience that actively want to hear from them.

Consumer registration with the service is free of charge, and is carried out online at According to Chan, "The feedback we have had from our research and trials to-date has been phenomenal."

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