Today’s digital marketer has hundreds of tools to understand everything the consumer is doing, from what pages they’ve visited to the journey it takes them to reach the check-out page. These tools are powerful, but one thing they can’t do is analyze these behaviors at a macro level to understand market trends and correlate them to ROI. For many marketers, getting access to this information often means spending thousands or even millions of dollars on expensive market research firms to capture this data, who often make generous assumptions depending on how that data is collected.
By: Rodrigo Graviz
You may have heard of “share of voice” as a measure of how brands compare to their competitors, and how to gauge brand visibility and authority among prospective customers. However, what share of voice won’t tell you is why people prefer your brand to competitors, or why not.
In an increasingly digital world, a new metric has emerged as a more accurate measurement of consumer and business purchasing intent and demand for products: Share of Search. There is no better way to measure a consumer’s intent to purchase than to measure what they search on the web.
What Is Share of Search?
To calculate a brand’s Share of Search, you can take the number of organic searches your brand received during a specific period, and divide it by the number of searches all the brands in your industry received at that time. Several tools will be able to measure this for you, and some even have the capability to track this Share of Search over time to visualize how market share can change over time.
The Institute of Practising Advertisers (IPA) spent over a decade researching marketing effectiveness in over 30 case studies, in 12 different markets across seven countries, and found that with technology making it easier to determine consumers’ intentions when deciding what to purchase or how to engage with brands, the power of search could be leveraged as a business forecasting metric.
All the tools you need to understand peoples’ thoughts and intentions now fit in your own pocket; if you can think of it, it is likely that you’ll search for it. IPA research found that what people search for strongly correlates with consumer behavior, not just for short term success but as a way to measure long-term engagement with specific market categories, trends and brands. Therefore, Share of Search is the most accurate measurement of consumer and business purchasing intent and demand. For the first time, businesses can use AI/Machine Learning and big data to track consumer interest in buying their products and their competitors’ products and why. Want to know your competitors’ market share or your own? Share of Search represents, on average, 83% of a brand’s market share.
How Share of Search Helps Marketers
While hundreds of tools exist to measure marketing effectiveness for short-term sales and ROI, historically it has been difficult to measure how this short-term success actually translates into long-term brand loyalty.
Advertising veteran and Founding Chairman of MDC Media Partners (now Stagwell's Assembly Global) Steve Farella, who has spent nearly four decades in the media industry, recognized this as a leading problem in the marketing industry, and recently joined the board of directors for leading market intelligence and search technology leader My Telescope to address this issue:
“A massive issue that has always existed in advertising and marketing is that there has not been a universal metric that measures the impact of media and advertising on purchasing and decision intent – until now,” said Farella.
Research done by the IPA found that Share of Search acted as a strong proxy for the consumer demand side of market share, and that Share of Search is dynamic; when one changes, the other changes. Additionally, when brand sentiment is measured alongside share of search, it creates a complete picture of what the future might look like in terms of how a brand might stack up against their competitors. This means that no matter the industry, brands can accurately measure the trends of the market using real-time data to predict consumer buying behavior.
According to the IPA’s research, branded search metrics have been proven to have a direct correlation with sales, with an average correlation of 83%. This means that if a search increases by 100%, the sales for that brand or topic increases by 83%. The remaining difference can be explained by influencing factors such as price or supply issues.
By analyzing this data, marketers can get a better idea of how their investments in marketing campaigns might play out over time. This benefits all aspects of advertising from understanding trends that might affect creative decisions to helping media buyers understand how much money they may want to invest in their campaigns to achieve ROI and increase their share of the market in the long run.
“By investing in a tool that uses search and sentiment analysis for proven forecasting of business demand, brands will finally be able to take actionable insights that increase ROI and create sustainable, repeatable campaigns that drive business success,” said Farella.
Share of Search tools, like My Telescope, which uses 20 different data modeling tools like Share of Search, Google search volumes, and weighted sentiment analysis, can help businesses track consumer interest to make more informed decisions about their marketing spend and where to heighten their efforts to reach new customers and strengthen loyalty with existing ones. Agencies of all sizes and Fortune 500 companies have already begun adopting this metric as an advertising standard in order to more effectively predict their market potential. As familiarity with Share of Search continues to grow, it may be poised to become the universal standard metric of campaign success that marketers have been looking for all along.
Rodrigo Pozo Graviz is CEO and founder of My Telescope, pioneers of “Share of Search” which is the most accurate measurement of consumer and business purchasing intent and demand.