It amazes me how many organizations still shoot in the dark when looking to engage digital media for marketing purposes. Often, marketing managers or those charged with this function go with their gut feel when presented with the challenge of understanding what their consumers are doing online.
It is necessary for organizations to predict future actions of their consumers if they are to position themselves strategically to reap from the unconscious actions of their target group. Consumers are averse to blatant profiling and this guard is usually let down when online. Smart organizations will follow the footprints left by their potential customers . By observing past events they can extrapolate and determine with a high degree of accuracy what their consumer will do and when they will do it.So how do we go about mapping intentions and funneling action? There are a myriad of tools that you can use and my favorite two are Google Correlate and Google Insights. Interestingly, out of a random ask among a fairly switched on tech community, only a handful had heard of or used these tools to do any consumer mapping! Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends while Google Insights allows one to compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties
A pharmaceutical can determine which drug to put more focus on by analyzing symptom searches and therefore project with accuracy the demand that there may be in the future locally and regionally. The Ministry of Tourism and the Kenya Tourist Board , in their quest to see the number of international visitors grow, could get insights from nontraditional tourist markets and thereby target offers that will see a fresh crop of travelers discover the attractions of Kenya.
As internet use deepens and localization of services as is happening with search continues to grow, organizations can expect better insights from consumers who are at best hard to discern , not to mention the high cost of commissioned research.
It may take abit of tinkering to get comfortable with the tools, outputs and even the mashing of data sets from additional sources but it will put you deeper into the mind of the consumer, which is a good thing last time I checked.