Reveal What Consumers Really Want With Search Listening


Blog post / strategic asset

Most B2C brands see the Internet as the main gateway to know their consumers. It all started with social media: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram seemed to be the best places to engage and get in touch with customers & learn more about them.

Forget about social media: search is the true gateway to your consumers

What’s the main problem with these social networks? Only a fraction of consumers are actually giving their opinion or engaging with brands. Thus, brands can only connect to a very small percentage of their potential customers. You know them, you hear about them everyday: haters or brand lovers.

Can we consider these people as true representatives for the voice of the customer? What about all the others, people like you and me?

Think about it: 99% of us, as Internet users, are browsing the Web from our computer through this tiny search bar. Our little inner voice – without any social desirability bias- is expressing itself through this search engine.

This empty space we fill up on a daily basis with search queries is actually the key to strategy. It is also the key to sell more in these tough and uncertain times. Did you know that the act of buying begins 8 out of 10 times with Google search*.

Whether planning vacation, or looking to buy the last iphone, or understanding why red pimples appeared on our body, we use Google to express our needs, our fears and desires. In the end, we all search for the same things: quick & clear answers to satisfy our curiosity and release us with a solution.

What if you would be the one offering the best answers to your customers ?

To be visible and appealing to your future buyers, you need to talk the same language than your customers.

Discover all answers consumers need from you with search data

As a category manager, you need to answer your customer’s questions to become visible and gain online authority.

Internet users buy from websites providing solutions to their problems. If your website, your offer and your communication support do not include these answers and solutions, why your visitors should trust you ?

As an example, as a potential hybrid car buyer, I recently searched for “hybrid car purchase grant” , term which has been searched more than 413,000 time in France over the last 12 month.

Here’s one of the top results from the Internet.

Presumably, people search for car grants as they want to buy a new hybrid car.

When clicking on that Google result, consumers land on pure online car seller website, acknowledging they were looking for a business answer to their initial question. Meaning their search intent is about making a future purchase – while not being already fully convinced about buying a hybrid.

As a category manager, analyzing that kind of data definitely helps you to understand where your prospects are in your marketing funnel when landing on your website.

Don’t think as a category manager, think as your customer to attract them better. (Have look at our case study on hybrid cars)

To define your strategy based on your consumers expectation, you need to get an easy and constant access to these search data.

Search data is usually seen as a tool to find topics for your content. It’s actually also way much bigger than SEO. With search data properly analyzed, you can start :

  • Building the best product innovation strategy by identifying new products and services people are looking for
  • Building the best offer and messaging by detecting needs and fears to address
  • Building the best product launch strategy by identifying places with highest affinity
  • Building most efficient marketing campaigns, by identifying the best opportunities to secure a higher return on investment (identifying seasonality and local trends to run your marketing campaigns with a higher ROI)

How to find topics your customers care about

All you need is a Search Intelligence platform! Such tools are designed to help detect all keywords searched by consumers. Enter your website & your competitors websites, then get all relevant topics generating interest among consumers.

Example with “hybrid car” on the French market

Another great feature is the filter for “Intent types” — this enables you to identify keywords that are formatted as ‘transactional’. Filtering on our Price/transactional filter you can optimize your catalogue identifying highly demanded products.

With Trajaan, category managers can also discover new market segments to invest. As an example, our social intelligence platform detected that the second-hand segment was a rising star in the hybrid market.

Search data reveals that you need to act global and think local! Consumers expectations are not the exact same everywhere. There are multiple local trends you could benefit from, if you manage to detect them. Once you have a list of keywords, it is worth narrowing it down. Here’s how.

Choose keywords revealing your local audience

Knowing your audience is a necessity before choosing topics to invest.

For example, if you are a car seller, you would need to isolate keywords based on locations you are interested in.

Look at keyword local sensitivity

Search volume tells you how many people search for that keyword every month. It is necessary to pick keywords that are highly searched for, but remember that large quantities can be source of statistical bias. You may sometimes choose for a lower-volume keyword because it’s much more statistically significant.

As an example here, with almost 2,2M population, Paris is predictably leader in search volume over the last twelve month with 460,8k search volume.

However Bordeaux is almost 30% more sensitive than Paris and other Top-15 French cities.

Push for your product & service on the right place, at the right time

Think yourself as a category manager working for an outdoor products company. You already know that summer time and winter time are your “money time”, but what if you found opportunities to sell new products highly demanded during the rest of the year ?

It appears that autumn is propitious for the “boots” market segment. So why not creating a new category to sell at this time of the year ?

With our Trajaan platform, you can identify what segments from your category have the highest business potential for every season.

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