Published May 1st 2019

Why you should be putting search data front and centre

A huge scope of insight can be gleaned from internet searches. Collectively, we go online to locate information 3.5bn times a day. That’s 3.5bn potential doorways to our brand, and 3.5bn insights into our customer’s mind.

While a Google search doesn’t instantly translate as a sale or increased revenue, much of what we look for online leads us to something we intend to purchase.

It therefore makes sense that our brand’s presence in search is pivotal to its commercial success.

Search equals strategy

Search often gets written off as technical SEO in business. Of course, that’s still a crucial part of it – your optimisation is, after all, the foundation of your brand’s visibility – but ‘Search data’ can also be aggregated on a panoramic level to answer strategic questions pertaining to both your customer and your market.

Customer Market
When is my product most in-demand? Who are my competitors?
What topics and product categories are my customers most interested in? What is my brand's share of voice?
What searches lead to purchase? What is the value of my market?
What type of content is most popular? How much opportunity is in my market?
Who should I build partnerships with?

Building your brand with search

From sensing gaps in demand for your products, to understanding brand sentiment and intent, search insight gives you the ability to plan and forecast a formidable brand strategy.

Trending search volumes for your brand over time is one of the simplest ways to gauge brand performance.

In the example below, we have assessed the biggest emerging designer UK fashion brands, for single brand name searches over the last four years.

The emerging UK designer fashion brands featured would use this data to:

  • Understand the growth (whether positive or negative) of their brand over time
  • Understand competitor performance
  • Understand the effect of internal marketing efforts and external factors on demand

In this example, designer streetwear brand Places + Faces (see pink line) would be able to see that its anniversary music event drew significant attention in Sep 2018, and helped to popularise the label online; resulting in 180% compound annual growth rate.

Insight into the success of campaigns, press coverage and strategic partnerships can all be garnered through search, to feed straight back into future strategy; whether that be shaping P&L gameplans and managing stock levels, or launching products at exactly the right time.

Whilst this is insightful stuff, it’s important to note that brand name search volumes can be searched for any number of reasons; both positive and negative. Growth therefore, doesn’t necessarily translate as commercial success. However, having this data at your fingertips is essential to understanding modulations in brand performance over time; enabling you to turn all forms of awareness into opportunity.

Predict the future of your brand with search

To forge a profitable brand strategy, you need to be future-thinking.

That means constantly tuning into customer behaviour to divine the course and development of trends.

This is where search intelligence really comes into its own. By aggregating thousands of internet searches surrounding your brand, its products and its audience’s interests, you can get to know your customer better than they know themselves; filtering their wants, needs, hopes and dreams into your R&D and Merchandising – even your M&A.

Spot emerging trends with social and search

Another great thing about search insight is that it lends itself perfectly to integration. In this instance a UK fashion retailer noticed a proliferation of animal print mentions on Social Media.

To verify whether this was indeed an emerging trend, the retailer turned to search for a top-level overview of hundreds of animal print product searches (above).

With 170% uplift between the first and the third quarter of 2018, the hypothesis was proven. The next step was to dive-deeper into the popularity of specific animal print products.

Using this more granular insight, the retailer discovered that leopard print, specifically, was fuelling this growth.

The final step was to assess the landscape online.

By analysing every retailer visible in the market online – of which there were thousands – across hundreds of animal print searches, the UK retailer in question discovered that Next was their biggest competitor, with the highest amount of coverage across the most in-demand animal print product category: leopard print.

From a Brand perspective, this competitor insight would have been essential for informing which products to push and which resellers to partner with (i.e. marketplaces like Zalando).

But this data is of value to multiple teams. PR, for instance, may have used it to inform which publications to team up with for future coverage (i.e. Who What Wear in position 9)

And, the Content team could have used this as a use case for success; enabling them to upcycle and adapt working formulas to create optimised copy that converts.

In this instance, the UK fashion retailer chose the latter option, and used search to fuel their content strategy; creating a targeted landing page to curate their existing animal print stock.

Why you should be putting search front and centre

Search intelligence is one of the most powerful tools in a brand’s arsenal of customer intelligence.

And, its value doesn’t end there. It can be used by teams far beyond just SEO , and when integrated and visualised alongside numerous other data sources, can disclose priceless information.

As you now know, it is also a hugely insightful indicator of brand value within a market.

In this vein, Hedge Funds are increasingly turning to search as alternative data for assessing the value of a brand’s assets to inform their investment decisions.

With all things considered, and the economic climate being as it is, there has never been a better time to put search at the front and centre of your business strategy.

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.