Business

Why Google Trends is a market researcher’s best friend

Above: Focus groups are a thing of the market researcher's past

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Ruslan Kogan is the founder and CEO of Kogan.com.

Market research is critical to every business. Traditional market research is based on sampling, such as focus groups, and very often delivers skewed results and bad information. What people say and what people actually do are two totally different things.

If they use their tools correctly, the new age of Internet marketers have a wealth of information at their fingertips that give them a significant advantage over the competition.

A recent Forbes article (among others) suggested, and showed, that the iPhone 5s is three times more popular than the iPhone 5c. The article had a lot of graphs, research, and sales data from multiple sources in it. To compile all the information in the article would have taken hundreds of hours and cost thousands of dollars. My initial reaction after reading the article was, “No shit, Sherlock.”

Given my company relies on being on top of consumer electronics trends, I had done 15 seconds of research a few days prior which had given me the same information:

This Google Trends information shows, in seconds, that the iPhone 5s is three times more popular than the iPhone 5c. This exactly correlates with the hundreds of hours of research and sales data analysis of non-readily available information that is exhibited in the Forbes articles. Much easier to do a 15 second look in Google Trends, isn’t it?

Any businessperson who is using old school market research techniques needs to wake up or move aside for someone who understands efficiency and accuracy.

Google Trends is a great tool that shows you comparative Google searches. This data is the equivalent of “brain to keyboard with no filter.” In my opinion, you can’t get better market research, especially for a company like Kogan which relies on servicing demand, rather than creating demand.

As a digital marketer, having the right information at your fingertips is critical for all sorts of business decisions. For instance:

1. We know that Air Conditioners sell better in summer and heaters sell better in winter :)

2. We know that we should be making twice as many 32″ LED TVs as 42″ LED TVs

3. We know to concentrate on 4K TVs over OLED TVs as our next big product launch:

4. We knew in mid 2011 to slow down our production of LCD TVs and concentrate on LED TVs

5. We launched the world first sub $500 Netbook in late 2008 and discontinued it in mid 2011

6. We know we’ve missed the boat if we want to sell Michael Jackson tshirts :)

As you can see, Google Trends is a marketers best friend. It gives you timely and accurate information which you can use to make real business decisions. Nothing beats brain to keyboard with no filter.

Don’t waste your time on old school reports produced using old school methodologies. At worst they are inaccurate, at best they are overpriced and inefficient.

What do you think of old school market research versus new methods like analyzing Google search data?


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