Share of Search Is the Funkiest Free Marketing Metric Now

Share of Search Is the Funkiest Free Marketing Metric Now
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Share of Search is the marketing metric of the day

I’ve rarely seen this level of buzz around something available for free (or almost for free) to everyone curious enough to type their brand name into Google Trends.

But does it predict future sales?

Or it’s just hype?

Sometime in the beginning of 2020, Les Binet – the marketing effectiveness guru from DDB – introduced the world to the concept of Share of Search. If you have 30 minutes free, this video will do justice to his story better than I could.

And then, when Mark Ritson applauds the approach and calls it an elegant metric, you know you need to start paying attention. Here is his article.

To complete the holy marketing trinity, I can’t hide the fact that Prof. Byron isn’t a big fan. No surprises here.

My personal experimentation with share of search started right after reading the fantastic book Everybody Lies” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. 3 years ago, the use of search queries was a big promise to the researcher in me. It offers an unbiased view of interest in a brand or topic. Share of search was and still is a big promise.

I have little doubt that products with long purchase cycles and discovery periods are first in line to use it. Think of cars or holiday destinations. That’s where current searches can predict future trends. But for small dollar transactions like chocolate, the story is a bit more complicated. In fast-moving consumer goods, predominantly sold offline and in the worst case, impulse-driven, the role Google Search plays in the product discovery or purchase path is minimal.

I am not saying Search isn’t important. But think a bit, what could make an M&M buyer type the brand name in Google search before buying it? A new flavor, a new ad campaign, a Superbowl ad, a funky PR campaign … many reasons, few searches.

I am not done; not throwing the towel yet. Share of Search can have a big role to play for new products and brands. It can replace declarative metrics like Awareness with a free, simple–to–source metric of unprompted interest.

I am not giving up. I just need some help.

Reach out to me via LinkedIn to discuss how you could help.