Online Search Data Reveals Consumer Trends Marketers Can Use

Aug 13, 2012, 09:07 ET from American Marketing Association

CHICAGO, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research in the Journal of Marketing Research, published by the American Marketing Association, shows how marketers can separate useful information from the noise.

In a world where thoughts and ideas can rise from obscurity to become a topic of everyday conversation thanks to the Internet, it is getting increasingly more difficult for marketers to understand which ones are real trends with staying power versus those that are enjoying 15 minutes of fame. New research published in the American Marketing Association's Journal of Marketing Research shows how marketers can mine the web for marketing intelligence and spot major consumer trends.

The study, titled "Quantitative Trendspotting" by authors Rex Yuxing Du, of the University of Houston, and Wagner A. Kamakura, of Duke University, developed and applied a statistical model to automobile purchases in the United States, mining data from the far reaches of the Internet using tools like Google Insights for Search. They applied 81 month's worth of Google search data on 38 makes of vehicles from U.S. and foreign automakers, including General Motors, Chrysler, BMW and Hyundai. In doing so, the authors were able to point to and map the trajectories of seven underlying trends in consumer online search behavior.

"The ultimate goal of quantitative trendspotting is to help marketers uncover hidden gems of insight buried underneath the rubble of high-dimensional tracking data," the authors say.

Marketers can apply the trendspotting model to get a better read on current consumer trends and map how those trends may develop in the future, the authors say.

"By developing a novel statistical model and applying it to the U.S. automotive industry, we show that online consumer interest tracking services such as Google Insights for Search can be mined as a powerful source of marketing intelligence in spotting major consumer trends in the marketplace."

More detailed findings and information on the statistical model and its applications can be found in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Marketing Research.

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SOURCE American Marketing Association