Search Behavior Research Update

Apr 12, 2007 - 11:59 am 0 by

Search Behavior Research Update, Thursday April 12, 2007 11 am Stats and Research Track

Moderator: Gord Hotchkiss, Enquiro

Speakers: Anne Frisbie, Yahoo! Rob Murray, iProspect P Lee - Microsoft (Was too far away to see name, I'm sorry.)

Room is filling up fast. It's a smaller one, and very warm. I always sit somewhere near the screens, so I can back up what I'm hearing with what they may have on their PowerPoint presentation. And, I plan my early escape route out, by a door, because it's always embarrassing to duck out during Q/A sessions, or have to walk over people with my BIG RustyBrick bag (which is enormously comfortable btw.). It's been said before but I'll repeat it because I need to type...Gordon looks like Indiana Jones. Room has become standing room only.

Gordon says we'll each have a car at the end of the session donated by Oprah. Gord is also presenting. They did a B2B survey, where they did an update of a 2004 survey. Went out to 1086 participants between 3/19-23, 2007. Think about past purchase and one they are currently participating in. Divided by roll and phase. Report release is 4/30. Where was your involvement in buying process? Did you search? Sign check? Still early but he's showing top level findings. They had economic buyers, tech buyers, (influencers), user buyers (need help with a prob), coach buyer (gets solution to the right person who needs it). Parts and components, business servs, equip, IT, other categories. Primary online destinations are SE's. No surprise there. Alot of people search. Short list candidates phase need high level info, this is the hot spot for b2b. This is where deeper verticals help. Primary is always the vendor site. (Was interrupted here...)

Google was number one SE. Yahoo and MSN way down. 17% for Yahoo and 7% for MSN. Google has stranglehold on market (b2b). If not going to se first, how did you get to b2b site? Are you using a se to get there? 1 out of 4 use se to get to a primary site by typing in url directly. People think they are going directly to site. He thinks results are skewed due to toolbars. This was not a user watched survey. Vertical engines -, number one. Influencing factors? Online and offline were measured. #1 is main website of the vendor. #2 was se's. #3 distributor websites, not a vendor but site that offered broader vertical presentation. Top offline, word of mouth? Peer #1, #2 friends, #3 trade word of mouth are influencers. Vendors and industry sites out rated word of mouth for influencers. We are trusting the web more and more. Trade shows are high on offline influencers.

What are they look for? Set pricing references for people when they get to your site. #1 thing people use to qualify. Features and products are next. Installed toolbars, google #1, yahoo #2, MSN #3. Keep an eye on toolbar installation. Google offers search suggestions. Causes you to search differently. Take this into consideration. Online out influences offline.

Rob Murray - iProspect is next. Presenting study of social behavior and marketing. Methodology - Jan 2007, conducted by Jupiter, 2200 responses, represent US pop of 18 and over. Goals how US participates with social networking sites or social search engines. Site allows for user generated content was used, or site that searches user generated content sites; Amazon was included, digg, and others.

How freq have you visited these sites? Lists SE's and social sites, inc. village, myspace, facebook, trip advisor, to name a few. Social networking visited by 1-4 at least monthly. About 41 million people. Engines visited daily Yahoo was the leading engine. Myspace 12%.Recommends identifying social networking sites where communities match your target profile. Assess value of those sites. Continue paid and natural optimization and marketing.

What was the reason for your search? Research, entertain, purchase...intent varies. Facebook 49% to network. YouTube 72% Amazon 46% to purchase. Intent plays a part in where people go. Map your product to user intent. Seek out well indexed sites that mention your brand. What influenced your decision to purchase or not? 1 in 3 has been influenced by social sites. They base purchase decisions on these sites. People trust people like themselves. Research and purchasing intent on the part of a sites users leads to greater influence on purchase. Research unique culture and code of acceptable marketing practices of each site. Backlash is significant. Be open and honest and transparent. Become part of the community. Not once a month. Really become part of the community. If you are not part of the community, they'll tune you out.

Most visitors don't post comments on sites. 54-90% never have, depending on the site. Participate in dialogue with your users. Embrace negative comments. Recommend other products you think provide a benefit to your users. How to reach sites? Direct nav and bookmarking is #1. Be indexed by major SE's. Make content worthy of bookmarking and linking. Direct prospects to user generated content. 25% on online pop visit social search. Have unique communities. They have own code of acceptable behavior. Social marketing influences 34% of online pop.

Anne Frisbie - Yahoo Did a lot of research in 2006. Brand advocates. Buying habits of brand advocates. Who are they? Why? What are their plans and habits? How can use them to reach and engage uses? Chose specific verticals for the study. Who are they? Natural leaders. Slightly more educated. They tend to be one of the first to try new things. Feel a good brand is worth talking about. Will recommend. Consider themselves social and well connected. Will talk about products that interest them. They are a minority group- 40% of all buyers, 25% of general online pop. They're impact on purchasing is majority because they convince others. They are heavy researchers. They need to know what they're talking about. They're identifies are tied to their favorite brands. They are loyal customers. They create awareness.

Advocates plan on spending more this year than last year. They will have twice the planning for high ticket items. Home appliance will tell twice as many people about their purchases. 33% they convinced someone to buy. In home decor, 2-1 ratio. 75% recommended products. Basically, advocates could persuade at least twice as many as non-advocates to make purchases. They're a powerful group. 87% search multiple times a week. 75% use social media. 2 in 3 are social media participants. They leverage search to learn about new brands. Willing to be reintroduced to products. You can keep trying to attract them. They use trademark searches more often. They read blogs, post on blogs, make comments on purchases.

Advocates like consumer reviews. Use them to your advantage. Those who came via reviews browsed the site more actively. Special K used Yahoo to get to women losing weight. They created landing pages with communities aimed at support. Thousands of people are participating in the communities. Lots of customer reviews that come up in search. Newsletters can engage users and be tracked as they go into your site. Leverage search side and user passion. Understand motivations your brand advocates. Get involved in enthusiast sites or communities. Include user reviews. Understand tools and website advocates.

(Needed to cut out early due to threateningly low battery. Am off to SEO Women's Lunch and a 2pm session directly afterwards.)


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