Understanding consumer search behaviour: The Drum Search USA judges

How consumer behaviour is impacting brands according to The Drum Search USA judges

Consumer behaviour towards search is changing. Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Yelp and even YouTube and Xbox are now reservoirs of search but how is that impacting brands?

The Drum spoke to three experts from Microsoft, Acronym and Distilled, who are all on the judging panel for The Drum Search Awards USA, on how consumers have the biggest impact on marketing and how there are opportunities on social to gain a corner on your market.

Purna Vijiri, senior Bing ads PPC training manager, Microsoft

Search will be at the forefront, both as the central activity in consumers’ interactions with the digital world and as a marketing platform. Demand for relevant information is only growing and the industry is responding, evolving toward answers first and lists second. Inevitably, this has created a loop, continually redefining “relevant” upward to more exacting specifications.

As more of our world becomes connected, interactions with technology will be defined by services instead of devices and search will seep into the fabric of life. Digital has made it possible to see the individuals that make up audiences, and to back out meaningful variables from their behaviour.

As our access expands with more and different inputs, the importance of behavioural and attitudinal segments will increase. While the search experience for the consumer will narrow in terms of the number of responses, the role of search in their lives will expand.

Mike Grehan, chief marketing officer, Acronym

Information search has always been a crucial part of consumer behavior. Long, long before Google, people drove from one store to another, or read one publication or another, or more often asked family and friends to be more informed before they made a purchase. Not a lot has changed there, other than the fact that it’s free, faster and much more comprehensive. Add to that the access to networks of networks of people who have similar search experiences and purchased same/similar products, and you understand that hyperbole about products and services comes under genuine scrutiny.

It really is up to brands to be genuine and prove that they’re the real thing. Consumers are increasingly more connected with other consumers as well as channels and brands directly. For a while marketing had the major impact on consumers. Now consumers have the biggest impact on marketing.

Mike Teluka, vice president, Distilled

Agile brands have captured opportunities here while brands slower-to-adapt have missed them. YouTube, for example, is one of the largest search engines in the world, but many organizations simply have not ventured to try it for focus on their "traditional" digital channels.

While most brand editorial teams have developed some familiarity with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, we usually find one or more platforms have been missed or under-utilized especially for brands without content/publishing business models. As this oversight is common, there are often opportunities to gain a corner on your market in these spaces.

These platforms can change quickly (as we've seen with Facebook's move to kill the "news feed", so while good fundamentals is still the starting point, it's worth employing in-house specialists (even part-time) or specialized agencies to stay current.

Vijiri, Grehan and Teluka are judges for The Drum Search Awards USA. The entry deadline is Thursday 30 August, download your entry pack now and show the industry the outstanding work you have been producing.

Sponsors of the awards are Sempo

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