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By Alan Coleman on 1 Aug 2018

Wolfgang Bites: Watch "Read Your Customers' Minds"

Wolfgang Bites: Read "Read Your Customers' Minds"

Today I'm going to talk to you about my favourite report in digital marketing. The search term report. This essentially allows you to read the minds of your target audience online, amazing stuff. But before we jump into this, as an online market research tool, let's just talk about the traditional market research industry. It's a very subjective way of getting information. Essentially what's happening is, a company gets a sample of people who look like your target market and asks them how, they think, feel, or act in certain scenarios. So it's very subjective. For me, it's not a great way of getting information. 

Traditional Market Research

But before we jump into this, as an online market research tool, let's just talk about the traditional market research industry. It's a very subjective way of getting information. Essentially what's happening is, a company gets a sample of people who look like your target market and asks them how they believe, they think, feel, or act in certain scenarios. So it's very subjective. For me it's not a great way of getting information. 

So that's the traditional market research industry, let's jump back to what we're doing. We're looking for online marketing.

The Online Marketing Approach

So, the difference between the search term report or your Google AdWords data, and this is, you're not asking people how they believe they act in situations. You literally monitor their research and purchase behaviour. It's perfect. And if you have a big enough budget, it's not even a sample. You have data on your entire market, and what they're doing when they're online. 

The search term report it sort of tells you the precise phrases people are typing into Google when your ads are triggered. So it's a wonderful glimpse inside the mind, the emotions, the feelings, and the context of the demand for your products online. 

There are three kinds of levels of value to this. Level number one is the one that the search marketers are already doing. And they're optimizing their keyword list. They're looking at the search terms, they're saying, that's actually not relevant to us, get that out of there. Oh that is relevant, we don't have it in the campaign, let's bring that in. So they're optimizing their keyword lists. 

Next level of value is understanding the further intent and the context of the searches. You might get great content ideas, like what are the questions people are asking around our products? What else are they searching in conjunction with our products or our services? And this can give marketers really good ideas about how to better promote those products and services. You might find really good opportunities for strategic partnerships. Oh they're interested in us, they're interested in these people over there, let's talk to each other. 

The third level is how can give really good market research for business intelligence and business decisions. So let me tell you a story to illustrate this. One of my favourite clients from many years ago, was a gentleman called, Bob Parratt. Bob Parratt was an accountant by trade, he ran an in-home agency called Comfort Keepers, he was a brilliant entrepreneur and although Bob wasn't a marketer, every time I sat down with a meeting with Bob, I felt I got up a smarter marketer. 

Let me tell you one such exchange.

Learning from a Client

So, very early on in the relationship, I'd only run the account a couple weeks, I ran the search term report, and to my horror, 30 per cent of their budget was being spent on job seekers. Like this was 2009, global financial crisis, everyone's looking for a job, so that's all for those people that are desperately trying to find a job, but these aren't the people we wanna be spending our AdWords budget on. 

I excluded or made negative keywords out of jobs, positions, roles, paid positions, all those types of words. And I sat down with Bob and I said, look this is what I've learned, huge trench of the people searching for home care are searching for home care jobs. So you're not spending any money on that anymore, don't worry, but perhaps there's an opportunity of there's a learning in here, and perhaps there's even an opportunity as well. 

I could see the cogs going in Bob’s head and he said, leave that with me. A week later the phone rings and Bob says, Alan, you in front of the laptop? Always. Punch this in, www.comfortkeeperstraining.ie. Okay. So Bob had an internal training school, which was industry accredited and he used this to train up all his employees, his home carers. He said, look Alan, why don't we turn the school at the market, and all these job seekers? Let's train them up in that as well.

And this was amazing. He blew my mind. It was a very simple three-page website, using an existing internal resource. And he created a business that turned over tens of thousands of Euro and every month, within a few months of launching it. And I guess the further out of benefit to this, is he could then cherry pick the best trainees for his business. 
I hope what you're seeing through this story, of the genius of Bob and his way of thinking about things, was the search term report. Yes, it's great for optimizing keyword lists. But the insights you can get into the intent behind the search, and the broader market trends in your industry can be really, really profitable for the entrepreneurial marketer. 

Use Your Search Term Report

I implore you, whatever level of marketer you are, even if you're not a digital marketer, you're a digital marketing director, never looked at AdWords before, please read your search term report. You'd be amazed at what you learned. 

If you wanna contribute I'd love to hear your funny search terms, the search marketers among yah. Or if you've ever had an entrepreneurial use of the search term report, I'd love to hear your story too. The hashtag as always, #WolfgangBites. I'll be on Twitter, Wednesday and Thursday, hope to talk to you there.

If You Liked That

Here's another way you can make use of your existing data to improve your business fortunes:

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