Search: The Snow Day Barometer

During “Snow Day” as I was building a terrific snowman with my kids (if I say so myself), I got thinking about the behaviour of all those like me that were stranded for the day (and just how good my snowman was – see right). It also got me thinking about the great opportunities that were afforded to me and the kids by the Internet: to continue communicating and engaging with work, friends and brands alike from the comfort of home.

With the actual climate so cold and the economic climate even colder it’s now apparent that search is a barometer of consumer behaviour.

This concept was mooted a number of years ago now and couched in a slightly more erudite way by journalist and author John Battelle who once called Search the “Database of Intentions”.

Battelle went onto explain that Search data “represents, in aggregate form, a place holder for the intentions of humankind – a massive database of desires, needs, wants, and likes that can be discovered, archived, tracked, and exploited to all sorts of ends.”

So, with that in mind, what happened around Snow Day?

Our search data showsthat
around Snow Day™ searches for
schools spiked on Sunday and Monday.
People were looking for transport information, searching for
airport updates, as well asradio broadcasts.
Interest in
weather spiked when the snow storms kicked
off, but remained high as people pondered the rest of the week.

This may all sound very
obvious, but it just goes to prove that search has not only become a
core provider of instantaneous information, but also
as I mentioned earlier
& excuse the pun – a real barometer of the mood, needs and wants
of the general public.

This can of course be
applied to business.

With the wealth of search
data out there, advertisers and agencies can use it to discover new
trends, hot topics and likes and dislikes of consumers. At even more
granular level, advertisers can test ad slogans, straplines, keywords
and many more things from mining search data and assessing them against
consumer behaviour.

Regardless of when the
next Snow Day takes place, I really hope planners and creatives will
make use of all the free search data at their fingertips over the next
year, and use this to manage the whole campaign process with real time
insight into consumer behaviour.

  • Simon

    Something of the Dennis Wise about your snowman