A Focus Group, But Less Awkward

By Dan Kuthy, Account Strategist

As you may already know, the “Power of Search” is reflected in mass customization and instant point-of-need direction. For those who need to brush up on their Query Marketing, let’s do a quick review:

Mass Customization: Marketers can display a different listing to each consumer based on the perceived intent of his/her query.

Instant Point-of-Need Direction: Marketers can instantly direct interested consumers to a specific destination based on the query where they can engage with the brand

These two Powers are frequently used to ensure a relevant consumer experience but are less frequently used poll the market. Every day, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people from every walk of life are providing Marketers with a vote of their mouse. No matter what the question Marketers are looking to answer, Search can be used like a focus group to yield scalable consumer insight and proof of consumer preference.

Let’s give it a try:

The Question: My customers in coastal cities, especially Miami, have been hardest hit by a downturn in the domestic real estate market. They have less disposable income and don’t seem to be buying my products. Will they be more willing to buy if we put our products on sale? If we marked our products down 10%, would they start buying again?

The Test: Solicit 10,000 well-focused clicks from the Miami area. For 50% of the clicks, serve up traditional, generic messaging. For the other 50% deliver a poignant sale message including a $-off or %-off message and a landing page that features the discounted items.

The Results: After soliciting 5,000 clicks from each scenario, the results are in. Remember, we’ve got to look at both revenue and margin to determine the validity of a price reduction scenario.


In this case, running a sale in Miami doesn’t seem like the solution to enhancing profitability in a weakened market. As you can see, decreased margins in the sale scenario outweighed increased willingness to purchase. If a sale won’t spark a rebound, what will? A rebate? An eco-friendly attitude? A gas card with a purchase over $100?

Instead of just guessing, let’s put it to the test and let our customers make the call.


CJeffCampbell said...

Stop guessing & start testing...Preach on brotha!

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