According to a new study conducted by the New York Times Co.’s About.com in collaboration with Latitude there are three kinds of search behavior: „answer me,“ „educate me“ and „inspire me“. Thus, the study identifies some distinct human behavior search patterns which will help marketers connect and understand the target groups they are heading for.
So, how do these three search pattern types differentiate in the study that surveyed 928 Americans, age 21 to 54 with household incomes of $50,000 or higher?
„Answer me“ searches accounted for 46% of all searches, the study found. People searching in this mode simply just want exactly what they ask for. They don’t want any value add. Their typical search is looking for beauty, fashion and entertainment.
Advice for marketers: The option to capitalize on an „Answer me“ moment by featuring product benefits front and center, in addition to aligning content that presents quick, easy-to-find answers, offers a massive opportunity to marketers to generate leads.
„Inspire me“ searches accounted for 28% of all searches. This is the typical browsing mode. Usually, people in this mode look for travel as well as home and garden.
Advice for marketers: For those consumers in the „Inspire me“ mindset, creativity and different inspirational information sources will be wanted by consumers.
„Educate me“ searches accounted for 26% of all searches. People searching in this mode expect to find multiple perspectives on a topic. The top categories of most interest are health and finance.
Advice for marketers: In the „Educate me“ the contextual search mode marketers offer might help consumers with creating informative, multiple messages.
From a brand marketer’s point of view, the study explains that ads can be relevant to search. When nearly 90% of respondents “enjoy when brands stop trying to sell you something and focus on teaching you something,” this tells them that putting your bets on search is defenitely not the worst tactic.
Furthermore, most respondents agreed on search advertising terms…
– the best ads are the ones that work with the information source to help you get what you need (88%)
– that ads can be useful when they are very relevant to their search (77%)
– that ads have helped them find great options, deals or discounts (64%)
However, marketers can take their advantage from this study, being successful with the findings is still a challenge. What is the best way to identify in which mode a user is? The easiest option will probably be to have some ads for each of the categories. Still, this means to have the right content when consumers are clicking through to the landing page. If you think about it, you will understand why content marketing is seen as a major trend from CMO’s.