Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mining Search Trends

Keynoter Bill Tancer told participants in PRSA’s 2010 International that PR practitioners need to “become aware of the possibility of search.” Bill is general manager of global research at Hitwise and author of the book Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters.

He shared stories of how he analyzes and monitors search data. By looking at the volume of searches in the United States on specific search terms, you can uncover seasonality spikes, such as an unsurpising increase in searches for “diets” in January.

A surprising find he described was a spike in “prom dress” searches in January, suprising because proms are typically held in May. He investigated further by talking to companies that make and sell prom dresses who told him their big sales are March through May. So why the spike in January? The mystery continued until he relayed the story in a conversation with some fashion magazine publishers. They weren’t surprised. In order to increase circulation in their slower months, they publish stories and fashion shots of prom dresses at the beginning of each year. Those in the prom dress business were missing a huge opportunity by waiting until March to start their season.

Tancer said, “Public relations is one of the best uses for this data, and that’s listening to the conversation and making the business case for what we do in public relations.”

Read more and see a video interview on the PR Tactics blog.

No comments: