How do you typically find online information or websites you’ve recently visited?
Forrester asked 4,600 US adults this question and we would say “the answers might surprise you” but that would be cliche. Let’s just take a look at what happened and see what we can do with the results.
Organic search landed in the number one spot (no surprise) but the second, third and fourth options weren’t that far behind.
Search only got 36% of the vote. I expected it to be closer to the 50% mark. Want to guess what came in second?
Time’s up: Facebook.
25% of respondents said they got their info from Facebook! I am surprised by that.
Third place went to TV ads with 23%, fourth to TV shows with 21%.
Sponsored search engine results are way down on the list at only 11% with Twitter coming in last at 8%.
The report does contain some good news for search marketers. It turns out that super-spenders – people who spent more than $1,000 online in the past three months – are much more likely to turn to organic search for information.
Here, instead of 36%, natural search engine results are in line with my original guess. 46% of super-spenders are relying on search which is wonderful because they’re the best people to reach with your message.
Super-spenders also give Facebook high praise with an even higher 37%.
One other change, Super-Spenders also like Twitter. A full 20% said they use it to find information vs only 8% of the general population.
Sponsored search still comes in nearly dead last so you might want to double check your previous results before you spend any more money on that type of marketing.
Marketers Chime In
Even though online marketing has been around for awhile, only 16% of marketers said they thought they were on top of changing consumer behavior. The problem lies in the fact that search marketing is a lot more complex than it used to be. You want to land on top of the Google pile, but now there’s also a Facebook pile and a Pinterest pile and a mobile search pile. That leads us to cross-channel marketing but Forrester says few marketers are adequately measuring the results and if you can’t measure, you can’t declare any campaign a success.
Bottom line is this; consumers are open to whatever you give them. If you pique their interest in a mailer, they might follow through with search. If they see something they like at a friend’s house, might use their mobile phone to search for it online. The one truth is that it’s all very immediate. A consumer expects their needs to be met within a few seconds of trying, that means they’ll buy from the first store Google serves up if the price is right. Whose store is that going to be? Yours or your competitors? See, in the end it still comes down to who gets to the consumer first with the right information.