In today’s world, where search is often the first step to a consumer’s online experience, the data and insights that brands and marketers can glean from that step is valuable. One of these insights is regional dialects throughout the United States. Words and phrases we use in the Southeast may mean little to nothing to someone born and raised on the West Coast. These variances in our language are crucial to marketers whose main objective is to communicate to an audience in the most resonant way. Social media and our search behavior are just two ways consumers’ online actions and decisions can quickly produce insights. More importantly, those insights can be gleaned and inform strategy and message before any deployment.
Insights from Social Behavior
As I’m posting pictures of my weekend, a family holiday party or my meal from a new restaurant on social media, it’s easy to forget that the words I’m using can be very valuable to the right person. I don’t mean to my Mom who loves updates on what I’m doing. I mean a brand or a company who is looking to understand how I spend my time and money. I mean marketers who are constantly striving for that one insight that will crack the attractiveness code for their brand.
An example of this, throughout 2014, a geographer collected billions of tweets and analyzed the most-used words within them. Taking these words and Twitter’s location data, the word usage was mapped and documented for each county within the U.S.
- What do people search for when they need something for swimming?
- Where do people use the word ‘hoagies’?
- In what areas do people talk about grits?
- Where did the most conversations occur around tacos?
- Where in the U.S. do people talk about and play the card game Euchre?
Insights from Search
The insights we can use for marketing purposes don’t end with our social sharing. Any and all of our online behaviors provide valuable data. Take our search behavior as another example of online activity that leads to insights. We’ve all been retargeted after searching for a product; retailers who carry it are suddenly finding us on every website. But our location can be weaved into a marketing strategy long before we’re delivered an ad.
When developing a marketing strategy, we’re used to talking about demographics and psychographics but geography can be equally as important. As Thanksgiving approaches each year, food service and grocery brands are thinking about promotions long before the holiday. By looking at people’s searches for turkey preparation instructions in different areas of the country, it identified very different methods across the U.S. Brands could deliver on the already existing interest in how to prepare their turkeys in these ways. Had the brands vetted the demographics of women age 35 to 55 and stopped there, this nuance would have gone unnoticed.
In the everyday posts of our lives, updates on our dogs, our kids, and our jobs are providing free insights to marketers relevant to all types of products. The ways in which the Internet is a platform for insights continues to grow and expand as our behavior and reliance on it does.
Delivering a message to our brand’s target via the standard demographic markers isn’t enough anymore. The message must be right channel, right time, right people—right language with a message informed by place. Using search data and social listening to identify regional language conventions gets us another step closer to building a better relationship.