Google Insights for Search features a tool that shows how search volume shifts over time based on geography. Since search volume is an indicator of consumer interest, it can be useful to see how interest in particular search queries changes over time. Here are three examples.

Skinny jeans

First, let's look at the evolution of a fashion trend: skinny jeans

In this example, searches begin to index high in New York and California. As time goes by, the search index increases down the coasts and finally throughout much of the country, which is a normal pattern for fashion trends.

Tom's Shoes

Next, let's look at a brand. Check out this one for Tom's Shoes

Tom's Shoes was founded in 2006 and commits to donating a pair of shoes to a child in need with every shoe purchased. In this case, searches started in California & Texas in early 2008. By 2009, search volume grew throughout the south and west coast and in 2010, people across much of the country were searching for Tom's Shoes. This is a great example of how interest in a brand can spread via grassroots efforts and word of mouth.

Reebok Easy Tone

Finally, let's look at an established brand with a new product launch: Reebok EasyTone

Reebok launched a national ad campaign for its new shoe, 'Easy Tone', in Q4 2009. On the map, you can see the search volume index go from zero to blue in most states in Nov-Dec 2009. By promoting their new product nationally with a multi-media ad campaign, Reebok ignigted interest across the country. And when people are interested in learning more about something, they search.

So, check out the Google Insights for Search tool to see how searches for your products and categories are trending both nationally and regionally to make the most out of your search campaigns.

Posted by Eva Barbier, Google Retail Team

Last year, American icon Barbie celebrated her 50th Anniversary. To celebrate, the famous fashionista hosted fashion shows, events, and parties all over the world. And how did Barbie market this special anniversary? Fans were able to learn more about Barbie's events, Barbie fashions, and communicate with her through her YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter Feed. Whenever Barbie fans went looking for more info, Search ads drove them to all of Barbie's social destinations.

This holiday season, make sure to give your customers a consistent message across all marketing channels. Coordinate your Search efforts with promotions and social media. Support each aspect of your online presence with Search to make your content easy to find, increase your reach, and effectively engage your customers.

Disney’s Consumer Products division uses its Disney Living Channel on YouTube to showcase everything from bridal fashion shows featuring gowns inspired by its Disney Princesses to sneak peeks of its latest toys, and tech gadgets.

They turned to YouTube because it has broad reach and because video allows the company to tell stories that couldn’t be conveyed in print or other online media. Learn more about how the Disney Living channel creates content specifically for YouTube and uses both social media and paid advertising to increase fan engagement with some examples for Halloween.

Posted by Jacques Hebert, Google AdWords Account Manager

We’re excited to announce the completion of our latest research study, regarding consumer shopping intentions for Holiday 2010, and that we hosted a "Think Holiday" webinar featuring results from that research.

In case you missed it, here's a quick update on what we're seeing this holiday season:
  1. "Early shopper gets the gifts" -- shoppers are researching and purchasing earlier than ever
  2. "The connected consumer" -- desktops and smartphone are integral to the purchase process of today's shopper
  3. "New, hot products" -- fastest rising search terms reveal shoppers' interests
For more insights into Holiday 2010, be sure to view the Google Holiday Webinar.

It probably does not come as a surprise that sales are the most effective driver of holiday purchases. Savvy consumers have become accustomed to hunting for coupons before making purchases online and extras such as free shipping are the new basics.

Source: Google/OTX State of Shopping, May 2010

Google saw search volume related to coupons increase by 30% during the 2009 holiday shopping season, as consumers became even more active in searching for deals than during the rest of the year.

Source: Google Internal. Average monthly search volume on top 100 coupon-related terms on Google for February through September 2009 compared against the average monthly for October through January.

So give customers what they want -- provide value by offering coupons and free shipping. Some retailers like Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret, Kay Jewelers, and Burlington Coat Factory have begun offering layaway. If your brand cannot provide coupons, think about offering value to customers in other ways. . . be creative!


Close your eyes. Envision a US boomer. What comes to mind? How old is he/she? Are you having trouble envisioning what a boomer looks like? Now think about the last advertisement you may have seen targeted to a boomer. Having trouble thinking of one?

Boomers are defined as adults aged 46-64. 1 in 3 US adults is a boomer. When asked "how old do you feel?", at least 1 in 5 boomers responded that they feel at least 10 years younger than their age. 30% of them say they feel at least 5-9 years younger. More than 74% of boomers say that advertising these days are intended for someone younger than them.

Can advertisers really be missing the mark on hitting America's largest and most wealthy demographic?

Join Google and Nielsen on Tuesday, October 26th at 3pm EST for an eye opening webinar that will change the way marketers think about boomers forever.

Through clickstream, survey data and online testimonials, we will learn The Four Truths about Boomers and Media:

  • Boomers are sponges for content and media. Even more so than the younger generations.
  • Boomers sit on an aided adoption curve with technology. With the help of family and friends, they have the ability to ramp up on technology quickly and proficiently.
  • Boomers are most comfortable straddling what's familiar and what's new. We'll see where they are traditional in their behaviors versus where they are open to new ways.
  • Boomers are a curious and thoughtful group that value quality and family.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3pm EST/2pm CST/12pm PST

Register for this webinar today.

Cross-posted from Google's CPG blog

More and more consumers are using video as a resource in their shopping process, with 17% using videos throughout the entire shopping process.

And what type of videos are shoppers using?

Source: Google/OTX State of Shopping research, May 2010.

Shoppers are using videos to learn more about products, either from 'regular' people or from experts. Did you know that YouTube receives hundreds of millions of video views monthly? Or that YouTube's audience is split evenly between males and females, with just as many users over 45 as under 18?

If you haven't experimented with online video, think about creating a campaign for this holiday season. YouTube offers opportunities to advertise through customized user channels, promoted videos and display, and inStream ads.

Do you remember the Halloween party scene from the movie Mean Girls? You know, the one where Lindsay Lohan's character dresses up for her very first Halloween party and ends up wearing a gruesomely scary ensemble -- only to arrive and discover all the other girls came dressed up in cute and flattering costumes? Talk about disaster.

Google Insights for Search can help you avoid pitfalls like that by uncovering the latest Halloween costume trends. Inputting a few traditional Halloween costumes into the tool unveils a few revelations. Naturally, a huge seasonal spike in costume queries surfaces around the month of October. However, if you dig a bit deeper, you notice the impact of popular movie releases on Halloween costume searches.

For instance, in 2006 the Pirates of the Carribbean sequel hit theaters, sending ‘pirate costume’ searches through the roof; actually, those searches took the top spot across all six years among the five costumes we looked at for this exercise.

Another example of a blockbuster hit boosting the popularity for specific Halloween costume searches involves the Twilight phenomenon. The movie gained popularity leading up to its release in 2008. Subsequently, ‘vampire costume’ queries rose 64% from the previous year.

Searches for Lady Gaga rank the lowest compared to the rest of the costumes we looked at, alluding to the fact that general pop culture may retain a lower impact on user queries than what is playing on the big screen. (However, something tells me a meat dress or two, reminiscent of her recent MTV Video Music Awards ensemble, may pop up this season.)

Based on the movies released this year, what are your predictions for 2010?

This holiday season, we’ve prepared YouTube marketing strategies to help you take advantage of this time of the year on the top online video destination.

Tip #1: Customize your YouTube Brand Channel
Just as a retail store would dress up its window during the holidays, take advantage of enhanced features to customize your channel. For example, you can showcase your products with the 300x250 display ad; integrate all of your social media efforts with the channel banner that appears at the top of your channel page; and stay connected with your customers with a remarketing campain that targets users who have visited your YouTube channel.

Tip #2: Show off your products through video this holiday season
YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google. You probably have a search engine strategy for the top search engines—is YouTube included in that plan? Videos are a compelling way to feature your products, services, and your brand. When your target audience is searching on YouTube make sure your videos are surfaced with promoted videos.

Tip #3: Place your holiday creatives against relative videos
Reach your audience in a ‘lean forward’ media platform where people are seeking video engagement and information. Find videos or video categories that resonate with your brand or target audience and pair your holiday display ads against them.

Tip #4: Bring your holiday TV ads online
In 2009, people spent more time watching online video than checking their email! Use your TV creatives or your online videos to run as preroll before videos on YouTube and get in front of this tremendous audience. Engagement rates are also compelling with an average CTR of 1.9%. An ad format that answers your holiday wish.

Tip #5: YouTube Video Gift Guide
Now consumers have a place to watch and shop on YouTube! This holiday shopping video hub is open to all advertising partners with video assets. Our guide provides consumers with the opportunity to watch and shop and provide advertisers with one destination to showcase their holiday video ads. Contact a sales representative to get started.

We’ve made your list, now check it twice and have a great holiday season!

Fossil provides a great example of how to create an integrated marketing campaign. For each SKU featured in their June 2010 catalog they bought a keyword and linked it to the exact landing page for the product. Fossil saw a 55% increase in online orders from this campaign.

If you are a retailer that produces different catalogs for different regions, Google can help you create regionally focused search campaigns based on DMA or zip codes. Or think about creative ways you can integrate and unify your marketing campaigns across channels, building on your current strategies to drive increased sales.


As a continuation of our ongoing series, we're excited to share insights from our latest research studies.

Join us on Wednesday, October 20th, at 2 PM EST as we share findings on consumer shopping trends for holiday and discuss strategies marketers can implement to increase holiday sales.

During this webinar we will discuss:
  • Consumers' holiday shopping plans: what, where and when will they purchase?
  • Key shopping dates you don't want to miss
  • New strategies for holiday 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

11 AM PST / 1 PM CST / 2 PM EST

To register for this webinar, please go here.

Private sale shoppers have some unique characteristics -- these customers visit private sale sites frequently and browse often. The sense of urgency, limited inventory, email reminders and thrill of the hunt have shoppers returning almost twice as often to private sale sites compared with high-end apparel sites. At the same time, these consumers comparison-shop heavily: they browse more often than luxury department store shoppers and convert less on private sale sites. As we detailed in our discussion of the rise of group buying sites, you should try to replicate the urgency of private sales sites by crafting limited-time offers.

In the chart below, you can see the amount of cross shopping between high-end apparel sites and private sales sites is growing. This means that shoppers are growing more and more likely to visit a high end retail site and then visit a private sale site. Cross shopping peaks during holiday for private sales -- perhaps because high-end retailers are offering strong holiday promotions and luring private sale shoppers to their sites.

So, what are the key takeaways? High-end retailers should increase post holiday presence to compete with the private sale peak shopping activity and private sale retailers should consider increasing their holiday presence to compete with peak shopping activity. And all retailers should determine how to best create excitement with their unique customer base.

Source: Compete/Google study, May 2010.

Search remains the primary information source for online shoppers. Consumers use search through their entire purchase process, from the beginning where they are introduced to a brand, retailer or product, through the end of the process, where they purchase a product online or in-store.

Source: Google/OTX State of Shopping research

Identify the steps a consumer makes when discovering, researching and purchasing your products. Make sure your search campaign integrates into these various steps, by bidding on the most appropriate generic and branded keywords.