Wunderman, BrandAsset Consulting, ZAAZ and Compete have been working on a research project commissioned by Microsoft to identify differences in the demographic and psychographic make-up of loyal users of the top search engines.
The full report is yet to be released, but there have already been some interesting conclusions drawn from the data.
Bearing in mind the origin of the funding for this project, it’s likely to have a certain bias, and highlight the benefits of spending more on a non-Google search engine.The research suggests that you can roughly pigeon-hole people based on their search engine preference.
“Consumer preference for a specific train demonstrates a unique demographic and psychographic profile … The search experience on different search engines yields different results, with some being more relevant to the consumer than others. [This] contributes to overall customer and brand awareness. If the results of the search satisfy the needs of the consumer, then the search engine has greater appeal to that potential customer and he or she will have a deeper connection to the brand and the search engine. Therefore, the research indicates, search engines provide different degrees of a “brand lift” to the destination site.”
I have to say, this is an ambitious statement to make, because it assumes that you can group people into just 3 different user types based on what could potentially be the search engine that was set as the homepage on their PC. They go on to segment by industry, giving different conversion rates for Google/Yahoo/Bing users for certain brands, products and services.
So far, the data that comes into the main focus regards conversion rates for the various verticals, but the snippets of the results are so specific to brand, that we will have to wait for the full report to be released to come to any actionable conclusions.
For the original press release : Research by Wunderman Finds Link Between Brand Building and Search Engine Use By Consumers