Data matters as Google would like to put it and who understands it better than the marketing minds waiting to hit the bull’s eye. “Think with Google” is Google’s answer to ‘data matters’, a one stop shop as claimed by ‘Google’ for understanding industry trends, consumer behaviour, marketing insight etc. Well, who could have provided this insight better than Google with its years of accumulating data through their search engine and instituting studies that provide a peek into the consumers’ mind? Isn’t that kind of information marketing folks are mostly looking for? Who searches for what during what time of year and the day? So, a fantastic free to use tool for the information that you desperately want to know before you put an online ad this season for your new product launch. ‘Think with Google’ will help you find that out.
The website has information tucked under categories such as Latest Insights, Research Library, Planning Tools, Facts and Stats and Thinking Ahead. Latest Insights’ is only for those, who want to know about this tool and are in hurry. You get a decent glimpse of the type of information that is available. Research Library has well sorted out information based on industry, media platform, type of audience and marketing objective. The type of information that is offered is case studies and videos. Sounds like any other information portal with limited information.
Facts and Stats Category has carefully chosen facts listed under various categories such as “only 33% of advertisers have a mobile optimised website” or “30 % of all restaurant searches are done on mobile.” Well, quite obviously, it is Google’s attempt in trying to create an interest in online marketing, if you thought it was not a very obvious choice for your own brand or company. Interested in such data, then look for more of it in “Facts and Stats” before you make that impressive presentation with that killer fact that Google has churned out for you. “Thinking ahead’ at this moment could have probably served better if it said work in progress. You would obviously expect far more from this section, where all they have now are two video showing trends in marketing and consumers today, some articles and consumer studies on online shopping for shoes, jewellery and hand bags.
However, saving the best for the last, if there is something that can be called useful in this website, it is the “Planning Tools”. ‘Real Time Insights Finder’ helps you find out what are people watching, looking for, saying, searching and where are they clicking in real time! Real Time Tools have a number of useful tools such as Ad Planner, Adwords, Keyword tool, Insights, Correlate, Blog Search, Google trends, You tube dashboard etc.
Ad planner provides a list of 100 websites and more accessed by users that can help you plan your online ad campaign, Correlate helps you understand searches on data based on time, say in winters, what recipes do people in New York look for, and you will see the trends.
While some of the information that Ad planner offers is about age group, time surfing the website, sex, income group etc. which may be common knowledge with some of the big companies, it may be interesting and important to get more information on their preferred timings of surfing in a day, most searched words etc. to get the relevant ads placed for the target customer. There are other tools Such as ‘Our Mobile Planet’ that provide information on custom insights into smartphone usage and mobile attitudes. So there is a lot that is out there are for free. If you were looking for all this information before placing your next ad online, you would probably sit through all the information and like to try all the tools.
There is an interesting tool called ” What Do you Love” which crystallizes everything from where to buy from to videos, pictures, your email ready to share that information, blogs, pictures, videos about the product. My search on “Vertical Gardens” as an example gave me all the interesting information that I was looking for in one click. Wow! But why is it tucked deep inside “Think with Google” while this can be a preferred way for searching everything about the stuff I love.
At the outset, the website looks very much unlike Google’s use of real estate on a web page by giving five options to choose from. It looks much like a portal rather than a typical product from the house of ‘Google’.
It seems that Google was sitting on lots of data, and didn’t know how to share it with others in a way that it benefits them and their partners. Very unlike any other tool by Google, “Think with Google” comes across as counter-intuitive, complex website that provides ‘gyan’ on utility of online marketing. It also comes across as something that is furthering Google’s very own interest. Much of this information can be even made available through their search engine which may have more credibility than focused attempt in offering chosen information.
For people who believe in marketing research, and want to tap the potential of online market ‘planning tools’ of ‘Think With Google’ can be truly insightful, but the way the information is presented may require a re think. But if like Steve Jobs, you do not believe in market research, you will skip this website anyway.