Quantitative Trendspotting

Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLIX (August 2012), 514–536

23 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014 Last revised: 12 Feb 2014

See all articles by Rex Yuxing Du

Rex Yuxing Du

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Wagner A. Kamakura

Rice University

Date Written: August 2, 2012


Trendspotting has become an important marketing intelligence tool for identifying and tracking general tendencies in consumer interest and behavior. Currently, trendspotting is done either qualitatively by trend hunters, who comb through everyday life in search of signs indicating major shifts in consumer needs and wants, or quantitatively by analysts, who monitor individual indicators, such as how many times a keyword has been searched, blogged, or tweeted online. In this study, the authors demonstrate how the latter can be improved by uncovering common trajectories hidden behind the coevolution of a large array of indicators. The authors propose a structural dynamic factor-analytic model that can be applied for simultaneously analyzing tens or even hundreds of time series, distilling them into a few key latent dynamic factors that isolate seasonal cyclic movements from nonseasonal, nonstationary trend lines. The authors demonstrate this novel multivariate approach to quantitative trendspotting in one application involving a promising new source of marketing intelligence — online keyword search data from Google Insights for Search — in which they analyze search volume patterns across 38 major makes of light vehicles over an 81-month period to uncover key common trends in consumer vehicle shopping interest.

Keywords: marketing intelligence, market sensing, quantitative trendspotting, online searches, factor analysis, multivariate time-series analysis, common trends

Suggested Citation

Du, Rex Yuxing and Kamakura, Wagner A., Quantitative Trendspotting (August 2, 2012). Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. XLIX (August 2012), 514–536. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391274

Rex Yuxing Du (Contact Author)

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

Wagner A. Kamakura

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States
(713) 348-6307 (Phone)

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