Brand Attitudes and Search Engine Queries

Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 37, p. 105-116, Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 Dec 2016

See all articles by Jeffrey P. Dotson

Jeffrey P. Dotson

Brigham Young University

Ruixue Fan

Google Inc.

Elea McDonnell Feit

Drexel University - Department of Marketing

Jeffrey Oldham

Google Inc.

Yi-Hsin Yeh

Google Inc.

Date Written: December 16, 2016

Abstract

Search engines record the queries that users submit, including a large number of queries that include brand names. This data holds promise for assessing brand health. However, before adopting brand search volume as a brand metric, marketers should understand how brand search relates to traditional survey-based measures of brand attitudes, which have been shown to be predictive of sales. We investigate the relationship between brand attitudes and search engine queries using a unique micro-level data set collected from a panel of Google users who agreed to allow us to track their individual brand search behavior over eight weeks and link this search history to their responses to a brand attitude survey. Focusing on the smartphone and automotive markets, we find that users who are actively shopping in a category are more likely to search for any brand. Further, as users move from being aware of a brand to intending to purchase a brand, they are increasingly more likely to search for that brand, with the greatest gains as customers go from recognition to familiarity and from familiarity to consideration. Additionally, users that own and use a particular automotive or smartphone brand are much more likely to search for that brand, even when they are not in market suggesting that a substantial volume of brand search in these categories is not related to shopping or product search. We discuss the implications of these findings for assessing brand health from search data.

Keywords: Search Engines; Brand Search; Brand Metrics; Recall; Recognition; Familiarity; Consideration; Purchase Intent

Suggested Citation

Dotson, Jeffrey P. and Fan, Ruixue and Feit, Elea McDonnell and Oldham, Jeffrey and Yeh, Yi-Hsin, Brand Attitudes and Search Engine Queries (December 16, 2016). Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 37, p. 105-116, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886055

Jeffrey P. Dotson

Brigham Young University ( email )

United States
8014221659 (Phone)

Ruixue Fan

Google Inc. ( email )

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States

Elea McDonnell Feit (Contact Author)

Drexel University - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

Jeffrey Oldham

Google Inc. ( email )

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States

Yi-Hsin Yeh

Google Inc. ( email )

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States

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