A+M Searchlight: Online behaviour correlates to offline intent
Malaysia - With many now connected - either on our smartphone, at work or via our home broadband - have you ever wondered how our online habits reflect real life?
As Malaysians become more digitally savvy, we can see evidence that suggest how online behaviour mirrors offline plans and intentions.
For example, if we look at the year-on-year search query trends for Malaysia, over recent years the line has evolved from a smooth upward line into a line with peaks and troughs. From that, we can infer that the digital world has become part and parcel of Malaysian lives.
Google finds correlations between search behaviour and the final action of the consumers -- findings that show how intertwined our lives are with the digital world.
In this research, Google compared the ‘credit card' query trend for the past three years against the transactions and spending on credit cards. We found that the online query trend for ‘credit card' has a direct correlation to the number of credit card transactions. Why the spike in spending?
Search queries trend - based on the Google internal tool within credit card category
Credit card transaction - Bank Negara Statistics monthly bulletin 1.30 Credit Card Operations in Malaysia
Year 2011 for online/offline comparison
Let's take a more in-depth look: looking at major events happening around the same period for the past four years, we identified the following:
- The Malaysian Mega sale - the sale started on 1 June in 2010 and 2011 and we saw a spike in searches for ‘credit card' in May for those two years. In 2009, the sale started on 4 July, and the spike in searches for happened in June. We are able to conclude there is a strong enough correlation between the Malaysian Mega Sale and user intent to spend and charge their credit card.
When we compare online trends with offline behaviour, May is when the activity starts to pick up, reflected by online search queries and actual spending.
So, for the banks we can infer that:
- It's a good time to acquire new customers;
- It's an opportunity to increase charges to credit cards
- It's time to re-look at marketing strategy - perhaps a chance to tie-up with merchants in anticipation of the increase in market share.
Conversely, for the consumer:
- It's a signal to track your spending and spend wisely.
- It's a reminder to weigh your savings vs. spending carefully. Sale time is also a time to help you spend and save; so take advantage and plan well.
- It's an opportunity to scout properly for the credit card that suits you the most, as depending on your spending pattern; you could be getting plenty of cash back. There is a lot of review and comparison information available online, e.g. www.savemoney.my.
And, most importantly for businesses:
- It's an opportunity to find out whether your product is in high demand by using Google's Insight for Search (http://www.google.com/insights/search/), a free, easy-to-use online tool that can help gauge demand for products. For e.g. the snap shot below shows the relative growth in volume of searches for dress, shoes and restaurant:
- It's a chance to capture the additional demand. If your target customers are searching for your product, you can easily reach out to them by being present online.
- It's a sign to get creative to beat competition. Using online platforms, you can experiment and test out your unique ideas with minimum cost.
It bears repeating: Malaysian businesses need to go online and reach customers where they are. According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions (MCMC), 63% of Malaysian households now have access to the Internet and 81% of the population is actively online. Embracing the online ecosystem and planning a digital strategy will be crucial for any business' future growth.
Follow @MarketingEds on Twitter for breaking news throughout the day.Have something to say? Comment on our Facebook page or contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Google Related Stories:
- Philippine Universities, Schools goes Google
- Google debunks digital myths
- Burberry: Seal it with a kiss
- Why Baidu will not compete with Google... yet
- What was Google thinking?
- Grocery trips starts online for Filipino women
- Locals proud of home-grown companies
- Amazon launches app store for China
- Google dedicates site for Philippine elections
- Google backs female entrepreneurs
- Muslim Pro goes from app to web
- Volunteers update Google Maps for elections
- Bizarre HR: Google’s $100 million man
- Whatsapp becomes new target in tech wars
- Google Trends: The iPhone vs Samsung
- Prepping for election day
- Google Chrome goes nuts
- Android tablets tipped to outsell iPads
- Google opens e-learning channel for students
- The changing face of recruitment