Sunday, July 26, 2009

You Can Learn a Lot from a Query

You Can Learn a Lot from a QueryTwo and half years ago, I wrote a column for MediaPost titled, "You Say Search, I Say Query."

In a world of buzzwords and semantics, I felt that "search" had become "too big of a catchall to be really meaningful" -- especially in light of the fact that Google had become synonymous with "search" despite embarking on so many non-search initiatives.

This was the essence of my POV...

"At its core, search refers to an individual's behavior. A query is a manifestation of that behavior.

When an individual is searching for something through a digital platform, he/she submits a query.

When all is said and done, it is the query that becomes immediately actionable for marketers, not the search."

Accordingly, I lead a repositioning effort at Resolution Media centering around Query Marketing and the QueryMatrix.

The "query" quickly penetrated the industry lexicon, even cracking the Dec. 2007 Search Insider Summit Buzz-o-meter.

And the concept really seemed to take hold at Resolution Media as the team demonstrated what the QueryMatrix meant to them.

Today, the power of the query has manifested itself in a variety of different flavors of search. From Hunch -- where the query is a decision -- to Wolfram Alpha -- where the query is a fact -- to Bing -- where the query is, well, still a keyword -- the query is showing its versatility and marketers are taking notice.

Unfortunately, many folks have yet to fully comprehend how much you can learn from a query -- specifically, as it relates to non-search activity. In my upcoming Search Insider column, I'll share ten ways marketers can use query data beyond SEM.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. (Re)Define your Audience
2. Competitive Intelligence
3. Refine your USP
4. Adjust your Product Line/Features
5. Decide what Markets to Support
6. (Re)Develop your Website
7. Tweak your Non-Search Creative
8. Inform your Display Buys
9. Measure Performance of Offline Ads
10. Predicting Elections

I've already put the call out on Twitter to see if I can expand this list to twenty. Feel free to drop a comment here with your suggestions.

Query-o for now, mates...

Crash Test Dummies
Update 7/29:
My column is out. Here's the blurb...

Ten Ways to Use Search Data Beyond SEM
Faithful Search Insider readers will know I'm a big fan of "Top Ten" lists. In the past year, I've written no fewer than ten columns featuring Top Ten lists. Today I'd like to add one more to the collection. I've always believed you can learn a lot from a query. Here are my top ten ways to use search data beyond your search engine marketing program.

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