Marketers should take note of consumer sources of information

A survey of 2,000 UK adults shows that young people are likely to discover content through social media rather than search engines, with almost half of people aged 18-24 preferring social media to search engines like Google, according to a study by video search website, Blinkx.

Mindi Chahal

It has been well documented that people increasingly turn to Twitter when a story breaks and even witness stories breaking on the channel itself, instead of TV and online news channels revealing breaking news.     

Social searching does decrease with older consumer age groups but the insight still highlights the changes in the way people search for and discover content.  

A separate study, which also provides consumer search insight, looks at what health concerns people search for online.  

The research, by Exponential, analyses the online behaviour of over 1.8 million Britons and reveals that pregnancy, skin care and fitness are the most common concerns for which Britons turn to the web – and apparently marketers are eight times more likely to be concerned about digestive health. 

The study also shows difference between what men and women search for. Men are 14 times more likely than women to be interested in vitamins, 10 times more likely to be interested in nutritional supplements and four times more likely for high blood pressure. 

Women are 12 times more likely than men to be interested in dental health and nine times more likely for vaccinations. Although women are seven times more likely to look at fertility and six times more for birth control where as men are twice as likely to be looking for pregnancy tests. 

Great for pharmaceutical brands, companies that provide advice, cosmetics and fitness brands as it can be seen whether it’s worthwhile for them to advertise online, around key searches and sites.    

This might seem a bit too targeted and on the verge of trying to over-influence consumers to buy a certain product but if I was looking for an answer to a health query online I’d want to see some solutions, whether that’s a helpful answers to common health problems or a brand advertising medicine, a new fitness product or skincare range.

The important thing is understanding the source means brands have a starting point in targeting consumers in the online world and are aware through insight that these sources are changing and differ among age groups and professions.  

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here