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.  

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