“What we took for granted has changed,” said Marie Gulin-Merle, global VP for Google at the 2020 ANA Masters of Marketing Conference: A Virtual Experience. “Today, brands have to be hyper agile, hyper data-centric and hyper empathetic.” Gulin-Merle was addressing the ways in which brands need to adapt and think ahead after a year in which doing anything “the old way,” from biased advertising to purely transactional business, was going to leave brands on the backfoot. The powerful tools Google offers can help brands make necessary messaging adaptations or amplify existing features of their brands, including brand purpose. In particular, Google Search can provide a “real-time focus group” for brands who want to know what the public is thinking.
Google Search Can Offer Guidance To Brands Looking For Causes That Reflect Their CSR Goals
When it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR), brands may already have natural affinities with certain causes. For example, Patagonia has been a steward of the environment for 40 years. However, in recent years, and particularly in 2020, consumers expect brands to take a stand on the causes that are dominating the news. Google Search can help brands understand what people are thinking.
Gulin-Merle noted in her presentation that search terms like “trans rights” and “trans activism” were frequently searched in 2020. Google Trends reveals that many of these terms were searched in June, which is Pride month and a time when many brands launch campaigns in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
The real-time data that Google Search offers can provide brands with the knowledge and confidence they needed to release ads and campaigns they may have otherwise held back on. Likewise, historical Google Search data can provide a glimpse into search data of prior years to help brands prepare for seasonal trending topics in the year ahead.
Google Search Consumer Data Helps Brands Stay Agile
Consumer data, like search insights provided by Google, allows brands to create messaging that matches the will of the people. “What may have been challenges before are now imperatives. Brands must stretch their muscles and be ready for the future, but we can’t think ahead two to three years, we must be now-proofing, planning ahead two to three months, using both tech and the human touch of marketers. They [data and people] must work in tandem — the combination is super powerful. Agility, readiness, collaboration, this is the job of marketers,” concluded Gulin-Merle.
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