Research led by James Hankins for the IPA’s share of search think tank also shows the metric is dynamic, so when share of search changes, so too does share of market.

Share of search has been found to represent 83% of a brand’s market share, according to a study led by Vizer Consulting’s James Hankins for the IPA’s new share of search think tank.

The research, which was carried out across a range of sectors, countries and languages, shows the ratio between share of search and share of market does vary by category and market, though.

The findings build on the work carried out Adam&EveDDB group head of effectiveness, Les Binet, and Hankins last year, which touted the new metric as an accurate proxy for market share, with the potential to predict future growth.

Share of search is based on Google Trends search data and is defined by the number of searches a brand receives divided by the searches for all brands within a competitor set over a six to 12 month rolling period.

The latest research, which will be presented by Hankins at the IPA’s EffWorks Global conference today, also shows the metric is dynamic, so when share of search changes, so too does share of market.

We hope to help the industry foster best practice and identify potential avenues for further research, this is only the beginning.

James Hankins

Furthermore, when a brand spends more than its market share and increases its share of voice, its share of search increases, although more analysis is needed to understand category and brand dynamics.

Meanwhile, mass reach media such as TV has been found to have a greater impact on share of search compared to more targeted channels. When communication is terminated, however, purchase frequency declines, but strong brands are in a better position to bounce back, although not to previous levels.

Hankins says: “These findings come from a fairly new research group. By bringing together a wide range of practitioners from the industry and aggregating the applications and insights, we hope to help the industry foster best practice and identify potential avenues for further research, this is only the beginning.”

The results are based on 30 case studies representing 12 categories across seven countries, and refer to correlations not causal relationships. The IPA hopes the findings provide answers for smaller brands wanting to deploy share of search and for companies that sell more than one product or service.

Janet Hull, IPA director of marketing strategy and executive director of IPA EffWorks, adds: “The new IPA share of search think tank has been providing robust evidence and case studies from both sides of the Atlantic to amplify industry knowledge and interest in this dynamic metric.

“Share of search continues to enliven vigorous and enthusiastic debate among academics, strategists and analysts alike. Use cases suggest considerable interest in the predictive and competitive potential for investment decision-making. We look forward to fuelling the debate.”

Ritson described share of search as a “simple and elegant alternative” to share of voice last year when the study was first released.

“A gaggle of marketers have been talking for a while now about the fascinating concept of ‘share of search’. And, as you think more about that concept, the idea becomes all the more alluring,” he said.

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