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For the Bank of England, tracking inflation and understanding consumer behaviour has become increasingly difficult and so they have turned to Internet search data for help.
Internet search data has already been used by the Bank to track the housing and labour markets, but according to the Bank’s latest quarterly bulletin, they are raising the possibility of using the data to trace consumer behaviour as well.
Terms such as “Jobseeker’s Allowance” have provided insightful information regarding trends in unemployment whilst terms such as “Estate Agents” are giving insights into house price trends. The bank has said this has been a far more useful tool to gauge trends than some of the traditional established surveys they have used in the past.
Reports are suggesting the bank is beginning to find public dissatisfaction with their current performance, due to a fear of inflation rises. The bank themselves have said there are significant uncertainties over the measures they are currently using to track inflation – and this latest development could prove to be a shrewd move to better understand modern day, real time consumer behaviour.
With traditional economic data only being available on a monthly or quarterly basis, the breakthrough idea to use search data could provide the Bank with immediate information on a daily basis. This will go some way to help produce what the bank are referring to as the ‘Nowcast’, an analysis and forecast of the current economic state.
In their quarterly bulletin, the Bank said, “We will continue to monitor these data as part of the range of different indicators it considers in forming its view about the outlook for the economy of the United Kingdom”.
It is through Google Trends that the bank have monitored search trends, a useful tool to give them a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour instead of a rough idea of the sectors that money is being spent. With Google Trends, the bank can monitor more than just sector spend, but even products and services that money is being spent on.
In today’s multichannel world, there are mountains of data which provide insights into how users have interacted with your business and their path to conversion (or non-conversion). It is important to understand performance with multichannel marketing, which can be achieved through attribution modelling. Attribution refers to assigning credit to something (a channel, touchpoint, etc.) for the role it played in the final conversion. An attribution model is a rule, or set of rules, that assigns this credit correctly to the right channel or touchpoint.
For a long time, Bing, the UK’s second-largest search engine, has been underappreciated and, in some instances, even ignored. Often regarded as the inferior search engine to market leader Google, Bing has historically struggled to appeal to many in the digital world. Most PPC analysts would give justified reasons for neglecting Bing for so long; these include the volume of traffic and the user experience just not matching up to Google. However, the validity of these assessments is now diminishing. Bing has grown and improved rapidly in the last couple of years; if you are not integrating it into your comprehensive digital marketing plan, you run the risk of missing out on a large portion of your chosen market and significant revenue.