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This post originally appeared on MITX's blog

One of the most interesting seminars I was able to attend at FutureM was titled 'After Omni-Channel: Preparing for Digital Context'? presented by Stone Mantel's Martie Woods as well as Stacey Symonds, Senior Director of Consumer Insights at Orbitz. The content of the seminar focused on what many agencies claim to do already: owning today's consumer purchase journey and what that means for the future.

Woods opened with a slide full of buzz words and asked who in the room has used these in their presentations lately. With the word 'omni-channel'? on the screen, majority of the room painfully raised their hands realizing omni-channel has quickly (and apparently) become a thing of yesterday.

Woods and Symonds explained that today's consumer is evolving past the non-linear purchase journey that marketers have been trying to master. Now, they expect even more from brands. And it can be broken down into five insights:

Consumers are expecting to reduce the gap between thinking and doing.

With new technology and brands that have already accomplished immediacy, consumers look for the quickest, easiest solution and nothing less. Think about how you plan and then do these days. You want to travel? You go on hotwire and book a hotel. You didn't get to see your daughter before you left for your work trip? You Facetime her. You want a ride? Uber. So what does this mean for marketers? Before, brands strived to be relevant. Now, brands are proving how they can fulfill a need and reduce the gap between thinking and acting.

Consumers surround themselves first, and then make all sorts of micro purchases.

Symonds explained how she learned this with Orbitz customers. A family was traveling to a national landmark and needed to know directions to get there, as well as places to eat and things to do. But they didn't have any cell signal so they could not access this information and were suddenly frustrated with their trip. So marketers are realizing that it's no longer about getting into the consumer's consideration set. It's about getting into their queue. It's about anticipating the jobs they are going to need done. Orbitz knows now they need to deliver a product that will fulfill a traveler's needs before they realize the need.

 

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Consumers are seeking to maximize their attention.

These days, consumers feel detached from the world by merely driving their car ' they walked out of their house where they were texting on their phone, catching up on Netflix on their TV, and on social media on their tablet. Suddenly, driving in the car becomes an inconvenience because the consumer is unplugged. We are at this point that we are used to multitasking and just constantly doing. Royal Caribbean, for example, found that consumers were booking a cruise, but then canceling when they found a cheaper cruise. The brand found that consumers are not on the hunt for a cheaper option, they just continue to browse and research cruises because they are used to the behavior so inherently continue the habit. Before, brands wanted to combat multitasking to get the consumer's attention. Now, we must embrace the 'while.'? Think about what they are doing while they are interacting with your brand/app/etc.  When you design an app for example, it's not building  something that will get their full attention, it's about knowing what else they will be doing when they use the app in that moment.

The customer journey is no longer about a path. It's just a constant state of moving.

So instead of trying to map out a complex journey, Woods explained that we can follow and reach the consumer by understanding their various behaviors. And we can do this by looking at 'modes.'? A mode is a manner or disposition of accomplishing a task. I.e. improving, competing, planning, playing. It is a general pattern for focusing and getting things done. They can be highly useful in predicting activity, design thinking, and driving cross technology innovation. Modes represent the first truly digital approach to profiling consumer behavior in a way that supports consumers, aligns with what they value and works across technologies. Before it was about knowing the customer journey. Now, we need to understand what the consumer is trying to accomplish under each specific mode.

Consumer behavior demands more than omni offers.

When thinking omnichannel, brands have the mentality 'customers can find me when they need me in whichever channel they choose.'?  Essentially, marketers think they have solved the problem by just making the brand available on every available channel. However, consumers expect the appropriate channel based on their specific mode. So, the new mentality a brand should have is 'I support thinking and acting for my customer at the right time in the right way.'? Marketers must shift from thinking about omni-channel to digital context. Woods explained three pillars of digital context:

  • Environments: Sensor driven physical environments that can respond to tools and modes
  • Tools: Devices and apps, primarily mobile, that can access personal data and respond to environments
  • Modes: Behavioral states that drive receptivity and determine what is valued

A local example of this is the New England Patriots. The company saw low attendance at games, so they created Patriot Place ' a new environment that used the right tools and responded to the appropriate modes to answer the fans' need for a better experience. On a national scale, United Airlines integrated Uber into their app, knowing the consumers would be looking for car services after their flight.

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Overall, while a lot of the content could be considered subjective, the root of the seminar was how agencies are all trying to solve the same problem, and we're all going about it in the same way'?¦ but maybe that's our roadblock. Instead, if we take our focus away from how to define the consumer journey and zoom in on the consumer's specific behaviors around their purchases, we can define a new strategy to reach and influence a consumer, and maybe we won't all be trying to stake the same claim.

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Movie awards seem to be back as the Golden Globes made our keyword collection along with the Oscar nomination announcements. The 2024 presidential election season started with a caucus, a primary, and a candidate dropping out. Lastly, the NFL playoffs were the big sports topic and we followed all the phrases as the league followed its path to the Super Bowl. The First Few Days On the first of the year, there was an earthquake in Japan. A few days later, what is known as the Epstein list was released to the public. Japan earthquake - 1/1/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Epstein list - 1/3/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck western Japan and was officially named the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. The aforementioned Epstein list was actually dozens of documents from a 2015 court case filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre against his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been convicted of child sex trafficking. The documents did have mentions of politicians and celebrities but have not led to any further legal action. MLK Day 2024 On the 15th, we observed Martin Luther King Day and people wanted to know more on the 14th. Martin Luther King - 1/14/2024 - 500,000+ queries As we queried Google to learn more, this holiday calls us to reflect, join hands in service, and celebrate Dr. King's lasting impact on the fight for civil rights. Awards and Coachella We saw a good list of keywords related to the Entertainment industry. First up, the Golden Globe Awards: Golden Globes 2024 - 1/6/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Golden Globe winners - 1/7/2024 - 500,000+ queries Jo Koy - 1/7/2024 - 500,000+ queries After a few years of low search interest, the award show’s search interest has increased: It’s not at pre-pandemic levels yet, but it has recovered from its 2022 nadir. The music festival Coachella released its lineup for this year’s festival. 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The first primary in the nation was held on the 23rd but the queries started to increase the day before. College Football Championship Alabama vs Michigan - 1/1/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Washington vs Texas - 1/1/2024 - 500,000+ queries Michigan vs Washington - 1/8/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries After the college football season was over, a renowned coach announced his retirement. Nick Saban retiring - 1/10/2024 - 500,000+ queries Nick Saban wasn’t the only football coach to make our list. Let’s talk through the NFL list and then get to all the coaching changes. NFL Playoffs As it happens every year, the NFL playoffs made a huge Splash in terms of Google's daily trends reports for the month of January 2024. Below is the list of the NFL-related keywords that had 500,000 queries or more: NFL playoff picture - 1/6/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Steelers - 1/6/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Packers - 1/7/2024 - 500,000+ queries Eagles - 1/8/2024 - 500,000+ queries Chiefs - 1/12/2024 - 5,000,000+ queries Chiefs vs Dolphins - 1/12/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Kansas City Chiefs - 1/12/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Packers vs Cowboys - 1/13/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries NFL playoff schedule - 1/13/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Cowboys - 1/14/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Rams vs Lions - 1/14/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Eagles - 1/15/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Bills vs Steelers - 1/15/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Jason Kelce retire - 1/16/2024 - 500,000+ queries 49ers - 1/20/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Lions - 1/20/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Ravens vs Texans - 1/20/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries Chiefs - 1/21/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Raven vs Chiefs - 1/27/2024 - 5,000,000+ queries Lions vs 49ers - 1/27/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Chiefs vs Ravens - 1/27/2024 - 1,000,000+ queries 49ers - 1/28/2024 - 2,000,000+ queries Super Bowl - 1/28/2024 - 500,000+ queries Travis Kelce - 1/28/2024 - 500,000+ queries Even though most of these phrases were about games that set up the final two teams who will play in the Super Bowl, the queries related to the championship game appear only once both Conference Championship games are completed. Keep that in mind if you are prepping a Big Game promotion or campaign. Coach Changes After the end of the regular season, they were a bunch of different NFL head coaching news. Here is the list of coaches’ names that made our January 2024 collection. Pete Carroll - 1/10/2024 - 500,000+ queries Bill Belichick - 1/11/2024 - 500,000+ queries Jerod Mayo - 1/11/2024 - 500,000+ queries Jim Harbaugh - 1/24/2024 - 500,000+ queries May all of these changes bring better performances next season. Oh Yeah, Other Sports Even though the NFL drove the most search interest, there were other sports that made our list. Real Madrid vs Barcelona - 1/13/2024 - 500,000+ queries Royal Rumble 2024 - 1/26/2024 - 500,000+ queries Doc Rivers - 1/23/2024 - 500,000+ queries The other football had one entry, professional wrestle had one of their annual tournaments, and another coach change - this time, Doc Rivers taking the Milwaukee Bucks job - were all notable queries from last month. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.

Unveiling the Future: 5 Trends on Social Team Watchlist in 2024 Explore the 2024 forecast for social media trends spanning various platforms, industries, and digital creators, which is on our social team’s watchlist. Over the upcoming months, we anticipate the ascent of text-only platforms and the decline of prominent social media channels, opening doors for alternative platforms. As brands and consumers shift their focus from X (previously known as Twitter), platforms such as Threads, The Spill, or Bluesky are gaining momentum, attracting niche audiences. “Text-only platforms will make a comeback in the upcoming months because of platforms like Threads and X. I think users are excited to see new platforms like The Spill and Bluesky and what they can offer.” -Rashida Hull, Senior Engagement Strategist “I predict that X will shut down and Threads will step in to fill the void, introducing updates reminiscent of X and seamlessly taking over the platform.” - Destiny Velazquez, Engagement Strategist The emphasis on video content will persist in 2024 because it enhances engagement. Regardless of whether it's short-form or long-form videos, consumers remain immersed in the art of storytelling. As a result, Instagram and other platforms will maintain their focus on prioritizing video content. “Instagram is set to prioritize the appearance of Stories on the feed by implementing changes.” -Ainsley Robertson, Senior Engagement Strategist We're entering a creator economy that will offer cost-effective benefits and top-notch content. The creator economy is expected to grow even more in the upcoming year, so investing in creators who genuinely represent your brand and believe in the products is essential. “The Creator Economy isn’t going anywhere and will likely continue to grow. Utilizing content creators in social content will be table stakes and expected. Brands will be more critical than ever to be partners and not supervisors for creators, which helps build longevity. Creators and brands will prioritize long-term partnerships because of their cost-effective benefits and best-in-class content.” -Molly Miloscia, Director, Social Media The influence of dupe culture is on the rise and is expected to expand further in 2024. Nevertheless, the distinguishing factor between authentic brands and dupe companies lies in the presence of community managers. These individuals play a crucial role in fostering connections with the audience and humanizing the brand. The significance of community management and nurturing customer relationships will be essential in 2024. “Community Management and Customer Responses will now become an essential part of the content mix as brands look to take customer care out of the direct messages and into the spotlight; we’ll see more and more brands aim for virality in providing the ultimate customer service for their followers.” -Molly Miloscia, Director, Social Media Gen Z finds pleasure in viewing extended content on platforms like TikTok, Reels, and YouTube. They are particularly drawn to creators who utilize these platforms to delve into narratives such as true crime stories, overlooked history, or unconventional professions like morticians. Gen Z will push forward long-form content in niche subcultures. “I think with YouTube being such a popular platform with Gen Z, we’ll see longer-form content creators thriving in niche subcultures: law tube, true crime, beauty, etc. A couple of examples are Bailey Sarian (Murder, Mystery and Makeup), Emily Baker (Law Tube), and The Lawyer You Know (Law Tube also recently featured in Max’s documentary about Gweneth Paltrow—illustrating the voice these YouTubers have in mainstream media!” -Laura Bluett, Associate Director, Social Media Strategy

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for December 2023. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. Bringing a Close to 2023 All good things must come to an end and so do our Google Trends posts for the year of 2023. We collected some interesting keywords from last month from most days. There was one day in December where Google’s Daily Trends interface seemed to stop working so we’ll examine what day it was and what happened. We gathered keywords that gave us insights into what people were watching on their screens. Of course, holidays were a big subject last month. The world of Gaming had a couple of topics that drove people to search and we had a good accumulation of sports-related keywords from all 4 major sports. Let’s get to it. What Happened on December 8? Typically, we see 20 phrases reported for each day in Google’s Daily Trends. On the 8th, we only saw one. Just one. Ryan O'Neal - 12/8/2023 - 200,000+ queries Actor Ryan O’Neal passed away on the 8th and his name was the only keyword reported by Google on that day. We only collect the top 3 phrases for any day so we only had to do a third of the work for the 8th. We have seen Google’s reporting interface glitch before. It’s worth noting that we were unable to get the full understanding of queries from the day last month. Festive Holidays From Last Month They say the holidays are what make December great. Let’s see what holidays were searched for last month. Winter solstice 2023 - 12/20/2023 - 500,000+ queries New Year's Day - 12/31/2023 - 5,000,000+ queries It’s interesting that the first day of Winter was a popular search keyword. We are not sure if the day is celebrated or if people wanted to know what exact day the season would start. When it came to tracking Santa, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) had updated its tracker for 2023. NORAD Santa Tracker - 12/23/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Looking back at the last 5 years, the update did not increase the query volume more than the tracker had in 2019. The volume was still high enough to make our report for December 2023. The Season’s Must-Sees We enjoy looking through the names of the shows and movies that people search for the most. Here’s the list of what people wanted to watch in December 2023. Dancing With the Stars - 12/5/2023 - 100,000+ queries Leave the World Behind - 12/9/2023 - 500,000+ queries Reacher Season 2 - 12/14/2023 - 200,000+ queries Leonard Bernstein - 12/20/2023 - 200,000+ queries Rebel Moon - 12/21/2023 - 200,000+ queries A Christmas story - 12/24/2023 - 200,000+ queries The Color Purple - 12/25/2023 - 200,000+ queries Dancing With The Stars Season 32 held its grand finale on the 5th. The film Leave The World Behind was released on Netflix and the second season of Reacher was released on Amazon Prime Video on the 15th. The film Maestro was released on Netflix on the 20th, which led people to search for Leonard Bernstein. On the 22nd, Netflix released Rebel Moon after a limited theatrical release. A Christmas Story film marathon was shown on TNT starting on Christmas Eve and the musical version of The Color Purple was released on December 25th. A Couple of Gaming Keywords When a big game trailer drops, you know people want to see more. GTA 6 trailer - 12/4/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Game Awards 2023 - 12/7/2023 - 200,000+ queries The sixth installment of the Grand Theft Auto game franchise is coming in 2025 and a trailer for the game was released last month. Also, the Game Awards were held in December 2023 and it’s the first time we have seen the awards show name make the Daily Top 3. Looking at the last 5 years, the award show drove more search volume in 2022, but in 2023 it made our prestigious report. Are You Feeling Lucky Again? The Powerball jackpot must have been big last month because we saw queries related to the drawing towards the end of December. Powerball numbers - 12/26/2023 - 200,000+ queries Powerball numbers - 12/30/2023 - 200,000+ queries Usually we start to see these queries when the jackpot has reached $1 billion. With a jackpot only in the hundred of millions of dollars, we think people were hoping to win some big money to pay back their holiday spending. MLB Hot Stove Major League Baseball made our list as players signed with new teams. Juan Soto - 12/6/2023 - 200,000+ queries Shohei Ohtani - 12/9/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Juan Soto joined the New York Yankees and Shoheo Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Ohtani contract was the size of the Powerball jackpot. NBA Player Names The names of a few NBA players made our list. Some for good reasons and some for not so good reasons. Draymond Green - 12/12/2023 - 500,000+ queries Giannis Antetokounmpo - 12/13/2023 - 200,000+ queries Ja Morant - 12/19/2023 - 200,000+ queries Draymond Green got suspended from the NBA after an altercation last month. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a franchise-record 64 points on the 13th, and Ja Morant returned to play his first game after his suspension on the 19th. He even hit the game winning shot. Early and Late December College Football It was a tale of two halves. We saw some interest in games and rankings at the beginning of the month. Alabama vs Georgia - 12/1/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Oregon vs Washington - 12/1/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Florida State Football - 12/2/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries CFP Rankings - 12/2/2023 - 200,000+ queries Then, at the end of month, people wanted to know about the Bowl games. Georgia football - 12/29/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Ohio State football - 12/29/2023 - 500,000+ queries Penn State football - 12/29/2023 - 200,000+ queries We should see some College Football queries at the beginning of next month as the Championship game was held on January 8th. The Most Popular League As the regular season started to wind down, the queries for the NFL picked up. Here’s the rundown of keywords related to the National Football League. 49ers - 12/3/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Packers - 12/3/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Trevor Lawrence - 12/4/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Cowboys - 12/10/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Raiders - 12/14/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Detroit Lions - 12/16/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Bills - 12/23/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries 49ers - 12/25/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Chiefs - 12/25/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Browns - 12/28/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries Cowboys - 12/30/2023 - 2,000,000+ queries Chiefs - 12/31/2023 - 1,000,000+ queries As the month came to an end, the playoff picture was set. We can’t wait to see how the queries unfold in January. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.