You Ask, I Answer: Branded Search for Niche Industries?

Nancy asks, “If you’re selling something highly technical e.g., carbon fiber to replace traditional aluminum for fabricating airplane seats, would branded search be helpful e.g., assuming there are brand name aluminum makers who target the aerospace?”

It depends on the behavior of your buyers. One of the most important, easiest things to do is configure Google Analytics to separate out branded and unbranded search as separate channels so you can better see how different types of search perform. Once you have that set up, you should be able to determine the importance of branded search to your business.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode, Nancy asks if you’re selling something highly technical eg carbon fiber to replace traditional aluminum for fabricating airplane seats, that’s very specific.

Would branded search be helpful assuming there are brand name alumina makers who target the aerospace? So it depends on the industry.

And it depends on the behavior of your buyers.

There are some industries where there’s very little digital interactivity at all, right? Where everything is done based on a few suppliers.

Everybody knows who the suppliers are.

And there’s a system like arriva for example, where all the RFPs are managed and search may not be a part of that at all.

In other industries, absolutely.

If there’s no more than a handful of vendors and people are looking for the company, buy in I mean, but number one, the number one terms people Google for is Google.

Don’t know why.

So the answer to this question is that you have to set up your analytics to understand the behavior of your existing buyers first.

And then once you have that information, you can make a judgement about how important branded organic searches here’s the cash out of the box.

Google Analytics, in no way supports branded search unintelligible fashion to do analysis on it.

There is a built in feature where you can define branded terms in Google Analytics, but the channel groupings and stuff are not configured for that.

So that’s step one is you have to reconfigure Google Analytics to support that.

Without it, you’re kind of flying blind.

Once you have that set up, then you can start looking at the importance of branded organic search and branded paid search on your business because what you can do is Once you have that defined as a channel grouping, you can then start to do things like customer journey mapping or page level conversion analysis with that as a defined channel in Google Analytics and say, I want to see just how brand organic search drives conversions for this goal or this goal or this goal.

And then you can make the determination How important is it to us? Now, one of the other things to keep in mind is that you may have a blind spot because you may not be very good at branded or unbranded organic search.

In that instance, the thing to do to essentially to validate your findings is to run a survey either a formal one or just pick up the phone and call 10 of the leading companies in your industry that buy from you, your your, your customers, or potential customers and say hey, not trying to sell you I just want to know when you go out to bid for, you know, AIRPLANE SEAT materials, how do you do it? Do a focus group, do a one on one, interviews, whatever it takes to get the information from the kinds of companies you want to do business with and say, Hey, you know, I just want to know how you how you make that determination.

What’s the process of travel if you’re willing to share it? I’ll give you $100 amazon gift card for your time or something.

That qualitative information will give you some useful insights on the behavior of your buyers and how they think about buying because again, you may be a sector where is a good old boys network right and the all the supplier decisions may be made on a golf course.

There are industries like that where there is no amount of branded search that will have any impact Because all the deals being made over beers, the ninth hole, right? where most people drink after the 18th hole, but anyway, that may be the way that decisions are made in your industry.

And if you don’t know that, then you may focus heavily on the digital analytics, and not pay enough attention to what’s happening in the industry overall, the only way you find that out is through those interviews.

If you can’t get 10 prospective customers on the line, then call 10 of your actual customers actually should probably call 10 your actual customers anyway and say, Hey, when you were searching for us, how did you find us? Right? Again, you want to try and make sure that you’re sampling from your broad customer, potential customer base as a whole because the people who are already customers, there’s kind of a bias built into your company, and they may be blind spots in that that you can’t see without having the perspective of those people who have not bought from you yet.

Just please don’t try and sell them anything on the phone, you’re there just to gather information.

And if they want information about your company say great after the call, let me connect you with a salesperson.

But right now I’m just trying to do the job of understanding the buyer behavior, people tend to respect them.

So that’s the approach I would take is set up your digital marketing analytics, your Google Analytics or the system of your choice, specifically for branded organic search.

And then separately, run market research to ascertain the buyer behaviors.

Those two things in concert will tell you an awful lot about how people are making decisions in your industry.

And if there are there may be what you may end up doing is depending on how your intake forms go, when your sales process goes and things like that, you may end up having two sets of data that That could be conflicting, especially if you do the the 10 existing customer surveys and then you have your web analytics.

In that case, depending on how good your CRM is, and I hope it’s really good.

You may end up having to do what’s called propensity scoring, where you look at people who have bought and did not do random organic search and people who have bought and did do branded organic search, and essentially do a propensity score model on those two things to figure out what is the treatment impact of branded organic search on your customer pool.

The challenge with that is that your customer, your CRM has to be really good.

So good, that it can separate out and and essentially pulling like assisted conversion data and last touch a lot of CRMs are stuck on last touch attribution.

It’s a terrible attribution model.

And if you were to attempt to do that propensity scoring with Alaska, You’re going to get garbage.

You have to have the assisted conversions in there.

And so your CRM has to be set up for that.

Very, very few.

I’ve actually think I don’t think any out of the box have set up to do that.

It’s a pain in the butt to do it.

For sure, Salesforce comm can be made do it unhappily.

I think Hubspot can be made to do it.

But it’s not you won’t be able to use any of their built in reporting for it.

You have to do it as a custom field.

Yeah, it’s a pain.

But it can be done and if you want to be able to ascertain the impact of any channel on customers, that would be the way to do it.

So really good question.

The answer is not as clear cut as you might think.

If you have follow up questions about this or anything we talked about in this video, please leave them in the comments box below.

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I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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