Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mining the Zeitgeist

Marketers interested in taking the pulse of consumers would be wise to keep tabs of Google Zeitgeist. Check out the top keyword "global movers" in 2008:

Fastest Rising (global)
1. Sarah Palin
2. Beijing 2008
3. facebook login
4. tuenti
5. heath ledger
6. obama
7. nasza klasa
8. wer kennt wen
9. euro 2008
10. jonas  brothers

One quick observation:

Social networks (still) rule: If there was any doubt that 2008 (as well as 2007) was the year of social networks, 4 of the top 10 keywords (fb, tuenti (spain), nasza klasa (poland), wer kennt wen (germany) give evidence of consumers continued interest in connecting, creating and lurking in social networks.

For the US market, Google draws out some specific subsets (economy, farewells, who) of interest however I find the greatest value for marketers is to dissect meaning and opportunity from "how to" and  "what is":

How to: What is:
1. draw 1. love
2. kiss 2. life
3. write 3. java
4. cook 4. sap
5. tie 5. rss
6. hack 6. scientology
7. run 7. autism
8. cite 8. lupus
9. paint 9. 3g
10. spell 10. art

Given the uncertainty in the economy, is it any wonder consumers are interested in pursuing more simple pursuits (draw, write, cook, paint) and looking for love never seems to go out of style.

I also find it interesting, that the dark side of a down economy rears it's head when "hack"ing is a top pre-occupation of web surfers. Hopefully, these are IT geeks working to close security loopholes in their networks and not an army of saboteurs about to unleash evil code on us all.

And perhaps, for surfers wanting to know more about "life" marketers can shine a light of meaning and purpose to help these folks come out from the virtual world and into the world of the living. 

We can only hope.

Please share your insights/observations.

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