Search is more
Let me explore the Search universe in more detail. Marketing does three things:
- Create an intention or need (=create a search)
- Connect an intention with the most relevant answer (=satisfy a search)
- Utilize an intention to build a long-term relationship (=build onto a search).
In summary, these three core elements of our marketing discipline can be viewed through the Search paradigm. In essence, marketing attempts to be the best Search discipline that exists. Additionally, so many consumers are getting used to Online Search, they are beginning to transfer these Search patterns to other Offline marketing activities.
- They want to “search” through their TV channels instead of surfing through all the channels to find the most interesting program (Surfing is out).
- They want to “search” their retail store for the exactly the right product that they have in mind instead of getting lost in the confusing world of store lay-outs (Finding is in)
- They want to “search” the tune that they just listened to on the radio without having to log onto a laptop to identify the correct name of singer and song (Identifying is in).
I am not postulating that every singly consumer behavior will be search centric, but it will be one of the most dominating patterns, next to the other three dominating behavioral patterns of the 21st century consumer: 1. Browsing and Discovering, 2. Consuming and Experiencing, 3. Creating and Participating. Maybe in the future we have to build our marketing discipline around these four fundamental classes of consumer behavior instead of functional expertise areas.