Google Research: Most Of The Time, The Smartphone You Search For Is The Smartphone You Buy

Google has just posted research findings on how certain factors affect the launch of a smartphone, with data coming directly from search. According to author Matt Seitz, the senior analytical lead at the Google Agency Blog, searches predict smartphone sales “with over 90 percent correlation throughout the launch cycle.”

With this data, the search giant has uncovered the most important factors that determine whether or not a smartphone will launch into the arms of millions of adoring fans, or to an audience that either doesn’t know the phone exists or simply doesn’t care.

The most important factors in a smartphone launch happen long before the phone is ever made available. According to the research, generating buzz well before the phone’s launch is a good way to maintain top of mind with consumers, finding that an extra 1,000 news stories leading up to launch will generate a 9 percent boost in sales. In fact, 52 percent of purchase-related searches happen before the launch of a phone, so the earlier a company markets the phone (with news coverage, ads, promotions, etc.) the better that phone will do in the market.

Video, in particular, seems to garner special interest in a device. Google points out that for every million views a product video gets in the week leading up to launch, an extra 11 percent boost will be seen in sales figures.

But preparation isn’t the only thing to remember. Timing is everything, and Google has learned that Thursday and Friday release dates usually have the best results. Marketing that’s in-line with a Thurs/Fri release date will give an extra boost to the already-convenient launch days.

It also turns out that where you market is just as important as how you market, with users showing a great interest in learning about smartphones on their smartphones. An extra 25K mobile searches will increase smartphone sales 17 percent during launch week, and that grows to 20 percent a month after launch.

But information is the key. Consumers are spending more and more time researching these products before they buy them — after all, you are semi-stuck with the phone you choose for around two years. This essentially means that retailers will have better luck if they mold ads to the questions users are asking the most about their devices.