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Marketing’s compelling new metric: Share of Search (SOS)

Share of Search (SOS) is the decisive marketing metric, which its advocates say is a practical candidate to replace Share of Voice as a measure of both the long and short-term impact of advertising in all its forms across all channels.

Critics rightly say Share of Voice has today been overwhelmed by the diversity and complexity of our digital media landscape. It is no longer a credible metric.

Effectiveness guru Les Binet defines SOS as the share of organic Google search queries (not paid search). The metric equates to the total searches for a specific brand, divided by the total searches for all brands in the category. This info can be extracted from Google Trends and goes back to 2004.

In brief, why not measure how many people are searching online for the different brands in your category and compare that number instead?

Says Les Binet, who is head of effectiveness at the UK agency adam&eveDDB: “over the past 30 years, I’ve found that the relationship between tracking metrics and actual purchase behaviour is often surprisingly weak. By tracking Share of Search we have a powerful, not to mention cheap, metric to measure what people are actually doing online, rather than what they say they are doing. It is by no means a silver bullet – the data needs to be interpreted with care and researchers need more detail to be able to apply this to the real world … without doubt though, Share of Search has enormous potential and predictive power to track brands and advertising going forward.”

Janet Hull OBE, founder of EffWorks Global and IPA director of marketing strategy is reported on the webstie of the UK-based IPA (the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) as saying: “We are delighted that Les has unpacked his exciting new findings with our cross-industry EffWorks audience. At a time when Covid-19 is pushing more consumers online, and while industry budgets are more strained than ever, we very much welcome the addition of Share of Search as a cost-effective, predictor of the health and potential wealth of brands and advertising. In the right hands, with the right learning, this could be a real game changer”.

Check out Les Binet’s October 2020 presentation on the topic:

5 months ago