You have no doubt noticed the lack of South African digital research available online. Most Google searches turn up poorly written articles, unreliable sources, outdated data, global statistics or formal research that you have to pay a fortune for (such as World Wide Worx or TNS). However, the guys at Google have created a really awesome suite of digital tools and research that is freely available.
The Google guys seem to keep them under wraps as not many people are aware of these tools. That doesn’t help the majority of us digital strategists that are searching for market relevant statistics and research. So I thought I would share a bit of info about these tools.
Think with Google
Think with Google is essentially the Google research hub which holds a huge amount of digital research and acts as a portal for all their other tools. While a lot of their case studies and insights are global, they provide great nuggets of information for presentation that are entirely relevant for the South African market.
While there is a lot of info across this platform, first head straight into the insights section to find the really good content including; infographics, statistics, research and insights by category. You probably need to do some exploring to see what is useful to you.
One of the most useful sections is the Insights Africa section which gives you a range of key statistics for African markets including SA of course. Sure a lot of these are AMPS like statistics but they are presented really nicely and allow you to create graphs on the fly. Excellent if you need a quick slide for a presentation.
If you are looking for South African statistics then you have to check out Google’s mobile section called Our Mobile Planet – it provides mobile stats for a range of countries including SA and has the same drag and drop graphing ability.
There are a range of other tools that are useful as well such as the Display Benchmark Tool which helps you benchmark your display campaigns by pulling in the relevant country and category information – impressive hey? This available for all formats and types of display media.
The Real Time Insights Tool essentially links to a range of other Google tools such as Insights for Search, Insights for YouTube, as well as shortcuts to tricks like Link: www.matthewarnold.co.za to see which sites have linked to you or which blogs are talking about your brand. There is even the GoMo tool that helps you check if your website is mobile compatible.
All in all Google has put together a really useful set of tools for any digital marketer and one that is worth checking out, especially as it’s entirely free to use. Here is a summary video that shows a bit about what Google is trying to achieve with ThinkWithGoogle. You will just have to ignore the cheesy Sims-like music…
This is a really amazing tool that provides insight into online user behaviour. I used it to draw insights around the relationship between Search, research an actual purchase behaviour within South Africa. I am really surprised that I have not come across this tool before. I dont even think the local Google team knows about this one – if they do it is a closely guarded secret – so go on and give it a try. Google Barometer Tool.
Have any other great digital media tools that you would like to share? Let me know in the comments section.