My grandmother was a stickler for specifics. “Devil Detail” was her subtle way of making her grandson look carefully at data life throws at us.
When looking at new business opportunities, search volumes online are one of the important indicators we look for. We analyse whether markets exist online for products and/or services, quantify the opportunity based on our experience and then decide if we can make some money or ideally build a business.
We then step up from the data available through Google Trends & Google Keyword tool and look at whether dull stuff like margins, staffing, longevity and competition make it a good area for us to invest.
Rt7 started life in the unexciting world of UK water coolers. Ten years ago we walked the pavements of Wandsworth, London handing out fliers to people telling them of an ‘exciting water delivery service’ with a great service ethic. Honestly, the odds were stacked against us.
We did however hit a jackpot (inadvertently) . Being better at tech than the others we had been hearing a load about the importance of search engines. We started advertising on this ‘Google thing’ and found that we were able to sign up a new customer for a cost of around £5 customer (averaged over our first five years and our first 2000 customers).
When our competition had a cost of around £180 per new customer acquisition we topped out at £10 in 2008. It was a lovely time to be advertising on Google Adwords as no-0ne else in the industry was focusing on it. Looking at the image above we were tapping into large search volume that had just started to provide sales leads for well positioned websites.
Today our team of developers in South Africa were looking on Google trends and stumbled upon a fact that surprised us – but shouldn’t have. Within the search market in the UK in 2013 more people search for “hog roasts” than “water coolers”. The google trend for hog roast searches is growing year on year while the number of people searching for “water cooler” or “water coolers” is stable.
We had always assumed that water coolers had a larger number of searches per month than the phrase ‘hog roasts’ – we were wrong. We should have been paying more attention to the data available to us through free online tools like Google trends/keyword tool. Big Roast – our hog roast brand – doesn’t have the aspirational net margins of a water cooler company but more people are searching for its service online in 2013.
The Devil is in the detail and if you look to sell your product or services online then make sure you are looking at/analysing the abundance of data that is available to you at the click of a mouse.