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What consumers really think about. And shucks, it’s not us.

So, Google released the most searched terms in Nigeria for half year 2018. The list made for a distressing read. See for yourself:

  1. How to tie gele*
  2. Wizkid Soco
  3. World Cup fixtures
  4. Npower
  5. Black Panther
  6. Who is richest musician in Nigeria
  7. How to dance shaku shaku
  8. How To prepare Banga Soup
  9. BBNaija

You mean after my many sleepless nights and hard work, nobody thinks about or want to ‘engage’ with brands online? People’s lives don’t revolve around brands? That sucks.

Here we are brand and media folks, sipping Kool Aid on the rocks, telling ourselves (and management) consumers want to ‘engage’ with our brands and ‘branded content’ online.

Engage fire!

But I got curious. Maybe 2018 is just shaping to be a bad year for brands online. So I went searching for what we searched for the most on Google in 2017.  Here goes:

  1. Moji Olaiya
  2. Evans the kidnapper
  3. Adesua Etomi
  4. Donald Trump
  5. Mr. Eazi
  6. Efe
  7. Jide Tinubu
  8. Olumide Bakare
  9. Dammy Krane
  10. Eric Arubayi
  11. ASUU Strike
  12. Moji Olaiya dead
  13. Monkeypox outbreak
  14. iPhone 8/iPhone X Launch
  15. New president in Gambia
  16. Adesua and Banky Wedding
  17. Anambra Elections
  18. Mayweather vs Mcgregor fight
  19. Zimbabwe Coup
  20. Catalonia Referendum
  21. Is Buhari dead?
  22. How to check JAMB results
  23. How to check WAEC results
  24. What is a female Hyena called?
  25. What is Monkeypox?
  26. What is bitcoin?
  27. What is MMM?
  28. Who is Bobrisky?
  29. How to check BVN
  30. Where is Nnamdi Kanu now?

Again, no brands there. Except for the infernal iPhone (or maybe we were actually searching for “iPhone 8 legbegbe”). 

I also went searching for what the UK and US searched for the most in 2017:

The United Kingdom

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. iPhone 8
  3. Hurricane Irma
  4. Fidget spinner
  5. Manchester bombing
  6. Grenfell Tower
  7. 13 Reasons Why
  8. Tara Palmer Tomkinson
  9. Shannon Matthews
  10. iPhone X
  11. How to make slime?
  12. How to buy Bitcoin?
  13. How to stay young?
  14. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor?
  15. How to watch Joshua vs Klitschko?
  16. How to mine Bitcoins?
  17. How to make Yorkshire pudding?
  18. How to make a fidget spinner?
  19. How to vote in the general election?
  20. How to lose belly fat fast?

United States

  1. Hurricane Irma
  2. Matt Lauer
  3. Tom Petty
  4. Super Bowl
  5. Las Vegas Shooting
  6. Mayweather vs McGregor Fight
  7. Solar Eclipse
  8. Hurricane Harvey
  9. Aaron Hernandez
  10. Fidget Spinner
  11. Bitcoin Price
  12. DACA
  13. How to make slime
  14. How to make solar eclipse glasses
  15. How to watch the solar eclipse
  16. How to watch Mayweather vs McGregor
  17. How to buy Bitcoin
  18. How to freeze your credit
  19. How to solve a Rubix Cube
  20. How to make a fidget spinner
  21. How to cook a turkey in the oven
  22. How to screen record

Again, no brands.

These search results are not an indictment of the usefulness of online or social media. Clearly millions of us are online and will continue to be. The problem is many brand and ‘digital’ folks sell the bollocks that consumers want to have affairs with brands. No, we don’t. In the instances when I have ’engaged’ with a bar of soap, it had always been in connection with wiping away dirt from my body. End of. I rarely look at it with affection or become wistful when I don’t see it on the shelf. 

Am I saying people don’t ‘engage’ with brands online? Absolutely not. Google Search and page ranks will always be important and they have been many interesting brand activation online. But engagement across social media to the level where important levers move? Nah, I don’t think so. 

Online and social media is very good for micro-targeting. They know us well enough. But as any good brand manager or sales guy knows, it is reach and not micro-targeting that increase sales.

Anyway, I’m still pissed consumers aren’t searching for brands online. It’d be a perfect world if only there were no consumers. Shior. 

One Comment

  1. Google algorithm, (i.e, Google’s own criteria of search term(s)), is what cast doubt on established understandings. As I consider evident in your references of UK & US, Google restricted own validation to search phrases such as “Jide Alade’s Naija Horizon” and omitted from the reports, searches for “Mr Jude”, “Jide Alade”, “Naija”, “Horizon”. Appears to me that (1) Google has targeted/streamlined findings to indices utilized by persons knowledgeable in workings of search engines and opted to ignore indices through which “unlettered” users “ignorantly” scout the web (though they be higher number of searchers) and (2) For Search Engine Convenience, (and, expectedly to reduce number of “servers” that need be added, yearly into operations), Google’s inclined or may be leaning towards coding her systems to value phrases in popular usage and to sub-value words or phrases as they exist in dictionaries or encyclopedia.

    If these understandings of mine are alien to search engine world, please pardon my indulgence. Search System Wise, I’m unlettered: Honestly and, no porn intended.

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