Google launches Think Insights in Canada

August 15, 2013  |  Russ Martin and David Thomas  |  Comments

Google Canada launched its Think Insights service Tuesday, offering marketers a suite of case studies and insights into trends and digital marketing tailored for the Canadian marketplace.

Launched in the U.S. in 2011, the new Canadian version debuted with a case study showing how Hudson’s Bay Company has driven in-store sales with online marketing (see below) and promises commentary from Canadian marketers like Twist Image president Mitch Joel.

Sophie Chesters, country marketing manager for Google Canada, said there is a huge appetite for case studies, consumer insights and research that is Canadian specific – not American or global work.

“Due to our proximity to the U.S., the industry is constantly flooded with examples and references to U.S. data and trends, but this is not enough for marketers who want accurate, smart consumer specific data,” Chesters said. “By introducing a Canadian version of Think Insights, we’re able to provide a resource for focused Canadian insights which addresses the unique challenges of Canadian marketers and their agencies.”

Tools available at launch include a “consumer barometer” that shows how online media affects purchase decisions, a “mobile calculator” that shows the impact of mobile marketing and an “Insights finder” that can help brands tailor messaging to reflect what consumers are currently searching for.

In the future, Chesters said the company will add some content, such as seasonal trend insights ahead of key shopping seasons, on a fixed schedule and some as it becomes available, like the results of Google’s ongoing research studies.

The ROPO effect: HBC’s search for online ROI

Hudson’s Bay Canada, the oldest commercial corporation in North America, wasn’t so sure of how much online search advertising dollars were helping to drive in-store sales and purchase decisions.

The retailer teamed up with Google in the latter’s first online-to-store (OS2) study in Canada. Google’s more than 50 OS2 studies in the U.S. have analyzed consumers who research online but purchase offline (a.k.a. the ROPO effect).

HBC identified 19 designated market areas and selected nine as control groups and 10 as test groups, then established baseline sales activity in each before saturating only the test markets with search ads across two product categories over a three-week period.

For every $1 spent on online search ads, HBC realized $14.40 in in-store sales. The 2.6% lift in overall sales across all categories was much stronger than results seen in Google’s U.S. studies.

Shared Insights
“As a marketer, paid search is one of the most qualified digital marketing buys you can make.” – Christina Callas, SVP e-commerce and digital marketing, Hudson’s Bay Company

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