Marketers at Apple and Google only need to whisper the faint signs of a new product to turn the buzz on the Internet into a roar that lingers for days.
Well, apparently that's the case for Apple's iPad, but not Google's Nexus One, according to the eXelate indeX, the inaugural report based on behavioral intent data from eXelate.
The report reveals that Apple's announcement not only buzzed the tech community about the upcoming iPad, but sparked interest in other Apple products and electronic devices, too.
Observing purchase intent behavior through data captured on shopping and product comparison sites, eXelate divides the bits and bytes in specific buckets based on characteristics of what people click and search on.
"We can determine what products are increasing and decreasing in searches and comparison," says Mark Zagorski, eXelate chief revenue officer. "We also can see external influences, such as the impact the iPad has on Apple products and other comparable devices."
Zagorski says eXelate captures about 40 million unique visitors to any one of the shopping sites it supports every 30 days. The company looks at data in specific areas to overlap other data, such as age, gender and ethnicity to analyze shopping habits, too.
The report identifies that the iPad had more of an impact on Apple and related devices than the Nexus One. Although the iPad will not be available to shoppers for more than a month at the time of the announcement, it appears that the press coverage for the launch of the product spurred demand for associated Apple products that are available for purchase in stores and online.
Consumers' intent to purchase Apple and related products rose 27% beginning with the iPad announcement for several days following. The Apple iPad announcement also had a positive impact on the portable computing category.
The eXelate lab identified a 31% increase in activity from Jan. 26 through Jan. 27 around laptops. The interest by week jumped more than 57%. The impact from the announcement lasted longer on non-Apple products, as eXelate observed another increase of 26% on Jan. 28.
No similar impact occurred on the date Google announced Nexus One early in January, which the report attributes to the timing of the news. Google released the smartphone after the holidays and close to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
"It shows the power of Apple, that they can move the needle -- not just for themselves, but for the entire segment," Zagorski says. "They can launch one product and the beauty and elegance of that one product can lift all their other products."