Google searches provide information for about 145 million brand conversations daily. That's according to a word-of-mouth study from the Keller Fay Group, which pegs the number of conversations about brands that take place in the U.S. at more than 2.4 billion daily.
Of those, more than half of consumers who are chatting up goods and services say they are likely to make a purchase based on the conversation. The Google-sponsored study of 3,000 adults across 12 categories set out to determine the influence of the Internet and search, and how media and marketing channels provided content through the entire process.
For me, more often than not, face-to-face conversations about a current event or brand are followed up with a keyword search on an engine via the iPhone I always have with me. So I'm not surprised to learn through the Keller Fay study that the Internet is the leading source of information motivating conversations, surpassing television. Similar to the way someone's life experiences influence their behavior, I'm a believer that every billboard and storefront window display that people see -- along with conversations they have in their daily lives -- influences purchase decisions.
In more than 15% of all face-to-face conversations, search Web sites are used to find information. When conversations about brands are informed by search, they are 25% more credible and 17% more likely to lead to purchase, compared with searches informed by social media sites such as Facebook.
For Google, it's all about understanding consumer behavior. Conversations are not the only thing leading consumers to search for a brand. Another recent study reveals four behavioral trends that prompt consumers to search for information on a mobile phone. The Google study suggests that 71% of smartphone users search because of an ad they have seen either online or offline, 82% search after noticing a mobile ad, 74% make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones to help with shopping, and 88% of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.