Survey Says Price Matters For Targeting Search Ads

Boot-BMarketers at mid-priced retailers and brands will miss a great opportunity to market products to affluent consumers during the holidays if they don't get off their duff and do a little research. Google Consumer Surveys and Harris Poll have partnered to develop a product that allows businesses to compare themselves to industry benchmarks before tweaking campaigns. I'll explain.

Understanding the product and how consumers view it helps brands set prices, monitor brand awareness, design packages, and reach new audiences. I'm a little bit country, so while researching the possibility for new boots I realized a sizable discrepancy in prices for some items between two specific retailers. A tweak of a paid-search campaign would allow the one selling the boots for less money -- Boot Barn -- to reach a slightly different audience, at least in this instance.

It turns out that Boot Barn's and Neiman Marcus' (NM) Web sites sell some of the same Old Gringo women's boots. The Boot Barn's $499.99 price for the Old Gringo Little G Embroidered Bootie runs about $35 less than Neiman Marcus' $585 price tag, even after factoring in the $50 gift card that comes along during special promotions.

Then there's the Old Gringo Monarcha Colorblock Cowboy Boot, which sells at NM for $675. Boot Barn sells the same boot in different colors for $559.99. On the Web site NM calls it "our exclusive," but the only exclusive thing about this boot design is the color. The point -- here's the same boot at two completely different types of stores for a whopping $116 difference before subtracting the $50 NM gift card. NM won't have an ongoing promotion for these boots.

Google's agreement with Harris Poll to build on its recently announced customer survey tool allows brands to create a custom online survey in minutes to discover what consumers think about everything from designs and messaging to price. Adjusting paid-search ads for Boot Barn to hit NM's demographics might mean asking questions about products across the Web that unlock premium content on publishers' sites.

Publishers get paid as users respond to questions. Brands gain research input starting at 10 cents per response. The joint agreement allows brands to compare responses with competitors for a fee.

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