Monday, June 1, 2009

Google AdWords for Concept Testing / Consumer Research?

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from Product Managers is about the lack of available dollars for consumer research. Here's one potential option that may have value to you if you're nearing release of a product and need to fine-tune your market positioning: Use Google AdWords!

The idea is simple: Create a landing page for your new product, along with an option for users to sign-up to hear more information when the product is available. Throw together several ads which test several different product positioning options. Use Google's relevant keywords to quickly define who might be looking for your product. Then horse-race the ads.

I know this is not representative and may yield issues when confidentiality is critical. But I really think the potential for AdWords for research is pretty interesting. You can learn a lot from click-through of the ads itself. You can have the ad not shown in geographies where your competition is based. You can even have your landing page change for folks coming from competitive websites if competition is an issue. Furthermore, I suspect with some solid work on this methodology by some intelligent market research people that it could be made representative and operational norms could eventually be developed.

Bigger benefits: Set-up time and costs are low and it can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you desire. And so long as you don't mislead (no "buy-now" stuff), you could use your landing page to develop a community of loyal users before the product is even launched. So long as you listen to them of course!

So far, my use of this methodology has only been as one tool to test a product name on a product improvement, though I think it has broader merit. Thoughts?


  1. Hi there, this is super interesting, thanks for posting. Have you seen this idea come to life ever since you posted this 5 years ago? Know anyone who has taken on the challenge?

  2. Google has a research product that they offers that can be used to the same effect: