New findings from the cross-industry IPA Share of Search think tank data

The findings were revealed at EffWorks Global 2021

Across a range of categories, countries and languages, Share of Search (SoS) appears to represent 83% of a brand’s Share of Market (SoM) on average, which reinforces the insight that SoS is a strong proxy for the consumer driven/demand side of SoM. This is one of the arresting new findings from the cross-industry IPA Share of Search think tank data presented by James Hankins at IPA EffWorks Global 2021.

These latest findings from the IPA SoS think tank build on the work by Les Binet and James Hankins who presented the new Share of Search metric at EffWorks 2020 and, against several hypotheses, test the various ways in which the SoS metric behaves and what it represents to help brands analyse their categories dyanmics and track the health and future wealth of their brands.

According to Vizer Consulting’s James Hankins, Share of Search is defined by the number of searches for brand X, divided by the searches for all brands in the competitor set, he recommends that practitioners apply a 6-12 month rolling average to smooth out the data. The results are based on 30 case studies representing 12 categories across seven countries, however; the think tank is keen to remind everyone that these findings refer to correlations and not causal relationships. The findings also provide answers for smaller brands wanting to deploy SoS and for companies that sell more than one product or service.

Core IPA SoS thinktank 2021 findings:

  • Across a range of categories, countries and languages SoS appears to represent 83% of a brand’s SoM on average

This indicates SoS is a strong proxy for the this reinforces the insight that SoS is a strong proxy for the consumer demand side of Share of Market.

  • SoS correlates with SoM across category, country and languages

This upholds Les Binet’s 2020 finding, but the ratio between SoS and SoM varies by category and country.

  • Changes in SoS affects changes in SoM

It is dynamic; when one changes the other changes.

  • Spend (SOV & ESOV) is related to SOS

When a brand spends more than its market share and increases its share of voice, its share of search also increases. However, ultimately analysis is required to understand category and brand dynamics.

  • Broadcast/Mass reach media appear to have a greater impact on SoS

More so than focussed targeted strategies.

  • Going dark (ie terminating communication) seems to result in a consistent pattern of decline related to purchase frequency half-lives

But strong brands appear to be able to “bounce back” stronger although not to the previous level. 

Says James Hankins, Consultant, Vizer Consulting:

"These findings come from a fairly new research group, By bringing together a wide range of practitioners from the industry and aggregating the applications and insights, we hope to help the industry foster best practice and identify potential avenues for further research, this is only the beginning."

Says Janet Hull OBE, IPA Director of Marketing Strategy and Executive Director IPA EffWorks:

"Building on the great work of Les Binet and James Hankins in 2020, the new IPA SoS think tank has been providing robust evidence and case studies from both sides of the Atlantic to amplify industry knowledge and interest in this dynamic metric. Share of Share continues to enliven vigorous and enthusiastic debate among academics, strategists and analysts alike. Use cases suggest considerable interest in the predictive and competitive potential for investment decision-making. We look forward to fuelling the debate."

Last updated 17 April 2024