Google data analysts react to well-being and finance search trends in EMEA
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Google data analysts react to well-being and finance search trends in EMEAAugust 2022
Google Search trends across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa show that many people are taking stock of their well-being and finances. Search interest for “hot yoga” in Czechia has grown by over 650% year over year, and U.K. search interest in “energy bills” has grown by over 500% year over year. Join the Insights Jam team, along with special guest Debadeep Bandyopadhyay, as they explore what these trends can mean for marketers.
Ashley Wells: Hey, and welcome back to the Insights Jam, where we’re exploring search trends from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, also known as EMEA. We’re reacting to data, making global connections, and talking about what it means for marketers.
Me and my fellow jammer, Samantha, are getting a peek into 2022 trends overseas, which show a rise in people feeling ready to be more mindful of their inner balance and their finances.
The Insights Jam team today includes Samantha Gelinas, consumer insights manager, and me, Ashley Wells, consumer insights manager. We’ve also got a special guest from the U.K., Google research analyst, Debadeep.
Ashley: Getting back to normal is different for everyone, and, for some, inner balance is what matters most right now. Let’s hear what’s going on with search trends around personal health and wellness.
Debadeep Bandyopadhyay: Hi, my name is Debadeep Bandyopadhyay. I’m a research analyst at Google. I specialize in search insights sourced from Google Trends, a tool that helps us understand people’s behavior in real time. Today, I’m going to be discussing trending searches and what that could mean for marketers.
Search trends are telling us something about people being more mindful about their well-being. Now that people reemerge after the pandemic being over, people are much more conscious about their health. Pandemic heightened the increase of health well-being. Not only has the search interest for health increased. What has increased is the diversity of holistic well-being. So be it searches around anxiety, stress, meditation, or even exercising, all have seen a rise.
Ashley: What’s really interesting in the U.S. market that we saw: increases for searches for things like the “best time to take a vitamin,” “Zumba classes near me,” “healthy snacks for weight loss.” So I think there’s a nice variety of consumers really taking into consideration their mental, physical well-being, the types of food that they’re eating as well, and choosing healthier options for themselves overall.
Debadeep: Some data that really stood out is when people search for health terms. At 2 a.m., searches for “anxiety” peaks in the U.K. Searches for “yoga” peaks between 5 to 7 a.m.; searches for “meditation” peaks at about 6 a.m.; and for “gym,” it’s twice in the day, around 7 a.m. and then again around 7 p.m.
Samantha Gelinas: I don’t know when these peaks happen in the U.S., but I think that’s super interesting, and I think a great example of how businesses and brands need to be showing up when and where people are looking, even if it’s in the middle of the night. And I think that could have really big implications on messaging. And when you choose to message knowing that consumers are looking for certain things at certain times of day. So definitely something that marketers should take note of.
Debadeep: What the data suggests is that health is becoming really important for people: long-term health, physical health, and mental health. And marketers need to factor that in into their strategies.
Ashley: Yeah. So this is an interesting point and I want to just take a step back a bit and think about, just the way that consumers interact with brands. A lot of times people make their buying decisions based on values that are important to them.
And so I think with this rise of kind of interest in health and well-being and wellness, it’s important for brands and businesses to really incorporate that in their comms strategy, their marketing strategy, media strategy, product information. Really highlighting, Hey, is this a clean product? Is this something that’s good for you? And that’s going to really be compelling as consumers kind of start to really, really value this idea of health and wellness, as well.
Samantha: This could be a really good way to differentiate yourself from the competition. And people are just going to be more thoughtful about where they’re spending their money moving forward, with what they’re dealing with today. So this could be a great way for brands and businesses to differentiate and connect with consumers and ultimately win their dollars.
Debadeep: Some other search terms that are that are standing out in health is the fact that people are becoming more mindful about long-term health. Searches like oral and dental health care has gone up by over 35% in Turkey. Searches for “hot yoga” have gone up by over 650% in Czech Republic.
Ashley: Our team had this theory a couple of months back where we saw searches for beauty tips and beauty tricks, and “what should I wear with this clothing item?” And we almost hypothesized that there’s this theme around looking good, being synonymous with feeling good. And people just not only wanted to get back out and socialize, like we refer to on the previous episode, but really want to look good, feel good doing it.
And I think it’s funny to note the hot yoga and the oral health, all of that really does ladder up to this idea of feeling good, well-being, wrapped up nicely.
Samantha: Yeah, wellness encompasses so many things. I think it’s much broader than what’s been traditionally thought of as physical wellness.
And, to your point, Ashley, it even goes beyond mental and emotional wellness, and into like looking good and feeling good about yourself. That’s also a component of wellness.
Ashley: So along with being more mindful of well-being during this unique moment, people have continued to be mindful over their finances too. So let’s see what Deb has to say about the data here.
Debadeep: Search trends from EMEA are telling us something about finances. People are worried about the economic challenges that they’re facing, be it inflation, rising bills, or even managing their investments. Search terms like “annual inflation” has gone up by over 200% in Turkey.
Ashley: For the U.S. specifically, we saw growth in the past month on the search term “inflation rate.” So people are generally concerned about the rising costs of everything. The rising cost of gas, we’ve seen that propel in the past few months, as well. And there’s just been in general a surge of people kind of seeking information on, as you can imagine, some of these more digital financial assets.
Samantha: One interesting stat that I’d love to throw out is that 70% of consumers across surveyed countries recently said they were concerned about the rising cost of items they need or want, which is a really significant number. And it’s not just something that certain markets are are dealing with, but it’s around the globe.
Ashley: Inflation is a big concern for people. Let’s see if anything else is causing people to feel uncertain about their finances.
Debadeep: Inflation is one issue. Energy prices is also of concern to people. People are taking innovative measures to save their energy prices. Search terms for “when to use the washing machines” have gone up in Spain.
Samantha: Yeah, that’s a really interesting point. And again, it’s speaking to this idea of how do you mitigate the rising costs. Something that Americans are very concerned about right now is the rising price of gas. I think it’s a country that hasn’t seen increased gas prices like other markets have. And alongside that, we’re also seeing a lot of increased searches for electric vehicles.
Ashley: I think there’s a lot of ways that we can think about how to conserve energy, and how to do our part when it comes to just being being more green, and also just thinking about the implication that that has on our pockets as we try to navigate through all of the inflation and the rising costs.
Debadeep: So the new observations that we have is that people are turning to search to find answers to the big financial questions. Globally, 33% of searches containing “invest” also contained the terms “best,” “how,” “where,” and “what,” indicating that people need guidance when it comes to their financial literacy and decision-making.
Ashley: I think for me, the most important thing that marketers can take away is really this idea of transparency. When there’s a lot of financial uncertainty, I think consumers really lean in more heavily on brands and businesses to help keep them informed, provide helpful tools for them, financial insights, things that make them feel like they have more control over their financial situation.
Samantha: Yeah, that’s a great point, Ashley. And I think not just being transparent but also being helpful and guiding people and providing education.
I wouldn’t say that the majority of the population feel very confident about their financial literacy. I personally feel like I could have gotten a lot more from my high school education around how to be financially literate. That’s something I’ve had to learn as I’ve been an adult.
So I think if businesses and brands can lean in and make people feel more confident through education, that could be a real great way to develop that relationship with the consumer.
Ashley: Younger consumers are actually seeking out financial information earlier on than any other generation that we’ve seen. And so really that’s an important note for brands as well to kind of help educate earlier and often is going to be really important.
Debadeep: So a closing thought: One behavior that has sustained post-pandemic is the behavior of asking more questions. And that behavior is here to stay. It’s clear that people are taking charge of their mental, physical, and financial well-being.
Ashley: Well, that’s it for this episode of The Insights Jam. Big shout out to Deb for sharing data from EMEA and his perspective. And thanks to Sam for jamming with me as always. If you want to learn more about these trends, check out the links in the video description below. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe to the Think with Google channel to uncover more great content.
Samantha: This was really fun. See you next time.
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