Big life moments: Education, property, and car buying are trending
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Big life moments: Education, property, and car buying are trendingMarch 2022
With pandemic restrictions loosening, people are starting to explore how to make big moves in their lives. Their areas of interest include education, property, and car shopping. For instance, searches for “college online admission form” rose by over 100% and “calculator for home loan” increased by 200% year over year. Join members of Google’s Ads Research and Insights team as they discuss these trends and consider what they mean for today’s marketer.
Ashley Wells: How are people changing their education habits? Why is residential real estate top of mind? And what does the rise in car searches say about the global economy? Join us as we discuss search trends about some of life’s biggest moments and decisions. Tap that Subscribe button, and join us on the other side.
Once a month, a group of data analysts and marketers get together to explore the most recent trends in Google Search. The Insights Jam team includes Nina Taniguchi, consumer insights manager; Casey Fictum, creative product lead; Dan Trovato, data insights manager; and me, Ashley Wells, consumer insights manager.
Hey, everyone, thanks for joining another episode of the Insights Jam. And hello to the team.
Team: [crosstalk hellos]
Ashley: Well, we’ve got a lot to talk about today, so let’s jump right in. We’ve seen a lot of people using Google Search to prepare for some of life’s biggest moments. Questions around things like education, property, and even automobiles are all on the rise. Nina, are there any education-related stats that are standing out to you right now?
Nina Taniguchi: We’re definitely seeing people search for ways to invest in themselves when it comes to higher education. So, for example, searches for “college online admission form” grow globally year over year by over 100%.
Dan Trovato: I think it’s really interesting we’re also seeing nontraditional forms of education, demand for that bubbling up from the search data as well. Really practical things — on the personal finance front, for example, searches for “how to invest” have grown globally by over 60% year on year.
Ashley: Yeah, Dan, and I think what really stands out for me on this topic is the role of video when it comes to education. And so it brings to this point an article that was published last year from the Influencer Marketing Hub, and it states that global e-learning is on the pace to hit $325 billion by year 2025. And even more so, it’s estimated to gross about $10.8 million in revenue for those who are productizing their knowledge.
Casey Fictum: I’m glad you brought up online video. That’s exactly where I was gonna go. I’m evidence of this. There are pieces on Google today — on Think with Google and other content sites — that leveraged 3D design skills that I learned last year, just doing online courses. And that was all during a year where I wasn’t in classrooms; I was using online video. And I’ve always thought it’s pretty liberating, if you think about Google as a company, that search box — like, Dan, your point on personal finance, it’s almost like the search box is a form of education at times.
Ashley: Totally agree, Casey, and I think that segues us really nicely into our next trend, which is property. I’m going to pick on Nina for a moment. I know Nina recently purchased. Congratulations! Are any of these stats standing out to you?
Nina: For me, personally, last year, yeah, that was like a huge life change. And me being a first-time homeowner is certainly a daunting process. You know, one of the areas in particular — we saw searches for “calculator for home loan” grow year over year globally by over 200%. There are a lot of other related searches or related tasks that go along with buying a home — so things like moving, finding the right broker, furnishing your home.
So I think, for marketers, they’re not just focusing on their particular industry but kind of expanding that aperture and thinking about what other areas are related to what I’m trying to sell, and making sure that, you know, you’re there, even anticipating what your consumers or potential consumers are needing, because I certainly would have appreciated that in my search process.
Ashley: Yeah, Nina, I second that. I think another really important message for marketers to take away, and a lesson that I learned myself, is that the decision-making doesn’t just end at the big moment of purchase, right? And so, for me personally, leaning into decisions that had to be made after the fact — brands that I wanted, you know, to be in my household. And a lot of that stems from my personal values.
So whether it’s — I’m buying cleaning supplies because they’re eco-friendly or simply because they’re better material for my new hardwood floors — it’s definitely important for brands to make sure they resonate based on people’s values. And I think that, you know, values do change based on people’s life circumstances, and that’s something that marketers should keep in mind as they think about how they can be relevant throughout the journey.
Dan: Ashley, I love how you talk about those, these larger decisions of actually purchasing a home. With the pandemic, people really want to make their home a place where they live, work, and play. And I think people are coming to Google Search to find inspiration about what they can do with their, with their new home as headquarters. Casey, I know you’re enthusiastic about image searches and …
Dan: … here are a couple for you.
Dan: Here are a couple for you.
Casey: No way.
Dan: Image searches for “budget small bathroom ideas” have grown globally by over 200% year on year. Image searches for “walk-in shower ideas” have grown globally by over 80% year on year. So, clearly people are rethinking their home in big and small ways, from loans to upgrades to everyday products.
Casey: Yeah, I am excited that image searches made it into the cut. I’ve been begging for it, so thank you, Dan. I owe you something — I don’t know what, but we’ll figure that out. I — with this trend, for me, there’s also a flip side too. So there’s nesting at home, but I’m more curious about the nomadic kind of lifestyle that’s come from this and the flexibility of things, like certain cities that they’re calling Zoom towns, where they’re very friendly to internet in terms of internet service providers, and you can get fast Wi-Fi connections. But they have amenities, and it’s more affordable than living in more traditional, larger cities where some of those amenities exist.
And a lot of times it’s like outdoor amenities. So I know, like Moab, Utah, is one of those Zoom towns. Durango, Colorado, is another one. And then there’s also even smaller towns, smaller cities that are offering compensation to have people move to these cities, just given that remote work is more, I guess, available these days. And so, while, yes, people are nesting, and I love that image searches are happening, I do think there’s this, this other type of move happening when it comes to property. And that is just flexibility in terms of location.
Ashley: I think that actually takes us nicely into our final trends, where we talk about buying a car. So searches show that people are curious about all aspects of buying a car, including things like “used cars,” “car prices,” “car detailing,” and even what the “most expensive cars in the world” are. So any insights you want to share, Casey, specifically about these searches?
Casey: I have a stat for this one. I’m gonna start with car prices. You mentioned it, some of those examples — “used car prices,” “new car prices,” “are car prices going to drop.” Searches for “car prices” have grown over 70% globally. So that, to me, is an indication of shopping. Anytime that pricing is in the term, we typically associate that with, “Hey, they’re looking to shop.” And a lot of this started during, I’d say, the initial parts of COVID, where people needed a means to get around and they weren’t flying or taking public transportation as much, for obvious reasons. I’d be curious if there’s something else in the auto space, though. I’m sure Dan or Nina have something for me.
Dan: I think we can’t talk about the rise in auto purchases, the rise in auto prices without talking about EVs. EVs grew in a huge way this year, and people increasingly have sustainability on their mind. We see searches for “electric vehicle charging” have grown globally by over 100% year on year. And I think it’s really cool how brands are explaining some of this new technology to potential customers. So, Hyundai released its Nexo hydrogen car, and they launched a creative campaign where they actually attached a bubble maker to the tailpipe of the car. So the car drove around the streets and blew bubbles, showing sort of the clean, the clean energy and the clean emissions coming from a hydrogen car. So I think some of the new technology in autos is really exciting, and the creative equally exciting.
Nina: Yeah, that’s really interesting, Dan. I just kind of wanted to circle back to what Casey was talking about, thinking about the drivers. We see searches like just “cars to buy” — that phrase growing globally by over 400% year over year. There are a whole host of factors at play here, where things like supply chain shortages, computer chip shortages. Maybe an interesting thing for marketers to think about is, beyond cars, is this an opportunity for other modes of transportation to kind of step in and be a little bit opportunistic in seeing this as a way to either highlight the benefits of trying to take public transportation again and reassuring on safety.
Ashley: Well, we’re at time again, guys. Jamming goes by so fast, unfortunately, but I want to thank the team for another lively discussion. But before we go, I want to acknowledge that this is Nina’s last video jamming with us. She will obviously still be digging into consumer insights …
Dan and Casey: Aww … . Nina … .
Ashley: and poring over search data with us here on the team, but just not in this particular forum. So we’re going to miss you, Nina. We’re really, really, really, really sad to see you go. But we’re excited that we’ve got to spend so much time with you jamming on some of these topics. So, thanks so much, Nina. Thanks, team.
Nina: Thank you, guys. Yeah, I’ll miss you all.
Casey: Thanks, Nina.
Ashley: Thanks for joining the Insights Jam, where search trends get the attention they deserve. If you’ve enjoyed this video, don’t forget to subscribe to the Think with Google channel to get access to our other great content. We’ll be back soon. Until then, keep searching, and we’ll keep exploring what it all means.
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