Flashback! End-of-Year Edition: The 10 most-read articles of 2019

Elham Rizi-Shorvon, Eva Menger / December 2019

We all love a good list, and there’s nothing we love more than looking at what trended over the year. Whether it’s the Dutch trying to understand Wat is een podcast? (What is a podcast?), Danes grappling with ‘Hvem skal jeg stemme på? (Who to vote for) or Swedes searching for answers to ‘Varför firar vi midsommar i Sverige?’ (Why do we celebrate midsummer in Sweden? – hmm, you tell us, Sweden), it’s always insightful to say the least.

But what made the most impact on Think with Google Nordics & Benelux this year? To wrap up a year filled with highlights, including the Dutch and Swedish launches of Grow My Store, and a fresh new look for our homepage, we sifted through the data to uncover the stories our readers loved most in 2019.

10. Holiday retail trends: 5 ways to engage consumers during the festive season and into 2020

Holiday shoppers across Europe increasingly have their mind on two key things: convenience and cost savings. Digging deep into Search trends, this article outlines five ways in which marketers can tap into the ever-changing habits of consumers during the most festive time of year.

9. How IKEA aimed to solve life’s biggest problems with smart SEO

“It’s much better to connect to the hearts of customers than to their brain,” says IKEA Marketing Project Leader Carin Jacobsson. An insight the company responded to by turning to Search, as, according to Jacobsson, that’s where their youthful customers go to for every question they have, including those involving love.

Together with marketing agency Åkestam Holst and Google, the retailer identified the most popular search terms relating to relationship problems, and renamed key IKEA products accordingly – for example, the daybed named “My Partner Snores”. A smart move that didn’t just lead to great exposure and an increase in sales, but a shift in brand perception as well.

8. 10 digital marketing predictions for 2019

What do the rise of omnichannel, the value of custom content, and personalisation through data-driven marketing have in common? We predicted they would be big in the digital marketing world in 2019; looking back, we can’t say we were wrong.

7. Research: Driving strong business growth through data-driven marketing transformation

Research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), commissioned by Google, found that best-in-class digital marketers benefit from 1.4 times greater cost benefits and up to 2.5 times revenue impact — yet just 2% of brands are actually at that level. So what do leading markets do differently? BCG uncovered the key practices they follow, and measured the value of each of these strategies by running tests, brand surveys, and more than 40 expert interviews. Read the impressive results here.

6. 5 mistakes for agencies to avoid around Black Friday

Although only a recent addition to the European seasonal marketing calendar, the popularity of Black Friday in Europe has increased exponentially year-on-year. As this is the perfect time for retailers to connect with Christmas shoppers, Kristian Olsen, founder and CEO of Danish agency PR Gruppen, shares mistakes to watch out for when planning your Black Friday campaigns.

5. Why data, diversity, and a radical company overhaul are front-of-mind for GroupM’s CEO

To prepare themselves for digital transformation, companies often focus on their organisational structure rather than the consumer. But as Jonas Hemmingsen, CEO of Group M Nordic, firmly believes, the real opportunity of digital transformation lies in its ability to help businesses become more consumer-centric. In this piece, Hemmingsen talks C-Level priorities, agency challenges, and the ever-changing digital landscape.

4. How a data-driven approach helped Finnair increase bookings by 31%

More and more people have moved their entire shopping journey onto the web — a behavioural shift which has had a significant impact on the travel industry. To gain a better understanding of the increasingly complex customer journey, Finnair took on a holistic, data-driven approach, including a comprehensive data roadmap, an attribution model, and integrated data – with great results.

3. How Stimorol chewing gum personalised at scale in three ingenious steps

Is personalisation worth it? And if so, can it work at scale? Those are the mysteries Stimorol, Northern Europe’s market-leading chewing gum brand, aimed to unravel with their digital campaign. Realising that their product could play a central role in giving people social confidence, they took to Search to identify the social situations in which people most needed a confidence boost.

Answering queries like “how to kiss” and “how to speak in public”, the brand came up with a series of creative YouTube ads, driving a best-in-class uplift in AdRecall.

2. Fast-forward thinking: TUI speed up their site by breaking down silos

Speedy mobile sites have proven to have a direct impact on business success. With consumers increasingly moving over to mobile, companies with an eye on the prize have begun to recognise the importance of site speed. Travel operator TUI proved that in order to get a speed project off the ground, the whole organisation needs to be onboard, silos need to be broken down, and agile processes need to be put in place. As a result, they saw a 31% decrease in bounce rates, and a 78% reduction in load times.

1. An expert guide to tackling the 8 challenges of attribution

We know that customers use a number of channels in their path-to-purchase, but how do you calculate the individual value of each of those channels, and optimise your marketing strategies accordingly? Together with DDMA, Google launched The Ultimate Guide to Attribution — a whitepaper tackling the 8 challenges of attribution to help marketers work more effectively. Discover the challenges and understand how you can turn them into opportunities

3 behavioural and cultural shifts we saw on YouTube this past year