Google, our client, wanted to leverage the learnings from our previous Decoding Decisions work which had explored how consumers make online decisions, the role of behavioural science in decision-making, and how these dynamics differ across a number of categories. This time, we explored how to optimise Search advertising through the lens of Behavioural Science.
Our client, Google, wanted to take a new approach to understanding consumer decision-making in today’s digital world. Their key questions included understanding how people make online decisions, the role of behavioural science in decision-making, and how these dynamics differ across a number of categories.
Inspiration session with our client to identify how to apply Behavioural Science principles to Search ads.
Developed a behavioural conjoint design that visually replicated a realistic search environment.
Developed executions for each Behavioural Science principle through a comprehensive review of behavioural science literature and a thorough audit of real-world search copy, assessing the existing status quo and brands employing behavioural science techniques in search.
Conducted quantitative research with 13,000 UK consumers across 13 categories. Respondents were presented with Search simulations powered by our behavioural conjoint to quantify the role and impact of behavioural science within Search advertising.
Explored key behavioural science levers, including alternative ways of expressing social proof, optimising framing of category heuristics, and enhancing value perceptions by leveraging behavioural science.
Order of appearance in Search impacts attention - with no behavioural science in play, brands positioned in 1st or 2nd position (vs. 3rd position) gained a higher share of preference.
However, by deploying behavioural science within Search advertising, brands can gain a significant share of preference, even if they are positioned lower within a Search listing. Even a new-to-market (fictional) brand can gain a significant share of preference by leveraging behavioural science within Search ads.
The research was so successful that it was scaled across 13 global markets and 87 categories. These results are now being shared with global Google clients.