Your secret source of free market research

This is a guest post from Andy Sernovitz — CEO of and and New York Times bestselling author of “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking.”

Here’s an amazing technique shared on NPR’s On The Media.

Crime reporter Laura Amico runs a website called Homicide Watch D.C. that reports on murders in Washington, DC. She often scoops the police reports of a murder by looking at what people are searching for on her own website.

People who know the victim know there has been a murder — and they want to learn more. So they type the details into Laura’s search box. Which gives her the scoop.

This works for you, too.

Study your search logs to discover products people need, common problems, customer wishes, and all sorts of things they want you to help them with. You may find your next hot product this way.

(Bonus: You can do all of this for free with Google’s free tools.)

Listen to the episode here.


About Andy Sernovitz

Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including and Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing, which teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.

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  1. Marvin

    I have often found that simple is better. The advice always offered by experts in SEO is to use keyword tools to ferret out commonly searched terms. In theory this will work as a long term strategy. But word of mouth marketing is a much more fluid and dynamic technique. It makes sense then to use highly specific and very tightly focused information to refine any campaign so it speaks very clearly to the wants or needs of your customers or prospects.

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