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Research: Re-opening is Driving New Online Search Opportunities



Research: Re-opening is Driving New Online Search Opportunities

New research by BrightEdge shows emerging post-pandemic consumer trends are creating new opportunities for online search. There are clear winners in many areas from local search to travel. Other previously booming industries are experiencing a sharp pullback.

Shifts in Consumer Spending

The pandemic caused dramatic changes to how consumers spend and what they spend it on. The re-opening of the economy is causing similarly dramatic changes to online spending habits that may accelerate as the year progresses.

Re-opening Economy

Approximately 28% of the United States population fully vaccinated which in turn may be influencing changes in these verticals:

  • Local Search – Dining
  • Travel and Hospitality (Hotels, Flights )
  • Digital Transformation
  • E-commerce

Local Search – Dining

Pandemic trends saw increasing searches for take-out related phrases with a decrease in dine-in search queries. That trend is now reversing.

Take-out related phrases are trending lower while dining-in related search queries are trending upward.

The BrightEdge report notes:

“Within the Restaurant category we’re seeing a shift away from Take Out & Delivery and an increase in search using the “Dine in” qualifier.”

Changes in Travel Searches

These changes are reflected in 2021 search trends.

Head terms are seeing dramatic upward trends. Searches like “Flights” and “Cheap Flights” are trending upwards.

While there may be more volume in International Flights keyword phrase, Domestic Flights is seeing a more dramatic upturn. This may be an indication that families are keen to get together, driving more growth in domestic flights related keyword phrases.


Top Ten Dining Related Queries by Growth

  1. Happy hour
  2. Dessert
  3. Brazilian
  4. Seafood
  5. Chili
  6. Sushi
  7. Italian
  8. Mexican
  9. Vegan
  10. Japanese

Negative Trending Dining Queries

Interestingly there were four types of dining queries that were trending negatively by losing search queries.

  • Chinese
  • Thai
  • Pho
  • French

Slower Growth Dining Queries

While the following queries types were experiencing growth they were doing so at noticeably lower rates of growth.

  • Ramen
  • Mediterranean
  • Pizza

What Do Negative and Slow Growth Trends Mean?

It could be that Chinese and pizza search queries experienced so much growth during the pandemic that people are ready for other dining-in options at an expanding range of cuisines.

Single people and couples may be re-entering the dining out scene, as evidenced by increased queries for happy hour.

Vacations Trending Upward

Vacation related keyword phrases are also trending upward. According to BrightEdge, searches for AirBnB are recording strong growth.

Hotel related phrases are trending a remarkable 350% in April 2021 over April 2020.

According to BrightEdge:

“Interest in Hotels reached the highest point in more than a year with nearly 35 million searches for Hotels in March by searchers in the US.”

Markets in the south are leading as destinations in hotel search queries.

Top Ten Hotel Search Queries

  1. Hotels in South Carolina
  2. Hotels in Alabama
  3. Hotels in Florida
  4. Hotels in Texas
  5. Hotels in Missouri
  6. Hotels in Tennessee
  7. Hotels in Hawaii
  8. Hotels in Virginia
  9. Hotels in California
  10. Hotels in Georgia

Travel Related Ecommerce Queries

Demand for luggage is experiencing a strong upward trend, reflecting how general travel trends can spill over into ecommerce. Look for renewed interest in travel guides as well, with searches also strongly trending upwards.

There is also strong demand for vacation and business related travel apparel. The top ten apparel type queries are dominated by seasonal and vacation clothing. But BrightEdge notes that suits also is trending upward, reflecting how the post-pandemic re-opening is causing changes that ripple out into ecommerce.

Top Ten Clothing Queries by Growth

  1. Shorts
  2. Swimwear
  3. Sandals and Slides
  4. Bottoms
  5. T-shirts
  6. Cleats
  7. Dresses and Skirts
  8. Suits
  9. Tops
  10. Casual

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation has to do with taking businesses online, which includes video conferencing. BrightEdge notes that while this area is experiencing a contraction they note that “demand remains at levels dramatically higher than historic norms.

Trends for a Time of Transition

These trends are indicators of what may soon become explosive growth. However it is too soon to say we’ve reached a new normal or to say what that normal will be when we reach it.

BrightEdge offered their opinion of what they feel are clear trends:

  • The areas that saw the biggest surges in interest from COVID are mostly pulling back.
  • The areas that were hurt most by the Pandemic are also recovering as the vaccine rolls out.
  • A few key areas look they are here to stay as a “new normal” begins to emerge.


Read the full BrightEdge Report

Beyond the Search Evolution: How Vaccines Will Shape the Future of SEO and Digital

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Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Aligning on a Guidepoint



Getting started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Aligning on a Guidepoint

We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers. We also held a Zoom meeting to discuss the Navigator with members of the agile marketing community.

The Navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. Over the next several weeks, we’ll dive into each piece and give you practical, actionable ways to use them at your company.

The collaborative planning workshop

To begin with, we’ll start at the top with the Collaborative Planning Workshop. The Collaborative Planning Workshop brings alignment to what the team is trying to achieve and empowers marketers to focus on customer value and business outcomes over activity and outputs. This session should happen quarterly or at the start of any large campaign or initiative.

Where most agile frameworks begin with the backlog of work for the team, we found it very important to start at a higher level and ensure alignment is happening between the agile marketing team and the key stakeholders asking for work from the team. 

One of the biggest challenges we’re addressing with the Collaborative Planning Workshop is the disconnect between the stakeholders who ask for work and the team on the hook for delivery. Way too often, the people setting the marketing strategy and the designers, copywriters, social media specialists and others don’t have a seat at the adult table. Work comes to them in the form of the creative brief via an electronic system, but there’s no conversation. They aren’t being treated like marketers but rather as producers of output. 

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The Collaborative Planning Workshop is just what it says—a collaborative conversation where everyone is on an equal playing field and striving towards successful outcomes.

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The Guidepoint

This framework begins with everyone understanding the actual business reasons for success and alignment on a Guidepoint. Here’s how we define the Guidepoint in the Agile Marketing Navigator:

“The Guidepoint helps the team and stakeholders navigate what success looks like for an upcoming campaign or project. Stakeholders come to the workshop with a business goal for the organization. During the workshop, the group comes up with a short written description, called a Guidepoint, of what success looks like for this marketing initiative and how it aligns to the organization’s goals.”

The Guidepoint is the connective tissue that rolls upward and downward in the organization. It’s often the forgotten middle layer between what the stakeholder is on the hook for and the tactics executed by the marketing team to achieve success.

The Guidepoint aligns the agile marketing team and stakeholders on a shared purpose and creates a focus on the team’s outcomes. It also helps with prioritization, so work that’s not aligned gets a lower priority or isn’t done at all.

Read next: Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots

Here are a few example scenarios to get you started:

Industry: Healthcare

Business Goal: Acquire an additional 5,000 new patients during the first year after the grand opening of our new hospital.

Guidepoint: Create a campaign targeting elective surgery candidates that generates 1,500 leads that ultimately generate a higher than average conversion rate than the industry average.


Industry: Retail

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Business Goal: Increase cart checkout dollar amounts by 10 percent over last year.

Guidepoint: Launch a campaign targeting suggestive add-on purchases, moving the average cart checkout price to $50.

Industry: Financial Services

Business Goal: Generate a 25% increase in our personal finance app downloads in 2022.

Guidepoint: Generate an average of 50 new downloads apps with an activation rate of 25%.

Ideally, you have an agile marketing team formed with a straight line to a stakeholder and business goals that need to be achieved, which makes it pretty easy to focus on a single Guidepoint at a time. 

However, many marketing teams haven’t streamlined this way and must support multiple lines of business at once. In those cases, we suggest no more than three Guidepoints at once for the team, or they’ll quickly lose focus. If this becomes problematic, the marketing owner on the team will need to work with key leaders to determine the most important business goals for the organization and prioritize them accordingly. Some teams have had great success determining percentages of time each stakeholder gets based on the business value of their line of business.


We can only succeed for a clear, focused outlook on what success looks like for the marketing team and the organization as a whole.

Many marketers struggle to apply agile marketing in a way that adds value to team members. Learn how to break that pattern in this free e-book, “MarTech’s Guide to agile marketing for teams”.

Click here to download!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”

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