Corporate Eye

Search Engine Brands Attract Unique Audiences

A study by WPP of 17,000 search engine users reveals quite a bit of information about search engine brand loyalists.  The complete report will be released later this month, and is certain to bring some interesting insight that could help advertisers connect with more targeted audiences.


For example, take a look at the chart above which shows that innovators and early adopters are most likely to use Bing as their preferred search engine.  Given that Bing is the newest search engine of the top three, this finding isn’t shocking.  However, the study also reveals that Bing users are more likely to shop at Walmart than any other search engine users while Google users shop at Target and Amazon.  Also, Yahoo! users choose AT&T and Sprint as their wireless providers more than other search engine users.  It’s these pieces of information that advertisers are likely to eat up!

Here are a few highlights that show how demographic and behavioral attributes vary online based on the search engine people choose:


  • More likely to shop at Target and Amazon
  • More likely to book flights online at
  • More likely to make travel reservations on HotWire
  • More likely to research the Lexus car brand
  • Tend to be the “average consumer”, conventional but open to trying new things, rule followers


  • More likely to shop at Walmart
  • More likely to research the Toyota car brand
  • Tend to be middle-aged, highly educated, tech-savvy


  • More likely to choose AT&T or Sprint as wireless providers.
  • Tend to be 55-years of age or older, reserved, less independent, skeptical about future and about trying new things


  • Tend to be 55-years of age or older, less intellectual than peers, responsible spenders, use dial-up modems, pessimistic about future

But that’s not all!  The study will also reveal how people who prefer different search engines are more or less likely to actually make purchases on the Web sites they find.  That’s a connection many marketers may not have realized existed, and it can certainly help advertisers.

What do you think about these study results?


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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.