July 25th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

According to Udi Manber, one of the Vice Presidents of Engineering at Google, 20-25% of all search queries are unique. And in Udi’s words, “Search is hard, very hard” in referring to trying to crack the “How to’s” on gaining the upper hand of utilizing the long tail for your marketing purposes.

This is why I refer to this as The Fuzzy Tail. We do not yet have it in focus, and so we see it as fuzzy at best. Unlike the long tail which has an exact measurability, The Fuzzy Tail is untapped territory.

With real-time analytics, we have the power to track these searches as they are happening. And while computer technology may be bordering on the ability to extrapolate this information to predict what may be searched for in the future, there is one thing that we cannot fully predict: The human experience.

What these searches represent are the intrigue, hopes, desires, dreams, fears, ambitions, curiosities and innovation of the human experience. And for a marketer that can tap into emotional and sometimes logical stream of human consciousness, there is much to be gained. And not only in terms of new online traffic, but also new adherents that recognize your ability to communicate effectively and to connect like none before.

So how do we go about getting into better focus these Fuzzy Tails?

Without question, the one factor that is the weakest point in all marketing is research. No one factor can make or break one’s marketing success, and so too is there no one subject in the field of marketing that elicits more confusion nor speculation. Unfortunately, the field of market research is rife in false information from the fields of psychology and social sciences. These experts are not such and have only confused the subject.

The simplicity of market research is:

1. Targeting the right market that one wishes to sell or influence. This requires being in front of people and asking relative questions to the matter that one seeks to discover more information about.

2. Using various methods in which to gain information. This requires listening.

The internet is a literal world. You type in Super Bowl, and you will get content with those words. Through surveys, focus groups, studying relative industry reports and blogs, you can gain insight as to what people are thinking and feeling. I doubt that most marketing people attend industry conventions and talk to the competition, particularly those whom are successful. If they are successful, they are to some degree finding and fulfilling a need.

Additionally, who is coming on strong within your industry that is experiencing insane expansion? Intrinsic in their success is the fulfillment of a need. In other words, success indicates clues to insight of the needs and wants to your potential market. By finding these type of people, one can then go further and ask them questions, have them fill out surveys and other types of market research methodologies can be engaged upon to gain insight into the human experience.

Many companies do not listen to their sales people, just issue more quotas and brochures. Yet imagine what these sales professionals listen to on a daily basis when they make their phone calls and visit people at their companies. This is a great source to find the ruins and challenges of the buttons of their potential clients. Or what about going to coffee houses where business professionals go for a breather or even a business meeting. Coffee is the drink of conversation, so why not utilize this natural concourse of discourse to tap into the experiences and feelings of people in your area.

Our forefathers gathered at taverns and eventually started a revolution. Conversations bred into ideals, which lead to a nation. It is time that you develop and implement a form of market research to help you discover and utilize the Fuzzy Tail to drive more traffic to your website and thus build your reputation as someone who understands the needs of the human experience.

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