Ad Maiora Presents C.O.S.A., the First Ever Study on How Automobiles Brands are Searched for on Search Engines

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Ad Maiora SpA, online marketing and advertising agency, has presented C.O.S.A. (Cars Online Search Analysis), the first ever market research to reveal how automobiles brands and models are searched for on search engines.

Ad Maiora SpA, online marketing and advertising agency, has presented C.O.S.A. (Cars Online Search Analysis), the first ever market research to reveal how automobiles brands and models are searched for on search engines.

The study identified the 30 most popular car manufacturers brands, analyzing the various contexts in which these brands come up in search engines queries and focusing on which topics occur more often in users’ requests. The study took into account search engine queries from all over the world, with a particular focus on Italy, thanks to an exclusive deal with Virgilio, the most popular portal in Italy. This agreement allowed to carry out the research on more than a million relevant queries.

Queries were divided up into ten categories according to topic. These categories are (in order of relevance): Models, Brands, Dealers, Used Cars, Spare Parts, Price, Multimedia, Tuning, Type, Other. Furthermore, queries were sorted according to users’ buying stage at the time of their request; five different stages were identified: Scouting, Research, Services, Decision, and Buying.

Topic and Buying Stages categories were applied to each single car manufacturer’s brands. Queries related to the various cars brands and manufacturers brands were analyzed in order to highlight how these brands are perceived by Internet users.

Some of the most relevant data (regarding Italy):

  • The most popular automobile brands online are (according to the number of related queries on search engines): FIAT, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Citroën, Toyota, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Audi and Renault.
  • Most of Dealers-related queries are about non-Italian brands and particularly SUVs.
  • In the Used cars category the most popular brands are German cars, above all BMW and Mercedes.
  • There is a significant amount of queries explicitly related to price and buying options. This occurs particularly for brands such as FIAT, Volkswagen, BMW, Citroën and Renault; in this category Lancia holds a share of queries more than double comparing to the average number of searches of other brands in the same category. It was also revealed a very strong demand for price lists and “zero-kilometers” cars.
  • Peugeot and Opel are the brands with the highest share of queries compared to the average amount of searches in the Tuning category, while FIAT and Nissan hold the same position for Type-related queries especially for their commercial vehicles. It is interesting to note that the most popular types of car are SUVs, followed by coupes and 4by4s.
  • More than half of all queries are related to the Decision stage, in which users are looking for a particular car model in order to buy one, and the Buying stage, in which users are looking for information in order to finalize a deal (e.g. dealers location, price lists).

“We are extremely proud to make public this research, a project started in 2002 when Ad Maiora Keyword Research Center was first launched,” Ad Maiora’s President and creator of the study, Mauro Lupi, affirms. “Ad Maiora’s Keyword Research Center is still a very innovative unit, unique in its genre. Analyzing search engine queries and how people search on the Internet is like being able to create a worldwide focus group where all answers are reliable," Lupi claims, “preserving users’ privacy at the same time, since queries are not related to single individuals or personal information. The C.O.S.A. project” Lupi continues, “will be the first of a series of market researches that we will carry out in 2006, dedicated to other industries.”

The C.O.S.A. study and its six-month reports are intended for companies of the automotive industry, such as car manufacturers, insurance companies, online and traditional dealers. Among the first buyers of the study are FIAT, Alfa Romeo and Lancia.

Ad Maiora is one of the major Italian web marketing and online advertising agencies, and a leading European search engine marketing company. Furthermore, Ad Maiora develops market researches through the study of search engine queries and is one of the forerunners in Italy for business blogging. Ad Maiora’s provides its services to some of the most important Italian companies, online agencies and media centers. Founded in 1997, Ad Maiora has 26 employees and offices in Rome, Milan and San Francisco. It is a member of Board of Directors of IAB Italy (Interactive Advertising Bureau), Assodigitale and SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization). In 2004 Ad Maiora has launched E-SEMA, the first European Search Engine Marketing Alliance.

For further information:

Francesca Distefano

Ad Maiora – PR Office

Tel: +39 06.77203200

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Francesca Distefano
Ad Maiora
39 0677203200
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