The way in which people relate to the internet is a study in psychology that is so interesting that endless theories of the human condition can be postulated and learned for over milenia. The most obvious has been the collective thirst for knowledge. Every person who goes on the internet in one way or another looks for information of some sort. Information is the key to power, regardless of whether the specter of influence is a tea-cup or the vast fields of battle.
A person in search of a dentist, for example, is in need of the service. The same with a person in search of a dietician. There is a simple psychology ticking in the background. First let us relate Maslow’s Hierarchy of need to search engine patterns.
Abraham Maslow proposed, too much eventual acceptance, that the human growth traverses similar needs and are motivated by five different groups of stimuli. The five stages are Physiological, Safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization. This is in ascending order. In an individual’s early stages they are more motivated by physiological needs and that ascends through the ranks until it culminates in needs of self-actualization.
By monitoring what a person frequently searches for, a profile can be built to understand the elements that motivate the person. In the Physiological need stage, people are motivated and crave for basic necessities, breathing, food, water, sex and so on. This level is not really a target of most advertisers as the person is probably still a minor. However, it does tel the researcher that there is a child in the household.
Understanding Search Habits
At the highest, apex of the Maslow pyramid is morality and creativity – all parts of the self-actualization level. It is easy to see the correlation when self-actualization is prevalent. The demographic for Wikipedia research with the highest index of users are this group that attains this apex who are beyond the ages of 45. It correlates well for Maslow’s ideas.
By monitoring each site that is visited and each search that is made the profile begins to emerge after a prolonged period and that is a treasure chest of information for the researcher. Once it is determined which category the searcher is a part of, it is easy to then drill down and look at more detailed data.
The next level of data mining is to determine if the person is of B-needs or D-needs. B stands for being and D stands for deficiency. A B need person is a person who is motivated in life by self-betterment and a D person focuses on deficiency. It’s a classic situation of seeing the cup either half full or half empty.
Understanding the psychology behind searches is a far more accurate way of determining what the person will most likely search for and what services to direct to their advertisements. It is highly accurate and highly efficient. As far as a dentist is concerned his target audience for adults should be those profiling under the highest of the Hierarchy and as a B personality.