NEW YORK: Media decision-making may just have got a little more effective, for Mindshare clients at least, as the media agency has teamed up with Google to provide search insights that have the potential to influence content, keyword search and paid media choices.

Mindshare's Search As Signal (SAS) tool has access to aggregated, indexed search trends on Google that can be filtered by country to give marketers information on whether they are trending up or down relative to their norm or the category norm and to help them understand where the brand brand sits in the larger cultural environment of search activity before reacting accordingly.

"If you're Kleenex, it's the ability to understand there's a flu outbreak expected somewhere locally," Norm Johnston, Mindshare chief digital officer, explained to Advertising Age.

"If it's related to a variability in babies about to be born, it enables us to shift media spend related to Huggies," he continued, "If there are nuances in particular features people are looking for in luxury cars, we can adapt the creative messaging with that particular audience."

Search As Signal could, for example, identify a spike in searches for "luxury cars" in the US on smartphones, with marketers then choosing to put more money towards buying ads against those mobile searches, or perhaps devising a mobile-friendly branded-content campaign.

"Leading agencies, like Mindshare, are helping to offer their clients' a holistic view of how their campaigns are performing across channels as search activity is a strong signal," said Anya Paul, Global Agency Business Leader, Google.

"We're happy to work with them to make insights available through THE LOOP [Mindshare's adaptive marketing engine] and Search As Signal to enable their clients to make smarter investment decisions."

Johnston stressed that there was no financial deal involved, leaving the assumption that Google expects to benefit indirectly from increased spending whether via search, display or YouTube.

"We spend money with Google if we think it makes sense, but we're not going to sign up numbers arbitrarily," said Johnston.

Data sourced from Mindshare, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff