Identifying and Filling Customers’ Needs – Using Online Search to Discover the Next Big Thing

If you ask any successful inventor or entrepreneur how they discovered their Big Idea for success, whether it was a product or a service, I guarantee they’ll tell you that they realized a need and found a way to fill it.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Sure. Find a need that people have, figure out how to solve it, and then sell it to them. After all, that’s how the sports bra, Spanx, disposable diapers, online dating services, the telephone, and pretty much every other successful product or service came to be. Someone paid attention, came up with a way to fill a need or improve an experience, and sold it to make millions.

So the big question is: how do you figure out the Next Big Need? In reality, only a handful of the millions of products or services created will ever make it into the marketplace, and even fewer will ever sell enough to make it worth the time and money invested. But what if there was a free way to learn about the Next Big Need that people would want to spend their money on? What if the key to it was probably sitting on your desk right now?

Enter the era of search engine research.

seo trends

Over the past few years, we’ve become pretty lazy. Whether we have a quick question, an urgent need, or if we’re just trying to prove ourselves right in an argument with our spouse (yes, I’m guilty of this too!), the first place that most of us now turn to is the all-knowing search engine. Do an online search for ‘what is…..’ and you’ll be shown some of the most popular searches for the rest of this question, such as ‘what is the paleo diet’, and ‘what is a good credit score’. ‘Learn how to….’ returns searches like ‘learn how to code’, and ‘learn how to play guitar’. The point is, by plugging away in the search field, you can see what the masses are looking for, and what they want to know more about. Take a look at Google’s ‘hot trends’ report, and you’ll see what the top searches were for any given day.

This past winter, I saw one of the best uses of search engine research to identify a new market on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank. An entrepreneur had noticed that many people were hosting or attending Ugly Sweater Parties during the holidays, therefore searching online for where they could buy these ugly sweaters, and there was this huge new need for a company that sold ugly sweaters. The entrepreneur realized there was virtually no competition for this (ie: a prime opportunity to gain strong positioning in organic search), and created a company selling ugly holiday sweaters based on this identified need. What had been a disorganized cluster of thousands of people digging through random piles of sweaters at yard sales and thrift stores had now been leveraged into a profitable online business.

One of the key points that this entrepreneur made on his TV appearance was that he understood and leveraged organic search engine marketing. He noticed a high-traffic need, knew how to position his own website and content, and developed a clean and easy-to-use conversion path to lead those visitors in to make their purchase. Check it out for yourself at

Are you trying to position your products or services to fill a need? Are you interested in positioning your brand in front of the right audience at the right time, and leading them to make a purchase or reach out to you? The answer may be all in the search. To learn more, be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter.