A rather inspirational comment appeared on Jalopnik the other day. It was on an entry entitled The Saab Family Tree.
There were no words in the comment. Just an image of a Google search where the commenter had typed in “Is Saab” and Google’s auto-complete function had entered a bunch of options based on frequent searches starting with the same words.
The theory behind this auto-complete function is as follows:
As you type, Google’s algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users’ search activities. These searches are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely objective factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention. All of the predicted queries shown have been typed previously by other Google users.
There’s another scenario where the auto-complete is populated using searches that you (or in this case, I) have entered on previous occasions, but that’s not influencing this situation. I haven’t done these searches before and as you can see, the results are similar to the Jalopnik results.
What you have then, is a list of frequently asked questions about Saab. This is what people are searching for, what they’re asking about. There are the questions that Saab have to provide answers to, lest someone else provide the answer at the risk of being wrong.
I’ve repeated the “Is Saab” search from Jalopnik below, along with a couple of others. If I get time over the next few weeks, I might have to attempt a few decent answers.
IMHO, the critical and most common questions that Saab must have responses to are:
- Is Saab still in business?
- Are Saab cars reliable?
The first question contributes to whether someone will even bother looking for a Saab. The second contributes to their decision making about a potential dealer visit, test drive or purchase.
Saab might look at that first question and say “Well, of course we’re still in business, we’re making cars and if they look, they’ll see our advertisements”.
They might too.
But this is the web and what people want when they do one of these searches is an answer. Saab have to provide that answer. It may not always reach the searcher, but it’s got to be there in print somewhere on an indexible page; one that’s authoritative, one that can be referred to by people from the press (who can pass that answer on before it’s even asked).
It’s the same with the second question. There are plenty of websites with industry-wide reliability data available but when it comes to Saab reliability, Saab need to be pushing their own barrow. Sure, some will think it’s biased because it’s come from the company but you back up your claims with verifiable data, linked to your claims.
These are both questions that have positive answers. Those positive answers aren’t always clear when they come from third parties, however.
They should be made clear by Saab.