Using Google Search Trends to Correlate and Forecast Revenue

Google search can be highly correlated to revenue for many categories. In the example above, I pulled the yearly data from 2010 to 2018 for worldwide search queries for “Beer” from Google Trends and the worldwide revenue (USD) for Beer from Statista. I ran a linear regression against the data and it shows an R2 value of .987.

This is a really great fit and we can use this information to predict what Beer revenues for a particular period will be given the searches in that period or vice-versa.

In case you haven’t heard, CBD is blowing up

There used to be a time where folks smoked weed because it got them high. Not anymore. Today’s pot user is all about CBD and its gone mainstream. Walgreens will start selling it in 1,500 stores. CBD promises a lot, will it live up to the hype?

Trump doesn’t think white nationalism is on the rise but search tells a different story

For a long time there wasn’t much interest in “White Nationalism”. That all changed in November 2016, coincidentally the same time that Donald Trump was elected president.

Trump has said that he doesn’t view white nationalism as a rising global threat following the mosque terror attacks in New Zealand. Search activity following his election tells a different story.

E-Cigs Are Winning And Marketing To Young Consumers Through Instagram

After an inflection in March 2014, e-cigarettes have taken over. The exponential growth has triggered an ‘arms race’ as companies try to gain market share and brand recognition in the new market. Companies are using data and influencer marketing to capture a young demographic of consumers, who they hope will become addicted life long customers.

Check out @pledgeworld which seems to be an innocuous site, encouraging users to use #OWNIT to presumably show how they are owning it. Click through the link and you’ll see that you are redirected to a site for the e-cig company Blu, wtf?

Opioid Marketing and Heroin Trends

Oxycodone is an opiate agonist that is the active ingredient in a number of narcotic pain medications, including Percocet, Percodan, and OxyContin.

When Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, it was aggressively marketed and highly promoted. Sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000.

Today, the first lawsuit blaming Purdue Pharma for the opioid crisis came to a resolution:

Purdue Pharma LP has forged the first deal to resolve more than 1,600 lawsuits blaming the OxyContin maker for fueling the opioid crisis, a move that could lay the groundwork for the resolution of the rest of the litigation. The company and its owners, the Sackler family, agreed to pay $270 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma’s attorney general, the majority of which will fund a national opioid addiction center.

Wall Street Journal – March 26, 2019

The sad reality is that once on these types of drugs the addiction is real. And when access to these pharmaceuticals isn’t available thorough insurance, heroin becomes a cheaper alternative. Since these street drugs aren’t regulated, the quality is suspect and dosage is uncertain, leading to overdose. A group of researchers was able to show that internet searches for opioids can predict future emergency department heroin admission.

There are now many areas of the country where Heroin searches outnumber the amount of Oxycodone searches.