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Using Online Search Data to Forecast New Product Sales

This dissertation focuses on online search as a measure of consumer interest. Internet use is at an all-time high in the United States, and according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 91% of Internet users use search engines to find information. Consumers’ choices of search terms are not well understood. However, we argue that people will focus their searches on terms that are of interest to them. As such, data on the search terms used can provide valuable measures and indicators of consumer interest in a market. This can be particularly valuable to managers in search of tools to gauge potential product interest in a new product launch. In this research, we develop a model of pre-launch search activity.

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