Look whose talking.....

Measurement is a good thing

As the saying goes, how can you manage something if you cannot measure it in the first place ?

Measuring the buzz around your brand can be a tough, with multiple media channels to manage it is no longer a simple case of scouring over the newspapers, performing customer surveys and watching the news to find out what people are saying about your brand.

Internet measurement has traditionally been a case of using web metrics such as page impressions to gauge a relative popularity, but this in most cases is showing you the past – you are seeing the effects rather than the cause.

Identifying , listening , understanding and engaging in these conversations is now part of the marketing mix – Blair Witch with its huge online following before the films release proves that this is a space where must all now operate and understand.

Here and Now
Are your key and emerging markets where you think they are ?

What you need is the now, the present, where and what are people talking about.

You are a chocolate sauce manufacturer and your sales are soaring without any significant change to your traditional marketing strategy – what is the cause of this ?

In the online space wisdom would point you to the cookery blogs to find out what people are saying, but are your key influencers actually there?

You may have a large pocket of ‘ chatter ‘ in one place but are these people the real brand advocates or those who have already been influenced and while valuable, may not be the right people you need to engage for further product launches.

You also find that upon investigation, this group of people are indeed fans of your product but not responsible for the increase in sales or interest on your site.

Yes directly engaging all customers in some form of market research will eventually glean this information – but how fast and nimble is this process?

Companies participation in forums and blogs is an essential part of managing this relationship – but without some help you may be missing advocates and influencers by focusing in the wrong place.

Lets also not forget this is a big task and not always top of the marketers priorities.
marketing technology
Help is at hand

Marketing technology tools are now coming to the market which in essence scour the internet for conversations about your brand and it’s competitors.

Buy using such technology companies are now able to build maps measuring and reporting these conversations looking for key phrases and associated words - for example the number of times I use your brand name and other favorable words, thus identifying me as an advocate ( or not ).

These maps can identify the flow of these conversations ( key ) along with the most active and influential by seeing the connections in and out of these people.
marketing technology
The horse has bolted.

By coupling this with my relationships or ‘ connections ‘ marketers are able to build visual relationships between users, groups and forums allowing them to engage and monitor these conversations.

Just one example of its application is the ability to be able to respond to possible PR disasters from this chatter.

Sony were able to issue a PR statement highlighting their care in response to ‘ chatter ‘ that was emerging on the net surrounding there paint adverts, moving themselves into a proactive rather than a reactive position – it allowed Sony to see the shape of the crash and respond accordingly.

The human element

Now you may be thinking that using technology solves the issue, that large data centers will now be chugging away sucking in data and spitting out hit lists of users for the marketing department to bombard; not quiet.

Fortunately for us ( the consumer ) all of this data does need interpretation to give context and meaning.

Just like any other form of market research these maps showing the flow of sentiment and conversations require the human touch to gauge it’s importance and also ensure that our brilliant ability for sarcasm does not suddenly mean efforts are wrongly targeted.
technology marketing
links :
marketing technology
Sonar - Trampoline systems
Seer - VML
Truview - Visible technologies

No comments: