Boondoggle


Sunday October 29

Conversation tracking and what brands can learn from it

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet the people from Wavemetrix, a London based agency that specialised in rumour tracking on the web. They have some fascinating case studies on their website in which they demonstrate the value of word of mouth tracking for brands.

In a first whitepaper Wavemetrix shows how measuring the online buzz on the Sony-Ericcson K800i smartphone reveals some surprising insights in what really matters in the mind of consumers on the one hand and what exactly determines their sentiment for the product.

For instance, tracking the conversations on the SE K800i reveals that:

  • the major part of the online buzz is about the features. Users reveal that they love the camera, but that the video capabilities sucks.
  • users like the screen, the build quality and the ease of navigation, but this has very little impact on their sentiment towards the product.
  • Ease of use comprises of 15% of all conversations. Some are positive, some are negative. The overal sentiment is slightly above zero.

Moral of the story: buzz tracking not only reveals the content of the online conversations, but also the surrouding sentiment of these conversations. Furthermore, buzz tracking reveals exactly which features of the product users consider to be important.  When you read some of the Wavemetrix whitepapers, you'll notice that thtis can differ dramatically from what marketers think what matters.

Update: check out this article on News.com. It's about a company that scans the online conversations for sensitive news relevant to stock traders on Wall Street (hat tip: Johan Vos)

Comments

Tom, do you know how Wavemetrix did their research? Was it based on a random number or pre-selected number of blogs?

Posted by Marco 29 Oct 2006 23:25:25

Hey Marco,

I'm not sure. I think it depends on the client. What's important is that Wavemetrix don't just track blogs. They track conversations in bulletin boards as well. It appears that in the UK and in Ireland bulletin boards are much bigger.

I'll check it out with them...
In fact, since they are the tracking experts, they should find this post and comment on it themselves :-)

Posted by tom de bruyne 30 Oct 2006 07:43:25

Hi, Tom, Marco,

Glad you found the case study interesting. We believe that online discussion can help marketers to bridge the gap between the internalised thinking that prevails at many organisations and the customers viewpoint.

Being unable to guide the coversation as you would in "normal" market research means that you can gain insights into what is really important to customers rather than bring any preconceptions to research. Also, for any organisation with a pretence to brand diaglogue, listenting is the first part of having a conversation!

Marco - in reponse to your query, we "hoover" up all kinds of online discussion, not just blogs. We try to capture as much coversation as possible, giving a broad picture of consumer sentiment. This lets us tackle large topics (such as an entire brand image) or smaller topics (such as a single element of a product in a single country).

...and one final correction, Tom. We work internationally and have clients in Europe as well as the US. We frequently run multi-launguage projects and in fact are running one right now with 8 languages, including Hungarian and Korean!

Hope the above clarifies! Keep up the good blogging!

Posted by Alan Ault 30 Oct 2006 22:42:32

Tom. This emerging area of sentiment analysis is fascinating. I am looking at its application in monitoring sports and leisure brands and how it can provide insight into corporate strategy. One specific application I am presently exploring is its role in due dilligence, prior to the purchase of a company. I will be discussing this further with Wavemetrix.

Posted by Ray Algar 8 Nov 2006 19:04:27

wavemwtrix is full of jerks

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