Sunday, November 26, 2006

Monitoring Word of Mouth

Mass adoption of infotech and always-on connectivity to the Net brought about major changes in the methods and tools used by marketers. As traditional tools become ill adapted to capture the reality of consumer behavior, new research methods are surfacing, some of which will almost certainly be considered as unwanted intrusions in private life by the public.

In their wildest dreams marketers of consumer brands would want to know exactly...

  1. what goes on in our minds when we become exposed to a brand's communications,

  2. how we decide to buy or not to buy,

  3. what characterizes our experience with the brand and the products under that brand

  4. what we actually say about their brands...

Fortunately, for the time being all they can monitor is what is going on outside of our heads, what we do and what we express verbally and non-verbally (to a certain extent).

If word of mouth and buzz monitoring are of interest to you, click on the link at the end of this post to access an interesting article published in the New York Times a couple of days ago. A PDF version of the article is available here: Download 20061124_NewYorkTimes_MonitoringWoM.pdf

While I do not agree with everything the article claims (e.g. I don't think it is that easy for marketers to extract meaning out of the blogs and online forums they may be visiting and I don't think they have time to visit a significant sample of those sites in every country), I believe its general direction to be correct. It's very interesting food for thought.

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