Pete is the CMO for Intelliseek, which has an interesting product called BrandPulse. A brand is a promise, a set of values, an identity. BrandPulse is a temperature check, heart beat, an early radar system to monitor company reputation as measured by buzz on the Web. They track 5 million blogs, thousands of boards and forums, PlanetFeedback, and internal data (millions of untapped comments from customers in company databases) to listen in on the conversation about brands. This is a great combo of qualitative feedback in a quantitative scope.
Frameworks for measuring marketing:
- Financial: sales impact
- Clicking patterns
- Seeking: Did the brand event drive a response to ssek more info? how often?
- Speaking: Did the brand event/experience elicit a desire to tell others? How and why? What was the consequence?
When someone talks about a brand, it never happens in a vaccuum. They're expressing satisfaction, dissatisfaction, or responding to a stimulus like an ad. They may speak on a discussion board or forum, a blog, a rating site, or in a social network. Consumers and bloggers make a huge impact because their content is circulating throughout the net (forever). Consumer-created content is dominating the web, and it's perceived as a trusted source. Seekers of information (consumers, media, analysts, regulators, lawyers, and competitors) are going to the search engines to learn about brands. This is a new age of transparency, and information can no longer be censored by corporations. We can't control it, but we can manage it.
Ad agencies are focusing on click-throughs on banner ads or sponsored links. But the real "advertising" is the authentic, organic content developed by consumers themselves. Consumers are more likely to click on a consumer-generated content rather than company-sponsored content. Advertisers that screw up and betray the trust have to live with horrible search results filled with consumer-created negative content.
And we're running out of time; Pete just raced through some really great stuff and I couldn't type that fast. I'll write more on this subject later, as I'm pretty fascinated with how blogs and other new technologies are impacting brands.