4.21.2007

Umbria’s CEO Howard Kaushansky on Online Market Intelligence, from Web2Expo



Very interesting presentation from Umbria's CEO Howard Kaushansky - Blogs, Chat Rooms, Wikis, Oh My! The Yellow Brick Road to Online Market Intelligence - at Web 2.0 in San Francisco earlier this week. Surprisingly packed room for a Monday morning with many in the audience traveling from East coast time. Below are my – raw, incomplete, and slightly editorialized – notes from Howard’s presentation. Umbria is a marketing intelligence company that mines the blogosphere and other public forums for real-time insights into companies, products, people, and issues. Including some interesting work for CNN, looking at the buzz, the overall opinion ... Alberto Gonzales, for example, from March 14-20, 2007.

My notes …

Word of Mouth media revolve around Blogs, Opinion sites, Message boards, Forums, Chat rooms; somewhat a parallel world to old traditional sources including Panel data, Industry pubs, Surveys, Custom research, Syndicated and Business pubs.
  • 42% of broadband users post content – PEW Broadband usage 2006
  • 71 million blogs, doubling every 6 months – Technorati
  • Blogs becoming part of mainstream media
  • 40% of Internet users in the US read blogs; 10% regularly post
  • 100,000 blog posts a day, one per second
  • Since September 2004, the Blogosphere has increased over 15 fold – Technorati
  • 75% of people don’t believe marketing anymore
  • 92% trust word of mouth for product decisions

Howard went over some interesting examples and sentiment extraction challenges, including the now legendary Chevy Tahoe ad, “coke” versus “coke”, Topics and sub-topics, Trending of sentiment, Demographic segmentation, Filtering spam blogs. And why we should care about Internet sentiment analysis:

  • Is marketing having an impact?
  • With what types of customers?
  • What themes are resonating?
  • How does the competition stack up?
  • Where are they strong/weak?
  • What features do people like?
  • What irritates people?

Monitoring online buzz is fun and entertaining. For brand managers and others who care, sentiment analysis is also the basis to reputation management. Howard went over some Word-of-mouth strategies to be considered:

Encouraging communications

  • Tools to make telling a friend easier
  • Creating forums and feedback tools
  • Working with social networks

Giving people something to talk about

  • Information that can be shared or forwarded
  • Stunts, advertising that encourages conversation
  • Building WOM-worthy elements into products

Creating communities and connecting people

  • Creating user groups and fan clubs
  • Supporting independent groups that form around your product
  • Enabling grassroots organizations such as a local meeting and other real world participation

Working with influential communities

  • Providing recognition and tools to active advocates
  • Recruiting new advocates, teaching them about the benefits of your products, and encouraging them to talk about them

Creating evangelist or advocate programs

  • Tracking online and offline conversations by supporters, detractors, and neutrals
  • Listening and responding to both positive and negative conversations

Researching and listening to customer feedback

  • Encouraging two-way conversation with interested parties
  • Creating blogs and other tools to share information

Engaging in transparent conversation

  • Co-creation and information sharing

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