For decades, advertisers have relied heavily on sometimes-dated consumer surveys and focus groups to provide grist for their ads. Now, some are using new technologies to scan the Web for key words to find out what consumers are—and aren't—saying about their brands.
A Lotus print ad reflects findings that consumers tend to talk online about meetings, rather than the technologies that enable them.
Then, they are incorporating those findings into their more-conventional research and using them not only to choose the overall themes of their marketing campaigns, but also specific text and photos for their ads.
Once the campaigns are up and running, the companies and their ad firms are using the same Web-scanning technologies to gauge consumer reaction to their messages, and to fine-tune them to boost performance.
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