25. March 2008
Brand owners have always found ways of tracking public opinion. Back in the pre-digital days, polls, surveys and focus groups were the best way to gauge the public mood, while the birth of the internet added website hits, page views, clicks and impressions to the measurement pot.
The difference in a web 2.0 world is that brands can understand what customers do, say and think in real time. Social networking sites, blogs, wikis and forums enable users and consumers to get together to praise – or criticise – a brand at their convenience. It goes without saying that brands need to be aware of how to deal with these developments both for reputation management and as a way of measuring marketing effectiveness.
But with so much chatter going on, how can you find out how your brand is perceived online? Google Trends is a good place to start, and allows anyone, for free, to look at search trends on Google. It shows the frequency with which your brand has been queried on the search engine or referenced in Google News within a given timeframe.
It’s the perfect channel for tracking buzz around new product campaigns – at CMW, we’ve been using it to follow the progress of our client’s new car launches. This is a really good way to use Google Trends as it effectively shows the cumulative effect of all the channels being used by the brand. It’s incredibly detailed and even correlates search frequency peaks with relevant news items. The service also allows users to compare their trends with those of competitors or other brands.
It’s also important to keep track of what’s being said about your brand in the blogosphere – and how often. Various sites allow you to do this, with Google Blog Search one of the best known.
Another useful site is Blog Pulse, which works almost as a combination of Google Trends and Google Blog Search. It allows you to search blogs worldwide to find how often your brand has been mentioned. You can even create graphs of trends over several months and compare up to three search terms to see how your brand measures up to the competition.
The one thing that these sites can’t do is tell you how much of the chatter is positive, and how much is negative. But that’s where Opinmind can help – the site trawls through various blogs and compares positive vs. negative mentions!
Of course, blogs and Google are not the only places where users and consumers get together to discuss brands. Tweet Volume is a great way to measure how many times (if at all) your brand is being mentioned on Twitter and allows you to compare your brand ‘noise’ with competitors. A search on photo-sharing site Flickr will reveal how often your users have tagged their photographs with your brand name.
While these alternative measures are fun ways of tracking your brand’s online visibility, brands of course still need to continue to track metrics around their website. Most site owners now have regular reports from their hosting company on page hits, unique visitors to the site, new visitors etc, but Alexa enables you to aggregate some of these into one place. Alexa also lets you compare your information with up to five other sites and look at stats across a period of up to five years (where data is available). You can even and copy the resulting trends graph onto your own brand site, if you want to.
In the end, however, while there are a number of ways that brand owners can track internet chatter, none of them are fool-proof. For some of the measures (such as Tweet Volume), your brand needs to generate enough of a ‘buzz’ to be picked up at all. It is also important to note that since the net is a worldwide entity, any ‘chatter’, whatever the channel, may not necessarily be UK-based.
It’s important to remember that most of these measures merely demonstrate the volume of internet buzz, and not the content or tone of any coverage, negative or positive. Nonetheless, they all certainly worth bearing in mind and, as with everything else online, as they add more features and iron out teething problems, will become indispensible marketing tools. A savvy marketer should get to grips with this new measurement world sooner rather than later.
19. March 2008
This is a great campaign from TfL, amply demonstrating how easy it is to miss the most mindbogglingly obvious things if you're distracted looking for something else. Clear as mud? They're trying to say that you can easilly miss cyclists and they demonstrate it really well. We are also loving the fact that they've shot their video home stylee and loaded it up to you tube - and they seem to be relying on the cleverness of the video to have a viral effect - well, it certainly got it to us pretty quick!
19. March 2008
Our Cadbury Creme Egg site was warmly reviewed in Marketing magazine this week in the digital choice bit - which is nice.
14. March 2008
Traditionally, marketing has been divided by a line. We either work above it, below it or through it. We are on or off it.
But the time has come to draw a line under that line and to accept that in today's fragmented marketplace it is no longer meaningful. Consumers don't see a line. They simply react and respond to ideas that engage them - regardless of how they are delivered. And they react and respond even more actively to ideas that don't engage them - by opting out, turning off, or switching to something else.
Technology may have brought marketers new and clever ways to target and get our messages across, but it has also given consumers countless ways of tuning out. There has been a power shift. The consumer has his finger on the 'no thanks' button and can reject your message in an instant. And for good, if we're not careful; an opt out can be a one-way ticket. Which is why the emphasis must now, more than ever, be on powerful ideas that engage your audience. The aim should be to develop open conversations between consumer and brand.
We talk about the nirvana state of DM/digital as being 'one-to-one' communications, and technology gives us a fantastic opportunity to target, to measure who's doing what and to serve up relevant, contextual advertising and content. This is an important part of that customer journey.
But my message is treat both your consumers and technology with respect. Don't abuse them with over communication or irrelevant or weak content - tempting to some because of digital's cost-effectiveness. Make sure you deliver powerful ideas that are part of a compelling customer journey - if you don't you could be at the back of the line.
This piece by Martin, our MD, was published in Revolution, March '08
14. March 2008
We've been appointed to work along side Visa Consulting on a three year contract. We'll be delivering marketing consultancy, campaign planning and creative development to their extensive list of banking and credit related clients. Splendid news.
11. March 2008
We took home not one but two MCCA accolades at the MCCA Best Awards held last week. We won the top prize in the category of ‘best communications campaign featuring digital marketing’ for our work on the 2007 Cadbury’s Creme Egg online campaign. In the same category, we won a merit commendation for our work on Littlewoods Direct’s online ‘Shape Advisor’, where Littlewoods’ customers can get fashion advice from sartorial gurus Trinny and Susannah. Splendid news to be able to share. We're delighted with the wins!
6. March 2008
YouTube video explains Twitter.
1. March 2008
We have secured a place on the LOGOC digital roster in one of the most hotly contested reviews of the year. The agency will be tasked with supporting the organisation in the run up to and during the Olympics in 2012. We're proud to be able to help.