Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Wave_2
Forrester's Brand Monitoring Wave for Q3 2006 is now live!

Q:  What is Brand Monitoring?
A:  The ongoing analysis of mainstream media and consumer-generated
content to identify trends relevant to a company's marketing activities
and competitive landscape.

Q:  Why does Brand Monitoring matter?
A:  The power shift from media institutions to consumer communities means
that marketers must track a diverse and growing range of influential
voices.

Q:  How can Brand Monitoring help companies?
A:  By giving early warning on trends that lead to situations like Coke+Belgium, SUVs+Tread Separation, or Comcast Technician.  Or providing an objective measure of marketing effectiveness.  Or by delivering unaided insight into consumer preferences to shape product development.  In addition to many other applications.

Q:  Who offers Brand Monitoring services?
A:  We analysed the seven major players in the market today across 56 criteria.

Q:  What do Brand Monitoring vendors do?
A:  There are four key steps to brand monitoring:  data collection, information processing, data analysis, and insight delivery.

Q:  How do the vendors stack up?
A:  Vendor tackle the four steps with different approaches.  From the executive summary:

Nielsen BuzzMetrics and
Cymfony are market Leaders, thanks to their comprehensive technology
platforms and extensive data source coverage. MotiveQuest — with the
most services-focused and strategy-oriented offering — finishes as the
leading Strong Performer. Biz360's focus on traditional PR monitoring
services lands it as a midrange Strong Performer. Rounding out the
Strong Performer category are Factiva, with its strong print
orientation, and Umbria, which excels at speaker segmentation.
Brandimensions falls into the Contender category, with targeted
expertise in the automotive, entertainment, and pharmaceutical
industries and an approach that relies heavily on human filtering.

And so a three-month evaluation process ends...for now.  My analysis of the space clearly points to the fact that change in the market is imminent - so we'll likely be revisiting the analysis in the 12 - 18 month timeframe.

Comments

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

I am curious, which of the above companies provide manual narrative analysis of blogs and websites?

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

They all do, depending on a client's contract type. Vendors take a similar approach to data delivery and consulting services, but the more manual involvement typically correlates with higher engagement fees.

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Do any of the companies provide suggestions on how to converse with specific bloggers? Here I don't mean that the companies provide written copy to post. But they give individual advice on how a corporate blogger might react to a post?

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Hi John - tell us more about your questions - I'm curious to know what you're getting at!

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

I want to know if any of these companies provide advice at the level of an individual post? The same sort of advice a PR company might provide to a client about an evolving news story.Would any of the companies help to identify blog posts for a client, where the client might want to comment on or write a blog post about? And would the company provide specific advice on what to do, with some ideas. However the company would not write the post for the client?

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Hi John - yes, it's possible, depending on the type of contract a client has with a vendor. As you know, the weight of individual posts can often wreak havoc for a PR department (AOL, Comcast, etc). Advisory/consulting is a direction that all vendors are moving in, provide additional revenue beyond the technology platform.

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

have any of the companies automated the advisory consultation process?

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Hi Peter,Thanks for your call the other day, I was in the midst of visiting the hospital and waiting for a call from a relative, so did not have a lot of time to chat.My sincerest apologies to you if at all my comments have been short and not conversational enough. My only excuse is that I've been a little distracted of late with some pressing family matters.Anyway, I was excited to hear about your report, and very interested to learn if in your research you had seen the development of a service strategy business model for companies for blogging.I've been researching corporate blogging for over 3 years, and one of the biggest questions I've asked myself is how do you conduct effective blogging. Many of the companies you have researched for your report are researching all consumer driven media, forums and blogs. But I've been mainly concerned with blogs for the last few years, while most of the vendors you cite cover the whole industry.I know a lot of consultants provide advice to companies on how to blog, or they might actually write the blog for a company. But I wondered if vendors had developed any new business models where vendors provide supplemental support for corporate blogging. My former company, Backbone Media, provides one such service, called SCOUT. The company provides individual reports on blog posts, but does not write a blog post in return for a client.I think the level of insight delivery provided by most of the vendors is more strategic than tactical. But that for a company who is using blogs or wanting to respond to forum comments, the level of insight delivery is important. I’d also suggest to you, that there’s one step beyond insight delivery, task recommendations. Basically where a vendor would provide insight but also recommend a specific course of action, even getting down to the level of a comment or individual blog post. Many PR professionals already provide task recommendations to their clients, the missing element for them are the monitoring services provided by the vendors you list.To me the vendor’s model and the industry position of PR professionals providing task recommendations makes a reseller model for such vendors obvious. I know the depth of expertise and time that it has taken to develop such companies as Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Cymfony, no pr agency want to get involved to such a level. Unless you are Edelman of course.On the aggregate issue, where the aggregate market data on the web might help to inform company marketing decisions I think its appropriate that we as business people question the value of such data. Such healthy skepticism will help to push the industry and vendors to produce better results. I know this is something many traditional market researchers are concerned about, but it might be something you may of considered in your report.Thanks again, and again my apologies for any lack of conversation on my part.John

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Hi John - no harm, no foul. Thanks for the additional perspective. Regarding PR agencies getting involved in the space...surely you've heard about Waggener Edstrom's new product called Narrative Network?On another note, an interesting question regarding the Wave and independece was posted on my other blog that readers of this post might find interesting: http://www.beingpeterkim.com/2006/09/forresters_q3_2.html

re: Brand Monitoring Wave :: Live

Hi Peter, I had not heard of Narrative Network, I will check that out. thanks.