Consumer Genterated Media Measurement Gaining Ground
The panel entitled "Measuring Your Brand Buzz in Consumer Generated Media" moderated by Organic CEO Mark Kingdon along with panelists Jonathon Carson, president and CEO of Buzzmetrics, Pete Blackshaw, CMO of Intelliseek, Dave Balter, President of BuzzAgent and Andrew Bernstein, CEO of Cymfony, focused on how consumer generated media has become an important source of brand information for marketers and how it can me measured to benefit marketing direction.
A key recommendation from all panelists was to relinquish control. Consumer generated media can not be controlled. However, it can be listened to and joined in a way that provides marketers rich detail about brand perception and a channel through which to directly communicate with consumers. Blackshaw referred to some the the negative consumer commentary as "nastygrams" and Kingdon noted that this sort of consumer backlash has been around forever but, today, it's all happening much faster and has become harder to manage in advance.
Carson gave an example of how a major appliance manufacturer reacted to several sites formed which discussed the manufacturer's high end washer and dryer and how the company listened to consumer commentary, reacted and changed the product to satisfy consumer's requests. Kingdon added "confident brands will allow both positive and negative dialog."
Balter stressed measurement of consumer generated commentary should not be limited to online media as it occurs in all media and marketers must listen to the activity in all those different media.
Blackshaw added some numbers to the conversation stating Pew found 50 percent of consumers create over 1.5 billion pages of content each year and metrics such as number of blog posts, Google penetration, depth of information can be leveraged as free information for marketers to monitor how their brand is perceived.
BuzzMetrics' Carson told the audience his company is working with Nielsen to meld buzz metrics with tradition media measurement to form a more complete picture of consumer brand perception and opinion. Blackshaw urged the audience to take advantage of the many free metrics tools available today to get a taste of consumer sentiment before opening their wallets for more powerful tools.