WOMMA Research Symposium: Peter Kim, Brand Monitoring

by Marianne Richmond on December 22, 2006

Peter Kim from Forrester Research moderated a panel on Brand Monitoring that was noteworthy for the different opinions of how to measure word of mouth. Josh Hallett has a great write up of the specifics of the panel on the WOMMA blog.
Peter Kim presented a wonderful introduction and has posted his slides on his blog.
His theme was: If you can measure it, you can manage it.

Highlights were:

  • A time line of brand monitoring beginning in 1960 when "mass media mattered" through the emergence in 2006 of social computing. With each move forward, brand monitoring has become increasingly more complex as well as increasingly more important.
  • Mall intercepts and focus groups are just not going to capture the necessary data. A three ring binder would need dividers for : Traditional media, print media, broadcast media, live presentations, and misc.

Peter presented data from Forrester studies that support the statement that consumers love to hate advertising and place their trust with each other: 72% say they trust their own experiences and 56% say they trust friends and family to influence their perceptions of companies and brands. Importantly, the percentages of consumers that learn about products through advertising or buy products because of advertising is decreasing precipitously…trust in advertising is down to 6%.

Taking into account Peter’s statement, "consumers love to hate advertising" combined with the existence of social computing and you can see clearly that the consumer has a solution to the problem and the need for a new model of brand monitoring.

Peter’s definition: "Brand monitoring is the ongoing analysis of mainstream media and consumer generated media to identify trends relevant to a company’s marketing activities and competitive landscape." Forrester
has conducted a study of vendors that conduct brand monitoring services. The report is available for

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    WOMMA Research Summit: Sean Glass & Chris LaConte, Higher One

    by Marianne Richmond on December 22, 2006

    Sean Glass founded his company, Higher One, while still a student at Yale. Higher One provides financial services for college students. They began the session by discussing their program called B4…this is their volunteer agent based WOM program.

    Chris LaConte explained that Agents are recruited prior to the launch of a program on a college campus. The agents provide demographic information and a card is created. The Agents receive a card and are told their "missions." College students are heavy communicators and are trusted by other students more than other sources.

    In fielding their research they wanted to examine the ROI of their volunteer agent based program outside of the marketing benefit. Specifically:

    Are participants higher usage customers?
    Are there demographic differences between participants and non-participants?

    Their hypothesis was that their agent based program actually helped them identfy their best customers. The results supported this hypothesis. The B4 Agents had a higher transaction rate than non B4 students. The question for future research is to further define the direction of the correlation.

    Sean writes a blog, where he has posted about one of the earlier WOMMA Research sessions with William Mosher. You can also find him on Squidoo.

    One of the questions that Sean was asked was about the use of social networks. He provided the url for their MYSpace site.

    I met Sean on our blogs following a WOMMA event last year and although I have enjoyed our emails and phone calls it was really fun to meet him face to face.

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