A new technology promises to deliver the skinny on user perceptions of products and brands. Valid research, or another invasion of online privacy?
Though we are learning every day, Internet marketing technology -- and our understanding of how to use it -- is still (as the cliché goes) in its infancy.
Every once in a while, a technology comes along that gives us a glimpse of the future power of the Internet. Looking toward the future is both exciting and a bit scary, especially when you realize how far technology can take us.
I recently spoke to Jonathan Carson, CEO of a New York start-up, BuzzMetrics. The company's technology systematically harvests, codes, and analyzes conversations on message boards and community sites on the Internet, allowing companies to understand what's being said about their products and competitors, giving them the ability to intervene by targeting "opinion leaders" in its product category.
The technology is simple. BuzzMetrics sends out code that scouts the Web, looking for any discussion relating to specific products, companies, or brands (similar to how some search engines work). It then codes and organizes the information. This gives companies the intelligence to target the people who seem to be the most influential.
Is this a good thing? It depends. For companies seeking information about the way people feel about their products and competitors, BuzzMetrics might be a useful tool (depending on how well it works). But if you are someone who posts a comment on a community site, you might not be happy to know companies are listening in.
BuzzMetrics's Carson says anyone who posts to a discussion board is taking part in a public conversation. He's right, although I doubt most people who converse in Web communities know just how "public" their conversations can be.
Compared to government technologies such as Echelon, BuzzMetrics is a simple, relatively benign tool. There is risk of backlash, nonetheless. Though many people, particularly those in the United States, are willing to forgo some of their privacy for security, far fewer are willing to let corporations spy on them for nothing in return.
That's the rub. When people agree to be studied, tracked, and measured, opt-in consumer research is doubtlessly acceptable. But as DoubleClick learned when it announced plans to merge online cookies with offline databases, regulators frown on companies that track and target people online without their consent.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Jeffrey Graham is vice president of client development at Dynamic Logic, a company he joined in January of 2001. Dynamic Logic specializes in measuring the branding effectiveness of online marketing. Jeffrey has served as research director at two online advertising agencies, Blue Marble and NOVO, and has worked with clients such as General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and Continental Airlines. He has taught Internet Research at New York University and has a Masters degree in the subject.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT