Technorati and Ogilvy Partner to Harness CGM for Brands

Technorati has evolved from blog search tool to blogosphere consultant, and now the company is pairing up with Ogilvy North America as a marketing software provider. In an extension of its work with Paramount Pictures, Technorati will work with the agency in an effort to promote its Conversational Marketing System to Ogilvy’s advertiser clients.
The system will allow Ogilvy’s clients to gather snippets from blog posts, video clips, podcasts and other CGM, in order to place it on their own brand sites. The goal is not only for advertisers to have a sense of what people are saying about their brands, but to create a central hub for those conversations.

“It’s real-time feedback,” said Technorati VP of Marketing Derek Gordon. “It’s almost like a constant never-ending focus group.”

The company has been dabbling in the consulting arena for awhile now, first aligning with Paramount to aggregate blog posts about its films and related subjects for display on sites affiliated with particular films. Since May, the firm’s technology has harnessed and helped fuel discussions on documentary films “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s global warming warning, and Dixie Chicks flick, “Shut Up and Sing.”

Those were test cases, said Gordon, adding the Conversational Marketing System is a full-fledged product offering. Essentially, Ogilvy is acting as a broker, to connect Technorati with interested advertisers, and counsel the technology company on how best to serve advertisers through its products. The agency’s creative directors on both the traditional and digital sides have worked with Technorati to fine tune the product, and Ogilvy client Kodak has expressed interest in developing a destination site using it. Technorati expects to offer the ASP software through other agencies in the future, Gordon said.

PR firm Edelman joined with RSS feed platform provider NewsGator Technologies in December to offer Edelman clients a similar offering. Deemed “Hosted Conversations,” the product serves blurbs from online discussions on specific topics into advertiser-branded ad units.

Ogilvy has developed blogs for clients including Cisco, IBM and SAP. The agency’s creative directors on both the traditional and digital sides have worked with Technorati to fine tune the offering, said Carla Hendra, co-CEO of Ogilvy North America. Technology, Financial Services and even Consumer Packaged Goods advertisers are showing an interest in reaching out to people through online conversations, she told ClickZ News.

“Their brands are appearing and they’re being talked about,” she said. “They have to make it figure into the way they market.”

However by including content only directly affiliated with a particular brand, advertisers could miss out on the full potential of the offering. “There is an interesting conversation that is not square on your brand, but immediately adjacent to your brand,” said Gordon.

Brand clients also want to ensure “they are protecting their brands in this uncontrolled atmosphere,” Hendra added.

While the tool lets brands monitor and remove objectionable content, Gordon hopes they don’t use filters to exclude all negative criticism. “We counsel brands to make choices that are braver than that,” he said. In agreement, Hendra said brands that apply fewer controls to conversations “gain in credibility.”

Technorati is also continuing its work with Paramount, and according to Gordon, is helping develop a social media component for an upcoming film.

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