Sunday, March 05, 2006

Business Blogs Catch Consumer Trends

In an article yesterday in the Detroit News, Steven Levingston from The Washington Post writes about one side of the blog equation: Feedback from customers and stakeholders.
For companies like ConAgra, the individual opinions blasted out in cyberspace are becoming an increasingly powerful force. Together, they form the fabric of online word of mouth that can determine the hottest new product, make or break a TV show, or set off a customer revolt. Eager to tap into the buzz, a growing number of companies are turning to sophisticated new technologies that track what's said on Internet social networks, blogs, message boards, product review sites, "listservs" -- wherever people congregate publicly online.

The comments are particularly valuable for measuring customer sentiment because they're gut-level and spontaneous. "Internet word of mouth is extremely important," said Steve Rubel, a marketing expert and senior vice president at Edelman public relations. "You see what the most vocal consumers have to say about you and about your competitors -- and they're saying it without necessarily knowing you're watching them."

I say it's one side of the conversation because this is the listening side. The blogosphere is a double-edged sword. We'll look at the other side tomorrow.

In the meantime, we're still here ready to listen. ghostblogging@veritymedia.com.

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