Thursday, June 23, 2005

Wall Street Journal Article: "Marketers Scan Blogs for Brand Insights"

In today's Wall Street Journal Bill Bulkeley wrote an article about how companies are increasingly tracking brand-related conversations. In the article I was quoted as highlighting the lack of direct research on the similarities between online and offline WOM conversations. I've written about this in an earlier post (see second and third paragraphs) and think it's crucial for researchers to do a comparative study that investigates how similar (or different) the online discussions in blogs, chat rooms, etc. are to what takes place in face-to-face venues. One consequence, among many, is that if the online and offline conversations are similar then organizations can rely on the increasingly sophisticated tracking tools that are available and that Bulkeley describes in his article. If the conversations are different, however, then additional research into the world of offline conversations is necessary. I'm going to speak on this issue at the upcoming Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association conference on measuring word-of-mouth (e-mail me to receive a special discount for blog readers; in the interest of full disclosure, readers should be aware that I sit on the WOMMA Advisory Board).

Final thought: I know of many studies that look at online conversations, but none that directly compares the offline and online. A related study that needs to be done is on how offline conversations influence online ones and vice versa. If you know of research on these topics please post a comment or contact me via e-mail. And if you are interested in collaborating on a project let me know as I have some ideas in mind for a research design.


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