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Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Internet As A Powerful Channel

The best way to reach a product to Generation Y is the Internet, says Newsweek. Specifically, blogs and chat rooms, where the opinions, whims and heartthrobs of today's youth are freely aired. The instant availability of even the most intimate consumer preferences and turnoffs has initiated a new boom in market research, which can be done more cheaply and accurately than ever before. Steve Rubel points to how unilever listens and responds to customers. Apparently the consumer product giant was actively listening to the blogosphere and they tuned into one voice, Dan Entin. Dan had been lamenting about how he is having trouble in getting his favorite deodorant. Unilever - a huge company with lots of to worry about - took the time to respond to Dan directly via email.
Steven Levy adds, "The giants of Internet commerce all offer, right on the surface, gobs of up-to-the-second market information. Amazon.com gives sales ratings of even the most obscure products; eBay determines the market value of Picasso prints and baseball cards; Google search results tell you the Web popularity of anything". You can also do quick probes of the blogosphere with services like Technorati or Daypop. To make full use of the bounty of information, there are highly sophisticated services with sophisticated digital divining rods. Umbria, for instance, claims to have developed algorithms that can detect the age and gender of bloggers and chatters by analyzing speech patterns and subject matter. And IBM's WebFountain, does text analysis on billions of documents, from blogs to trade journals. While well-calibrated data mining will certainly tell you what people think about a given product, and even what they say they want to buy in the future, it still takes instinct, vision and the courage to ignore conventional wisdom to produce the category-busting innovations that become breakout products—and the obsessive subject of millions of blog items and chat comments that have yet to be written.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"