Can An Online Discussion Predict Future Product Trends?

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When I spoke at the Canadian Marketing Association‘s 2004 Digital Marketing Conference in late October, I was on a panel with the National Leader, Brand Experience Practice in the e-Business Innovations Center from IBM Canada (now THAT’s a Title!).
His presentation focused on defining a brand by not only how often it is mentioned online, but more technically in what kind of nuances (positive, negative, neutral) as a way of understanding trends and how a brand can be developed (maybe even manipulated) by better understanding how we, as users, are discussing it. A quick idea as to how this might work is by using this information to launch a product just when a positive wave of brand “chatter” is starting to kick up. From what I’m told, these initiatives – and others like it – are being taken very seriously.
As I was perusing the November 8th edition of iMedia Connection‘s e-zine, I came across this incredible article, Company Announces Product That Analyzes Consumer Conversation To Predict The Future, by their Editor, Dawn Anfuso. It’s a must-read (Blatant Plug: if you don’t get iMedia Connection’s e-zine, subscribe here).
I was truly engaged by the work being done at BuzzMetrics and the concept is somewhat linked to an earlier post of mine with regards to BzzAgent. It was also a reminder to me about a new organization that’s getting a lot of press – the WOMMA (the Word of Mouth Marketing Association).
If you’re in New York now, Ad:Tech is discussing many of these initiatives this week.