This exercise relates to Chapter 5 in your textbook.
With the rise of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, a new form of market research has emerged that measures online “buzz” regarding any topic imaginable. The ability to measure the intensity of online chatter has produced buzz-tracking research firms such as Brandimensions and Nielsen BuzzMetrics—new information suppliers that analyze consumer-posted content to improve business decision-making. The firms’ crawlers, bots, and spiders traverse blogs and chat rooms to measure the viral energy generated by new products, hit TV shows, and more.
For this exercise, you need to select a buzz-tracking company to investigate. Spend some time exploring the company’s website to identify what it offers and how it markets itself to customers.
To receive credit for this exercise, create a new journal entry and answer the following questions:
1. What buzz-tracking research firm did you investigate? Provide a link and briefly explain how/why you selected this company.
2. Using terminology from Chapter 5, describe the nature of the observational research conducted by this company? (e.g., structured/contrived, human/mechanical, disguised/undisguised, etc…).
3. What information does the firm claim to quantify for clients? How has the firm’s research helped a specific client?
4. Do you think Internet buzz-tracking services can provide relevant and valid data upon which to rate products or television programs? Why or why not? Is it possible for companies, consumers, or TV networks to manipulate the results of Web-based buzz? Explain.