Sunday, December 17, 2006

Brands for the Chattering Masses

Keith Schneider penned a nice story today in the Sunday NYTimes business section on Nielsen BuzzMetrics (the company I work for) and the overall emerging industry we call consumer-generated media (CGM) measurement. He asks a key question:

As consumers eagerly post word-of-mouth commentary in online communities, message boards and Web logs, a straightforward question confronts brandmeisters: Who wins and who loses as time-tested practices of mass production and mass marketing are undermined by the informed and often cranky voices of the knowledge age?

That very question should be applied to evolving definitions and models of engagement. Why? Because CGM offers massive clues into engagement, including the media context, the brand, the commercial message and the resulting magic that happens (or doesn’t) when the aforementioned pieces come together. CGM represents not predetermined transactions, nor potential units of media consumption. Rather, CGM is an untainted, rich reflection of the passion and significance of human experiences, conditions and intentions. CGM is not intelligence structured according to the agenda of brands or mass marketers; rather, CGM represents perpetual digital residue which offers an unbiased, ongoing and open-source record of how brands exist in people’s lives. It’s such a simple and powerful idea -- a moment of truth -- yet so contrary to so many approaches which place focus on other ancillary responses.

Read the entire NYTimes story here.


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