Friday, 20 July 2007

Blog 'buzz' driven by ad spend

An article in Media Week reports on a new survey undertaken by Nielsen which looked at new brands and concluded that there is a strong correlation between advertising spend and the 'buzz' generated by blogs, discussion forums and other social networking sites.

Marketers tend to that treat traditional advertising as a different form of media to 'word of mouth' promotion, which is usually harder to guarantee and to control. However, Nielsen's results say that these two forms of marketing are actually closely connected and should be handled as apart of one overall campaign strategy. In their research, Nielsen looked at such factors as buzz volume in blogs, ad spending, purchase intent among consumers and actual sales and found that a big advertising budget is actually the best predictor of a significant level of 'blog buzz', rather than tactics that attempt to specifically influence such online world of mouth.

Nielsen studied 80 consumer packaged goods brands that were launched in 2005 and 2006 and the results showed that the top 10% of products that received with the most buzz spent nearly $20 million in advertising, whereas the products that received the bottom 50% of buzz generated spend of roughly $5 million (or a quarter of what the most buzz-generating brands spent).

However, Nielsen's report says that ad spending is not the only factor in play as certain brands simply lend themselves to more buzz. Just 10 percent of the brands studied accounted for 85 percent of total buzz generated, indicating that certain brands drove more than their share of interest because of their market or type of product. For example, Nielsen discovered that over-the-counter drug brands (due to consumers' high involvement with them) plus brands with an 'edgy' image drove a disproportionate amount of buzz.

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