Marketers can buy blog buzz. Well, sort of…
Marketing strategies that separate advertising and paid media from pure word-of-mouth tactics can be severely misguided, according to a just-completed study by my Nielsen Company colleagues Kate Niederhoffer (BuzzMetrics), Rob Mooth (BASES), David Wiesenfeld (AC Nielsen) and a few others. In a fascinating CPG brand and market-mix modeling study, they found that high blog interest, or buzz, around new product launches is tightly linked to paid media spending. Free white paper and Web cast info is below, but here are a few highlights:
After analyzing blog buzz volume, ad spending, purchase intentions and actual product sales, Nielsen found the best predictor of buzz for newly launched consumer-packaged goods (CPG) is a large advertising budget. The study evaluated nearly 80 new CPG products across several subcategories, launched in the U.S. between 2005 and 2006. On average, the top 10% of products with the most buzz, spent nearly $20 million on paid media for the launch. In contrast, the companies that generated the next 40% of blog buzz spent an average of $15 million and the companies that generated the bottom 50% spent an average of only $5 million.
Also of note was their observation that 10% of brands accounted for 85% of total CPG buzz in the study, and that blog buzz can increase the accuracy of market forecasting by up to 20%! And peaks in buzz preceding peaks in sales two-thirds of the time.
The news release is here, and the free white paper download is here (registration required). The authors of the study will host a special Web cast, with a Q&A moderated by Brandweek editor Todd Wasserman, on Friday, July 20 at 12PM EST. Sign up for the Web event here.