My friend and colleague, Michael Kaplan, eloquently describes the connection between word-of-mouth research and television programming in Pamela Parker’s latest ClickZ column:
The beauty of monitoring word-of-mouth online is the unexpected results it can yield. Because consumers are making unsolicited comments, they have the freedom to discuss whatever interests them, rather than simply reply to a question posed by a researcher.
Nielsen BuzzMetrics’ Michael Kaplan says the word-of-mouth research firm is working with 12 different TV networks to help them measure and take advantage of online discussion.
Though Michael can’t divulge current client engagements, he says BuzzMetrics could do pre-launch analysis of show buzz, then episode-by-episode tracking of a series’ momentum.
"We can see what’s driving discussion and [help] recreate that magic moving forward," he says. Both marketing and future programming can be developed based on what characters and storylines are resonating with viewers, Michael suggests.
"If the secondary character is starting to pop with popularity with audiences, you can take advantage of that emerging character," he says. That character could either be played up within the program itself, or, in a more likely scenario, the character could get bigger play in promotional video.