Posted by: Marshall Sponder | June 2, 2008

IAB Internet Leadership Council – Quantifying Brand Influence in Consumer-Generated Media – A Publisher’s Story (NYT)

I got to listen to a very interesting workshop on “Brand Virility” measures created by Nielsen in conjunction with the New York Times. See what you think.

Nielsen Online

Quantifying Brand Influence in Consumer-Generated Media – A Publisher’s Story

The digital consumer continues to challenge the meaning of online audience, engagement and influence metrics. With the rise of consumer-generated media (CGM) – and a linked world – understanding how the brand lives in the biosphere’s is critical to quantifying a brand’s influence. Jon Gibs, Vice President, Media Analytics from Nielsen Online and Jeffrey Graham, Executive Director, Customer Insights at The New York Times, will co-present a case study that demonstrates the application of social media measurement and analysis tools to understand the influence of The New York Times brand, beyond the brand. The session will inform brand advertisers, publishers and agencies on best practices in measuring and analyzing CGM to support brand advocacy and growth.

What’s the three most important ways to measure Brand Influence online?

Direct Response, Branding, Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth marketing is a very small amount of an online marketing budget but WOM can’t be influenced and can’t be bought in scale. Essentially, you can’t spend a lot of money on WOM efficiently.

Jeffrey Graham at the New York Times believes all marketing ought to be WOM.

Demographics and Psycho graphics are bought into the planning behavior – and everything ends us getting tied to demographics – but that’s the old way.

The new way using Keller – Fay – they talk to a 100 people a day, what brands do you talk to today.. Brand Mentions: Leading Telecom Provider.

Branding and Direct Response may have a relationship to Sales, but they don’t have the power that WOM has demonstrated.

Percentage of Consumers Reporting World of Month about Luxury Brand “x” and found out that people who advertise in the New York Times are 5 times more likely to talk about Luxury Brand “x” than the general public (graph shown); NYT thinks that advertising there is effective, based on the chart shown and highlight this kind of measurement as a way to look at how you could do this.

Jon Gibs, Vice President, Media Analytics from Nielsen Online, spoke with Jeffrey at the NY Times on a New York Times Brand Influence Project.

Used BrandPulse

o Find hyperlinks that go to from blogs to NYT.

We aggregated the links into sections

Then looked the links based on generalized behaviors.

Buzzmetrics Capabilities

Robust CGC measurement

Nielson Buzzmetrics looks at volume, sentiment, topics, reach, dispersion, influence and impact; it looks at the data comparing NYT, CNN, WAPO, WSJ, etc the total number of posts that went to any of the competitors (blue bars) while the inbound links to the unique audience were compared.

Is Bigger any Better? Why? It comes down to Brand, Nielsen feels. (all News)

The Brand Virality Score

# inbound links


Unique Audience

If we chart competitors ranking, those that get a higher score than they’d normally shows the Brand Virality is good.

Business News – we saw the Economist’s Brand clearly influences its WOM distribution.

If you have a high level of audience but can’t get the message out – you’ll show up lower.

Then they looked at the Demographics of those people who go to the New York Times – and segment by Quality, looking at Purchasing, Male 25-49, Self Employed and HH all over the standard they should be getting.

The ability to measure Brand Influence is why Nielsen thinks it’s useful and once it’s set up it’s easy to replicated on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Doing so, creates less waste in advertising and lends strength of authentic.

WE can use this Brand Virility as an Effectiveness Metric.


Why were all the links in this study were from blogs? Why?

Because only the blog links from MySpace were used, but we’re hoping to expand – though there were privacy issues we ran against we’re still working out.

The New York Times is a large Content Producer – doesn’t that help explain the results?

Note: there are questions about the linking aspects is too limiting – certainly elements of the audience have questions about this metric, as do I.

The Brand Virility measure is relative – there’s no absolute quality measure – it’s more akin to an opportunity to see model.

Is there a metric that of positive and negative content on the blogs providing the links?

Nielsen is working on a new analytics platform that will provide the quality analysis of the incoming links that it can’t do now.

Why does the Brand Virility Scores of the NYT and WSJ differ so much?

WSJ has a Pay for Content model that the NYT doesn’t and they don’t break as much news as the NYT.


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