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Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) has released the fourth edition of The Conversation Index, its quarterly research series that turns millions of consumer conversations into a strong data signal for brands and marketers. Derived entirely from first-person input from people across the globe, every edition of The Conversation Index provides tangible ways for brands to improve sales, loyalty, and products.

The Conversation Index, Volume 4: 30-Second Take-Aways

With access to more than 12.5 million pieces of first-person contributed content, The Conversation Index, Vol. 4 introduces the sentiment graph and delineates how this new filter uncovers highly efficient and effective insights for brands. Key findings and their accompanying insights include:

Boomers vs. Millennials: Who’s most satisfied?
Conversation analysis revealed that when brands analyse the sentiment of what different generational cohorts are talking about and emphasising by way of their user-generated content, marketers can create efficient, targeted marketing that focuses on what’s important to each generation.

• Overall, 82 per cent of all consumer opinions are positive. However, Boomers are slightly more positive than other generations, assigning three per cent more five-star ratings to products. As the largest generational group, Boomers also contribute 45 per cent of the total online product opinions, falling exactly in line with the population
• When brands learn what different generational cohorts are talking about and emphasising through their online conversations, marketers can feature words from consumers’ generational peers in their communications that better align with people’s wants and needs

The sentiment graph reveals the complex – yet often consistent and predictable – consumer.
Most brands market to consumers based on their social graph, which represents “who you know” via online connections like Facebook, or their interest graph, which consists of people’s interests, tastes, demographic and psychographic profiles. The sentiment graph can provide actionable insights for marketers by taking a deeper look into social data to understand the nuances of how consumers feel -- what they value, what matters to them, and how much it matters.
• Combining demographic information – for example, parent versus non-parent – with sentiment helps precisely target brand messages to specific markets even better
• The sentiment graph allows marketers to organise consumer-generated information to facilitate better buying decisions that activate purchase and loyalty. When consumers shop, they often look beyond overall rating to find the traits that meet their own specific needs. Listing oft-mentioned pros and cons alongside overall product ratings can help shoppers easily see specific language that speaks to their needs

Language reveals consumer needs for healthy choices
This quarter’s data shows society’s growing desire for healthy and organic options. Across all consumer packaged goods categories, which include food, health, beverages, and beauty, “healthy” was mentioned 12 per cent more often in 2011 than in 2010.
• Reflecting consumers’ own language is powerful motivation for them to buy. For example, a food product’s marketing might focus on fat content, while consumer feedback may uncover more mentions of calorie count
• Marketers can learn what’s really important to their consumers and emphasise that messaging in their efforts because consumers take time to give feedback, even for every-day, low-cost items

Sentiment of older products impacts new releases – and vice-versa
Looking at product ratings over time helps marketers and product managers solve the age-old problem of how to best promote their base brands or older versions to new markets, as well as refine future versions.
• Data from consumer feedback can help marketers efficiently target appropriate audiences for old versus new products. For example, a sporting goods retailer created a new version of a popular style of hiking pants. Older consumers liked the original product while younger consumers preferred the revamp. Using sentiment graph analysis, the retailer was able to target specific products and messages to each audience and sell more of both products
• Analysing data that compares new versus old can also enable brands to integrate first-person, popular consumer wants and needs into new versions. When consumers feel they had a hand in creating the new version, they feel more appreciated – and become more loyal

Comments on the News
• “Generational segmentation provides a powerful lens to view online brand conversations around the world. This lens is often more accurate and timely than age segmentation traditionally used by advertisers.” - Jason Dorsey, CEO of The Centre for Generational Kinetics
• “Over the past seven years, Bazaarvoice has served nearly 330 billion impressions of user-generated content globally, in 24 languages. We're honoured to manage what we believe is one of the most valuable data assets in the world today and are always looking for ways to use this incredible resource to help brands and consumers. The Conversation Index is one powerful way that our clients, and the industry at large, can tune into these data signals to drive brands and businesses forward by meeting – and exceeding – the needs of people around the world. Data is liberating, and social data is ground truth.” – Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice
• “When brands let consumers talk back and share their opinions online, rich data rises above the noise. The Conversation Index allows brands to tune into millions of customer conversations and find the insights that improve brand loyalty, drive sales, and fuel innovation." – Erin Mulligan Nelson, CMO of Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice define the generational groups as:
• Millennials: Ages 18 to 34
• Gen X: Ages 35 to 46
• Baby Boomers: Ages 47 to 65

Additional Resources
• Download the full report: The Conversation Index
• Follow @Bazaarvoice on Twitter or visit www.bazaarvoice.com

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice, a leading social software company, brings the voice of customers to the centre of business strategy for more than 800 clients globally like John Lewis, Costco, Dell, Macy’s, P&G, Panasonic, QVC, and USAA. Bazaarvoice helps clients create social communities on their brand websites and Facebook pages where customers can engage in conversations. These conversations can be syndicated across Bazaarvoice’s global network of client websites and mobile devices, which allows manufacturers to connect directly with customers. The social data derived from online word of mouth translates into actionable insights that improve marketing, sales, customer service, and product development. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York City, Paris, Stockholm, and Sydney. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.co.uk, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.

Published on: 6:05PM on 3rd July 2012