Finally, Somebody Ranks Brand Monitoring Services

    September 15, 2006

If there was ever a research report I’d like to get my hands on, it’s this one from Forrester.

The folks at Forrester have completed what looks to be a pretty comprehensive analysis of the most popular brand monitoring services (e.g., Nielsen Buzzmetrics, Cymfony, Biz360, Umbria, Brandimensions, MotiveQuest, and Factiva).

I can’t tell for certain how deep this report goes, it costs a thousand bucks, but they’ve posted a Q&A and an executive summary along with the graphic you see embedded here, which tease some of the findings. A few of the nuggets (verbatim):

  • Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Cymfony are market Leaders, thanks to their comprehensive technology platforms and extensive data source coverage.
  • MotiveQuest – with the most services-focused and strategy-oriented offering – finishes as the leading Strong Performer.
  • Biz360’s focus on traditional PR monitoring services lands it as a midrange Strong Performer.
  • Rounding out the Strong Performer category are Factiva, with its strong print orientation, and Umbria, which excels at speaker segmentation.
  • Brandimensions falls into the Contender category, with targeted expertise in the automotive, entertainment, and pharmaceutical industries and an approach that relies heavily on human filtering.

Brand monitoring online is top-o-mind for a lot of companies that recognize the need for conversational marketing and communication, but lack the tools and insights to analyze and measure the impact and success of their efforts. It’s a real pain, and unfortunately, where there’s pain there’s also exploitation. I think some of the popular brand monitoring services have a reputation of over-promising and under-delivering — which is why I’m glad to see a report like this surface.

Brand monitoring and sentiment mining online is a tough nut to crack, I personally don’t think any of these companies have it nailed yet, but some are getting close.

For that reason, it’s good to see that Forrester will be revisiting this report next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a big shake up in the rankings, perhaps even some new players to watch. Forrester, if you’re listening, I’d totally understand if you wanted to send this to me for “review.”;p

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Mike Manuel is the founder of the award winning Media Guerrilla blog. Media Guerrilla is an insiders take on the practice of technology public relations with a focus on the issues, tactics and trends that are specific to the tech industry.

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