Interesting article from Eric Benderoff at the Chicago Tribune
I know that companies are listening, because that is the business we’re in at MotiveQuest.
We gather up blog, forum and newsgroup conversations about a given topic and analyze them to understand the underlying human motivations and drivers, as well as the cultural and competitive dynamic. This is used to help our clients with new product development, brand positioning, marketing & communication and issue management.
One thing for sure. We and our clients are almost always surprised by something. We start with a blank sheet of paper and follow the data (consumer conversations). This often leads to unexpected insight and strategic recommendations because most companies do not understand consumers nearly as well as they think they do. (Neither do we, but we are really good at listening, understanding and insight!)
Here is an example from our food data set. And I can tell you that this order is different from what major soft drink marketers think it is.
Health Topics in Soft-Drink Conversations: