Marketers Find Web Chat Can Be Inspiring

International Business Machines (IBM) and a handful of other major marketers, including casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment and software giant Microsoft (MSFT), are experimenting with developing ad campaigns based in part on what consumers are chatting about on the Web.

For decades, advertisers have relied heavily on sometimes-dated consumer surveys and focus groups to provide grist for their ads. Now, some are using new technologies to scan the Web for key words to find out what consumers are–and aren’t–saying about their brands.

Then, they are incorporating those findings into their more-conventional research and using them not only to choose the overall themes of their marketing campaigns, but also specific text and photos for their ads.

Once the campaigns are up and running, the companies and their ad firms are using the same Web-scanning technologies to gauge consumer reaction to their messages, and to fine-tune them to boost performance.

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