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Using online social networks to measure consumers’ brand perception

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The ability to measure and monitor specific dimensions of brand image has a range of useful applications in marketing, from developing competitive strategy to identifying strength and weaknesses to evaluating the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. Nevertheless, obtaining reliable measurements is an ongoing challenge for marketers. Traditional methods such as administering surveys can be expensive and biased, and are limited in scale, both in terms of the number of brands and dimensions that can be tracked, and the frequency with which the measurements can be updated. The explosion of social media in recent years has created an enormous secondary data trail that is available for analysis. However, the most common analytics approaches, such as those that rely on user-generated text, are difficult to apply due to the scarcity of relevant conversations, as well as the ambiguity, variety, and often rapid changes in linguistic terms used by consumers. This paper describes a recent advance in marketing science that makes use of brand social network connections to make highly scalable inferences about brand image. This promising new approach provides many potential advantages, including the ability to fully automate monitoring for a large number of brands over a wide range of dimensions.
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Keywords: Big Data; brand image; perceptual maps; social media; social networks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2017

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  • Applied Marketing Analytics is the major new professional journal publishing in-depth, peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of marketing analytics. Guided by an expert Editorial Board each quarterly 100-page issue - published both in print and online - features detailed, practical articles written by and for marketing analytics professionals on innovative thinking, strategies, techniques, software and applied research showing how major brands are collecting, interpreting and acting on marketing analytics, both around the world and across varied digital and non-digital marketing channels. Learn how to measure the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives more accurately, how this compares to your competitors, identify gaps in your marketing analytics program and what metrics that support sound marketing decision making - and add to the bottom line.
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