Forrester’s Brand Monitoring Wave for Q3 2006 is now live!

Q:  What is Brand Monitoring?
A:  The ongoing analysis of mainstream media and consumer-generated
content to identify trends relevant to a company’s marketing activities
and competitive landscape.

Q:  Why does Brand Monitoring matter?
A:  The power shift from media institutions to consumer communities means
that marketers must track a diverse and growing range of influential

Q:  How can Brand Monitoring help companies?
A:  By giving early warning on trends that lead to situations like Coke+Belgium, SUVs+Tread Separation, or Comcast Technician.  Or providing an objective measure of marketing effectiveness.  Or by delivering unaided insight into consumer preferences to shape product development.  In addition to many other applications.

Q:  Who offers Brand Monitoring services?
A:  We analysed the seven major players in the market today across 56 criteria.

Q:  What do Brand Monitoring vendors do?
A:  There are four key steps to brand monitoring:  data collection, information processing, data analysis, and insight delivery.

Q:  How do the vendors stack up?
A:  Vendor tackle the four steps with different approaches.  From the executive summary:

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.

And so a three-month evaluation process ends…for now.  My analysis of the space clearly points to the fact that change in the market is imminent – so we’ll likely be revisiting the analysis in the 12 – 18 month timeframe.