Study shows paid media's blog impact

NEW YORK: A study conducted by sister companies Nielsen BuzzMetrics and BASES shows a correlation between paid media spending for the launch of consumer-packaged goods (CPGs) and the number of blog hits the product receives.

NEW YORK: A study conducted by sister companies Nielsen BuzzMetrics and BASES shows a correlation between paid media spending for the launch of consumer-packaged goods (CPGs) and the number of blog hits the product receives.

"Looking back, it seems intuitive that a huge media budget is going to be a predictor of a big buzz launch," said Kate Neiderhoffer, director of methodology for Nielsen BuzzMetrics. "[But], if a product is really incorporated into the daily texture of your life, it's easer to blog about it and there'll be more buzz about it in general."

Neiderhoffer said the study's findings will be useful for PR practitioners.

"One of the implications is that [PR professionals] can focus all of that viral activity and create buzz storms early in the launch," said Neiderhoffer. "They can move the discussion one way or another."

Buzz surrounding CPGs is also still evolving, with many products lacking unique qualities that would make them buzzworthy.

"There's a lot of things that you can get people to talk about to increase that discussion," said Neiderhoffer.

"The Origin and Impact of CPG New Product Buzz" found that companies with higher paid media budgets for a launch generate more buzz; advertising budgets nearing $20 million saw the most blog activity while those spending an average of $5 million received the least attention.

However, only 10% of the brands involved with the study generated 85% of the buzz and certain categories, like over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and beverages, did especially well. According to Neiderhoffer, consumers generally go to the Internet in disproportionate numbers to seek medical information, which may account for the strong showing in the study. Short purchase cycles that allow consumers to engage with the product quickly also had an affect.

The research will continue by taking a closer look at individual categories and other variables.

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