Bill Hartzer

Report Ranks Reputation and Exposure of Brands Across News and Social Media

Across the Internet, in news, blogs, tweets and other social media, millions of people are talking about major brands. This “buzz” can be produced by product launches, ad campaigns, PR events, earnings reports, a single consumer‘s product experience, and many other triggers, even scandals and rumors. The volume and character of this buzz are predictors and influencers of brand performance; these exposures “count” in the real world, sometimes even more than the advertising-derived exposure typically measured.

Marketers online have always wondered: How much would it have cost to attract the same media exposure through traditional advertising? Many of the answers have been released in a new report called The General Sentiment Media Value Report™. This report attempts to calculates the dollar value of the buzz, content, and conversation taking place online.

General Sentiment has published its 4th Quarter 2009 Media Value Report, a breakdown of the top performing brands across news and social media web sites for October through December 2009. Generated using General Sentiment’s core media measurement and sentiment analysis infrastructure, the report ascribes attempts to assign an advertising dollar value to a brand’s media exposure.

General Sentiment uses patent-pending technology based on 5 years of research directed at Stony Brook University. The system automatically determines the volume of mentions and sentiment value regarding a brand, company or person. Blending this data with website traffic and online news readership figures, the MVR determines the purchase-equivalent dollar value of the brand exposure across more than 30 million sources.

The technology sector has dominated once again with significant social media value generated over coverage of new product releases and innovations. One surprise was Ford rising to the seventh position, as the company benefited in the media from strong sales reports while competitors suffered from lingering bankruptcy discussion.

The top two brands in the survey, Microsoft and Google, together generated about $1.3 billion in purchase-equivalent advertising value from news providers and social media. Other notable brands in the top 20 included Citigroup, McDonald’s, Disney, and American Express. Including Ford, those five companies were mentioned frequently and favorably enough to earn the equivalent of more than $1.2 billion in paid advertising.

1. GOOGLE $669,629,305
Google topped the rankings of the Q4 Media Value Report, with multiple products and innovations creating buzz in the marketplace. Google made a big push into the smartphone space with their Droid and Nexus One handsets. The company’s recent acquisition of AdMob, a mobile ad service, further highlights their strategy going forward. The new Chrome OS, which boasts a fast, simple and secure platform, was announced last quarter, generating considerable discussion on Google’s entry into the PC market.

2. MICROSOFT $648,732,726
Microsoft’s success with its earlier launch of Windows 7 continues to create buzz, particularly in News Media. However, the new Google Chrome OS raised a potential threat to Microsoft as it will be a cloud-based operating system. Also creating news exposure was Microsoft’s announcement of its plan to layoff 5,000 employees. On a more positive note, in December, Microsoft and Yahoo announced that they finalized their planned Internet search and advertising partnership agreement.

3. SONY $294,308,077
In the 4th Quarter, Sony announced the launch of its new online store, Sony Online Services, which sells videos, books, games and movies to compete against Apple’s iTunes store. However, 3D television has been the big story for Sony as they push these units out the door. This initiative has been put in place to bolster revenue as Sony perceives 3D television will be the answer to their woes.

4. APPLE $293,237,918
This December saw rumors of Apple’s latest high-tech gadget, the tablet computer, planned for a roll out in early 2010. Apple made a further move into the internet music market when it purchased one of the market leaders, Lala. Lala allows users to listen to a song once before purchasing and storing online. In other news, Nokia filed suit against Apple claiming the iPhone infringed on 10 patents held by Nokia.

5. YAHOO $291,766,667
Yahoo announced a world wide shutdown of operations from December 25th to January 1st to find new ways to cut costs in the recession. In early December, Yahoo and Microsoft announced the execution of their partnership plan mentioned above. The move is perceived as a positive one for both companies as Microsoft looks to better compete against Google and Yahoo seeks to cut costs further.

6. INTEL $285,685,964
Intel has been in the news frequently in the past few months, mainly due to the recent antitrust cases that led to a billion dollar settlement with rival chip maker AMD. Intel, which has battled anti-trust cases for years in Asia, Europe, and the State of New York, settled with AMG for $1.25 billion after offering large rebates and co-marketing arrangements to keep partners from switching to competitors.

7. FORD $185,905,704
Ford made the Top 10 list again as it continues to report strong results while other American car producers struggle. Reaction was positive when Ford announced further capital investment in its Brazil operations as it plans to invest $2.3 billion over the next five years to improve factories and increase production in the country. United Auto Workers (UAW) and Ford have been in talks over new contracts.

8. IBM $150,381,178
Blue Insight has been all over the news media in the 4th Quarter as IBM announced the rollout of its internal cloud environment with over a petabyte of information. IBM plans to make this cloud service available to customers as well, dubbed IBM Smart Cloud Analytics. Also of note in Q4, IBM acquired Guardium, a market leader in real-time enterprise database monitoring and protection.

9. CITIGROUP $131,326,011
Citigroup announced a planned $15 billion stock offering to repay its TARP bailout funds and was the last Wall Street giant to finalize the Government repayment. Amidst Citigroup’s plans to raise equity, Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund sold its stake in Citigroup at a $1.1 billion profit. The question remains as to what will happen with the US government’s equity stake in Citigroup.

10. HEWLETT-PACKARD $115,896,188
Rounding out the top 10, Hewlett-Packard made big moves in the M&A market. HP announced the acquisition of 3Com, a provider of competitive network and data center products, for $2.7 billion. Analysts lauded the acquisition as a way for HP to bolster its business in China.

The Fourth Quarter Media Value Report was created using General Sentiment’s proprietary software, which “listens” to more than 30 million online sources. To see the report in its entirety, visit www.generalsentiment.com

Update: Links have been removed from this post. November 15, 2014.

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