NYU Stern’s Center Releases Study on Conversational ROI

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[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Researchers at NYU Stern’s Center for Measurable Marketing (CMM) found that M&M’S ranked highest among Super Bowl XLVI advertisers in generating Conversational ROI. The confectioner generated the highest initial levels of online engagement in CMM’s in-depth analysis of online buzz, finishing second only to Doritos in terms of continued conversation.

Partnering with Crimson Hexagon, a provider of social media analysis software, and the Marketing Productivity Group, a provider of “state-of-the-science” analytical insights for marketers, CMM’s study highlights which Super Bowl advertisers can expect to see the biggest Conversational ROIs on their multi-million dollar investment. According to CMM, Conversational ROI measures both the direct impact of word-of-mouth communication on marketing performance, including dollar sales, as well as the amplification effects which social provides to both offline and online paid channels of communication.

“With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, brands now have the opportunity to actively enter the conversation. What marketers need to grasp here is that we finally have the opportunity to quantify the impact of what consumers are saying and feeling – and not simply the return on the aggregate dollar amount spent on social media,” said E. Craig Stacey, Ph.D., director of research for NYU Stern’s CMM and founding partner of the Marketing Productivity Group.

“We are calculating the ‘Conversational ROI’ generated for the Super Bowl advertisers by examining the overall level of conversation surrounding the ads, the proportion of positive sentiment toward them, and how long conversations are carrying over into the future,” explains Stacey. “At $3.5 million per 30-second Super Bowl ad, the number and length of the spots are also taken into consideration in calculating the Conversational ROIs.”

Which brands received the biggest bang for their buck?

  • M&M’S generated the highest overall level of positive conversation on Super Bowl Sunday with one “sexy” 30-second spot during the first quarter of the game
  • M&M’S tied Audi and Act of Valor for the highest proportion of positive sentiment
  • M&M’S placed second only to Doritos in terms of generating the longest-lasting conversations around their ads
  • Five of the top 10 Conversational ROIs  are for autos
  • While Chrysler’s two-minute “Halftime in America” ad created the second-highest level of negative online conversations, it also ranked among the likes of Coke, Pepsi and Doritos in terms of proportion of positive sentiment toward the ad and created the longest-lasting conversation among all of the auto advertisers

Which brands received lower Conversational ROIs?

  • Coca-Cola aired three spots and received the lowest Conversational ROI
  • Coca-Cola placed seventh in terms of positive online buzz, but fared worse in proportion of positive sentiment (11th place) with the fifth-highest level of negative posts
  • Kia Optima and VW Beetle rank in the bottom half – the two car brands ranked sixth and seventh in terms of proportion of positive ad sentiment, but both were in the bottom five in terms of online buzz generated

Is the investment worth it for Hollywood studios?

  • Ads for all three movies ranked in the bottom half for Conversational ROI
  • The Lorax Movie and Act of Valor are among the top five in terms of continuing to generate online conversations about their ads, with John Carter close behind at number eight

“Based on our analysis of the 2011 campaigns and previous social media research,” said Stacey, “we know that positive conversations about movie ads translate into ticket sales at the box office.” He added, “If the studios can sustain, or even build upon the positive online buzz generated and deliver on viewers’ expectations, word-of-mouth can be a very effective media vehicle for studios. While the Super Bowl may not have provided the optimal target audience for The Lorax Movie, Universal Studios went on to build a very successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign in the following weeks, translating into a box-office blockbuster.”

You can view the complete rankings here at CMM’s website.

[Image Courtesy: M&M]