Trying to create sales projections in an uncertain economic environment? New research suggests that the sentiments consumers express online may be a leading indicator of future sales.

Trying to create sales projections in an uncertain economic environment? Some interesting recent findings from researchers at Northwestern University suggest that the sentiments consumers express online may be a leading indicator of future sales.

Lakshman Krishnamurthi, Shyam Gopinath and Jacquelyn Thomas looked at opinions expressed in a large online forum about five brand models of cell phones -- and measured aggregate online word-of-mouth opinions of each type of phone. Their "buzz index," they found, was a leading indicator of sales of the cell phones.

2 Comments On: Using online discussions to predict sales

  • bbmarketingplus | May 15, 2009

    Two thoughts come to mind. The first is the usual concerns about whether commenters are outliers. If so, you run the risk of making alterations that improve the usage of a vocal minority–but decrease usage among the silent majority. Conversely, the other is that this data may be useful to everyone who is worrying about the return on investment of social media. The numerator is the value of whatever you learn/the denominator is the time it takes to follow comments on your product online.
    Barbara Bix, http://www.bbmarketingplus.com

  • Not just predicting the present, but the future: Twitter and upcoming movies | Ready-to-hand | April 2, 2010

    […] Here is the paper by Asur and Huberman from HP Labs. Also see a similar use of online discussion forums. […]

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