While Social Media programmes are widespread, opinion is polarised as to whether these programmes reflect the marketplace as a whole. When implementing an online listening programme, it is important to know that your programme offers an accurate overview of the market. Taking influence into account ensures that your programme is a true reflection of the market, and that outcomes can be accurately measured.
THESE ARE INFLUENTIAL TIMES
Influence can be defined as the capacity of an individual, organisation or publication to impact upon the actions, views or opinions of others over whom they do not hold power. Influence is topical – that is to say, the amount of influence a stakeholder has will vary by subject matter, whether this be smartphones, fashion or finance. For example, an article in the FT about the performance of a major public company is likely to have a larger impact upon the firm’s corporate reputation and stock price than a similar piece by a private blogger. However, the FT probably has less influence than many blogs when it comes to subjects such as climate change or wildlife.
WEIGHT A MINUTE
Scoring stakeholders by topical influence shows how much “punching weight” they have in any given debate. This has important implications for brands, as influence is a reflection of how much a stakeholder can move the markets through their opinions. In the battle between competing brands within a marketplace, an influencer’s voice can lend additional firepower to a brand’s share of the debate, which in turn can translate into market share.
Ok, so we’ve established that influence weighting is important. But how can we be sure that this scoring is accurate? Firstly, the methodology behind influence scoring should be sound. At Onalytica for example, we use an influence-measurement technique developed by Nobel prize winner Wassilly Leontief. Secondly, it must lead to results. We have tested our methodology to predict outcomes such as market share movements and have found our results to be very accurate. One example includes our recent work with investment bank Jefferies.
Weighting for influence as well as analysing all types of online media means that your online listening programme has a better chance of providing a good return on investment. Get in touch if you would like more information on our influence methodology, or would like to build your own real-time online listening programme.
In the last decade it has become increasingly popular for academic journals to publish their impact factors on the cover.
Essentially impact factors just represent what is common wisdom; that some publications matter more than others, and impact factors attempt to quantify this.
Today we are publishing the Onalytica Influence Index for economics blogs. The top 100 can be seen below. (Methodology after the list)
We use our standard methodology for measuring influence: All references and citations between the blogs are fed into an Input/Output model (How appropriate to use the work of the 1973 Economics Nobel Prize laureate to calculate the impact factors for economic blogs).
The table contains metrics for each blog: InfluenceIndex, Popularity and Over-Influence.
InfluenceIndex is the impact factor, normalised to the value of the most influential blog.
Popularity represents how popular or well-known the blog is among other economics blogs.
Over–Influence seeks to capture how influential a blog is compared to how popular it is. There is a fairly linear (r2=~0.93) relationship between how popular or well-known a blog is and its influence. However some blogs carry more influence than their popularity leads us to believe; this is what we call over-influence. The blog Fight Entropy for example has an over-influence value of 1.9, meaning it carries 90% more influence that we would expect from how well-known it is. Conversely, if a blog has an over-influence of 0.8 it only carries 80% of the influence we would expect from how well-known it is.
If a blog is over-influential there is only one possible explanation: Those who reference or cite the blog have themselves more than average influence.
The list shows, that the combination of a premier newspaper and Nobel Prize winner is hard to beat.
At Onalytica we have been in the business of measuring influence since 2004. Our clients use the influence we calculate in two ways. First, they use it to understand who are influential in the debate and who is gaining and loosing influence. However, the second usage is the most important: By applying the influence weights of each stakeholder when analysing their views and statements we can transform the online noise into excellent predictions about the present and the future.
To learn more about our work on Influence click on the influence tag on the blog.
Thanks to Oliver Brown for helping with data and suggestions.
The Conscience of a Liberal (Paul Krugman)
Tim Duy's Fed Watch
The Money Illusion
Library of Economics and Liberty
The Big Picture
Worthwhile Canadian Initiative
Next New Deal
Stumbling and Mumbling
The Baseline Scenario
Dani Rodrik's weblog
A Fistful Of Euros
Conf. of a Supply-Side Liberal
The Undercover Economist
Adam Smith Institute
Organizations and Markets
Liberty Street Economics
The Becker-Posner Blog
Division of Labour
Daniel W. Drezner
David Smith's EconomicsUK.com
Peter Gordon's Blog
Increasing Marginal Utility
The Capital Spectator
China Financial Markets
Club For Growth
EclectEcon Economics Studies
A Fine Theorem
Ludwig von Mises Institute
Aplia Econ Blog
Duncan’s Economic Blog
Forest Policy - Forest Practice
All Road Leads to China
Don't worry, I'm an Economist!
Truth on the Market
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
The RePEc Blog
Last week we ran the first in our new series of seminars: New Trends in Marketing Communications. The first in the series focused on Influencer Marketing and was well attended with some interesting discussion following the presentations from industry experts at The Economist and Weber Shandwick.
We also had a film crew on hand to capture some of the event on camera - watch the clip below to see what you missed and make sure you don't miss out in the future!
The first of Onalytica’s new monthly seminars on New Trends in Marketing Communications will take place on Thursday 7th July 2011, from 3pm to 6pm at our offices in Centre Point, London.
This series of seminars will be addressing the new trends in marketing communications. The first seminar in the series will focus on: Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing is a rapidly emerging discipline in Marketing Communications whereby marketing initiatives are focused more directly on key opinion formers or ‘influencers’. In other words – influence the influencers and they will influence the rest of the market for you – amplifying your message. Through Influencer Marketing - communication initiatives can be developed, executed and measured more precisely because the target group is better defined.
At this seminar you will hear from industry experts who will share their experiences of planning and executing effective Influencer Programmes. This seminar is also an excellent opportunity to network with industry colleagues.
We are very pleased to announce that there will be keynote speeches from:
- George Coleman, Executive Vice-President & Head of Client Services, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Weber Shandwick
- Gareth Lofthouse, Director, Business Research, The Economist
- Flemming Madsen, Executive Chairman and Founder of Onalytica
This is an invitation-only, free event. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Becky Hayward or Sophie Hill. Please RSVP before Tuesday June 28th.
With the aim of improving cancer outcomes, the Government has commissioned M&C Saatchi to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer as well as encouraging the public to go for screening. A seven-week pilot campaign was launched at the end of January this year in two southern regions of the UK, which focused on awareness of bowel cancer with the key message: Be Clear on Cancer.
We have been tracking the debate on Cancer in the UK since September 2010 and wanted to measure the initial effectiveness of this first campaign. If the campaign has been successful we would expect to see an increase in debate in relation to the overall cancer debate.
Overall cancer debate has been more elevated this year compared to the last four months of 2010; showing overall effectiveness of the campaign. The weekly trend of debate during the pilot campaign showed a steady and sharp increase in discussion between the second and fifth weeks followed by a steep decline in debate the following week, the final week of the campaign. Increased levels of discussion during the middle of the campaign were not sustained towards the end or just after the end of the campaign itself.
Taking a monthly view of the data, February marked the highest month of bowel cancer debate since tracking began and although discussion dipped in March, April marked a new high – indicating the longer term effects of the campaign.
Amplifying the Message
We can already see that the campaign has had a positive effect on the level of bowel cancer discussion, however, in order to amplify this effect what can M&C Saatchi do?
One of the first steps could be to identify what is currently driving the debate on cancer and more specifically on bowel cancer. By tapping into the current debate drivers in the discussion, your message can form part of the most current topic of interest, which will boost visibility and therefore awareness. Current topics driving the bowel cancer debate are targeted therapy, cancer research and faulty gene. An initial strategy using a combination focused on using the hot topics of the moment and discussing them, along with the key marketing messages, on identified influencer sites can only help form part of a recipe for success.
If you would like more information on how Onalytica can help you find out what is driving the debate in your industry, or who the key influencers are for your brand, product or service please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of March we began analysing the key influencers in the debate on the Royal Wedding and discussed how we measure influence. We followed this up towards the end of April to see how the influencers had changed.
Let’s have a final look at the top 20 most influential websites in the debate on the Royal Wedding:
Table 1: Top 20 Influential Stakeholders in the Debate on the Royal Wedding
There have been sizeable shifts in the top 20 influencers since April. The Official Royal Wedding Website managed to return to the top of the chart, after falling to rank 6th in April. Interestingly the high-ranking Australian news media outlets have fallen from the top 20 as more US news media outlets have taken their place.
We tracked a number of different topics in relation to the Wedding, such as the Cake, the Dress, Security, Westminster Abbey, Rings, Souvenirs and the Honeymoon. We found that Westminster Abbey was the most discussed, followed by the Dress, but when the voices were weighted for influence, the Dress became the key issue, followed by Security.
We analysed the debate on the royal couple and found that Kate was marginally more discussed than Prince William and also proved more popular among influential stakeholders.
Report compiled during the period 1st October 2010 – 6thMay 2011. Please email me (Sophie.email@example.com) if you would like further information on findings presented in this blog post.
The referendum to decide whether to introduce a new voting system to replace our current first-past-the-post system is taking place today. We have been tracking the debate on the Alternative Vote (AV) since the 1st January 2011.
We posted our first blog on this topic on the 14th April 2011.
As might be expected, discussion of AV has increased dramatically since January and in the first five days of May there has been more debate than what was seen during the whole of March! AV is clearly a hot topic but let’s have a look at discussion of the different campaigns:
The ‘Yes To AV’ campaign generated marginally more buzz between January and March than the ‘No To AV’ campaign, however, during April ‘No To AV’ came into focus, only for the ‘Yes’ campaign to move marginally ahead during the first week of May. That said, the volume of coverage is only part of the story; the influence of the voices and the sentiment of what is being said also need to be taken into account.
Overall, ‘No To AV’ has been slightly more discussed and has proved more popular among influential stakeholders. Interestingly, the ‘Yes To AV’ campaign has featured in more polarised coverage than the ‘No’ campaign, appearing in a sizeable proportion of negative posts and only slightly more positive posts. Whereas, when those posts are weighted for the influence of the different voices in the debate, the landscape changes dramatically; the ‘No To AV’ campaign features in 25% unfavourable debate while ‘Yes To AV’ campaign appears in only 21%. Essentially, those who are influential in the debate are discussing the ‘Yes’ campaign in a more positive light. The first five days of May have proved particularly negative for the ‘No’ campaign, but will sentiment determine the results of the referendum or will the high volume of ‘No’ discussion put that stance in the forefront of the public’s mind? In order to establish the overall picture we need to analyse the influential voices in the debate.
So let’s have a look at how the top 20 most influential websites in the global English debate on AV have changed since the last time we looked at them:
For information on how we calculate influence please see our blog post looking at the key influencers in the debate on the Royal Wedding.
There has been considerable movement in the top 20. The most noticeable change was Iain Dale’s Diary, which was knocked out of the top 20 by new entrant, the Financial Times. Although the top five stakeholders have held their rank, the rest of the top 20 has been somewhat reshuffled. Total Politics Magazine experienced the greatest increase in influence over the time period, closely followed by the Liberal Democrats Website.
At this point there are still more websites in the top 20 dedicated to the Liberal Democrats than any other party. Nevertheless, the Conservatives are indeed present in the top 20 and furthermore, both Conservative-focused websites have become more influential in the past few weeks.
It will be interesting to see if the high levels of discussion signify a No in today’s referendum or if strong sentiment and influential voices encourage a Yes from the UK electorate.
Report compiled during the period 1st January 2011 – 5th May 2011. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like further information on findings presented in this blog post.
At the end of March we began analysing the key influencers in the debate on the Royal Wedding. Now we are going to look at how those stakeholders have changed as we approach the big event.
Influence is dynamic, in that a stakeholder can become more or less influential on a topic over time. So who are the current top 20 most influential websites in the debate on the Royal Wedding?
Table 1: Top 20 Influential Stakeholders in the Debate on the Royal Wedding
We saw the Official Royal Wedding Website climb to the top of the chart in March, surpassing national online news media from the UK, the US and Australia. Now we have seen it fall to rank 6th, as it became less influential in the debate and was overtaken by news media outlets from the UK and the US.
Four stakeholders fell out of the top 20 between the 29th March and the 19th April 2011 including; ABC News, Celebuzz!, TMZ - Celebrity Gossip and Fox News.
As we come closer to the date of the wedding, the top 20 is becoming more and more dominated by online news media outlets as stakeholders dedicated to the Royal Wedding and celebrity gossip sites, such as the Official Royal Wedding Website and Celebuzz, are becoming less influential.
Report compiled during the period 1st October 2010 – 19th April 2011. Please email me (email@example.com) if you would like further information on findings presented in this blog post.
The referendum to decide whether to introduce a new voting system to replace our current first-past-the-post system is fast approaching. We have been tracking the debate on the Alternative Vote (AV) since the 1st January 2011.
For information on how we calculate influence please see our blog post looking at who is influential in the debate on the Royal Wedding.
We found the top 20 most influential websites in the global English debate on AV:
Table 1: Top 20 Influential Stakeholders in the Debate on the Alternative Vote
||Liberal Democrat Voice
||London Evening Standard
||Conservative Home Blogs
||The Spectator Magazine
||The Liberal Democrats Website
||The New Statesman
||Next Left Blog
||Left Foot Forward Blog
||Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors
||Total Politics Magazine
||UK Polling Report
||The Daily Mail
||The Conservative Party Website
||Iain Dale's Diary
Interestingly, at this stage, the Liberal Democrat Voice is the most influential politics-focused website. Furthermore, of the nine websites dedicated to a particular political party, five of those had a penchant for the Liberal Democrats, compared to three for the Conservatives and one for Labour. Whether this will have an effect on the results of the referendum, we will have to wait and see.
Report compiled during the period 1st January 2011 – 12th April 2011. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like further information on findings presented in this blog post.
The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is a very topical subject at the moment with just four weeks to go until the big day. We began tracking the debate on the Royal Wedding around the time of the couple’s official announcement of their engagement in November 2010. Just look how the volume of debate has increased so dramatically between December and March:
Figure 1: Monthly Buzz Trend for Mentions of the Royal Wedding
Not only are we interested in the discussion of the Royal Wedding, but we are interested in who is discussing the Royal Wedding and just how influential those voices are.
Before revealing some of the most influential voices in the debate I want to outline what I mean when I say influence and how this can be measured.
What is influence?
Influence, is the capacity of a publication, an organisation or an individual to impact the viewpoints, actions or opinions of others over whom they do not hold power.
This shouldn’t be confused with popularity. Popularity is about how many listen to you whereas influence is more about who listens to you.
This can be seen in the graphics below:
Figure 2: Popularity vs. Influence
Figure 3: Focus on Popularity
Figure 4: Focus on Influence
But what do all these links mean without context?
Influence is topical: Those who have influence in the debate on cat-food may not have the same influence on energy supply.
We put a key focus on defining the appropriate context in order to then measure the influence of the stakeholders contributing to the online debate within that context.
So how is influence measured?
Firstly, let’s have a think about why we need to measure influence, rather than go with our own impressions or gut feel: The identification of influencers based on measurement is important as we (as humans) tend to overrate the importance of those we hear about more often and similar underrate the importance of those we hear about less (or never).
So now on to measurement; in order to measure influence, we need to take indirect influence into account.
For more than three decades academics have used something called “citation analysis” to measure the influence of academic journals, researchers and universities. In academic articles, writers cite the works of other academics. They do that for several reasons, but mainly because they believe that those they cite are relevant to the context. They reference other publications that are relevant to their arguments and to the context. In doing so they reveal which other publications have influenced them.
In citation analysis these citations from one journal to another are regarded as links. These links are extracted and transformed into a huge system of equations. When solved the result is a relative measure of influence.
This way of measuring influence was developed by Russia-born American, Wassily Leontief. He developed something called input/output analysis to measure how sectors of the economy influence each other.
Wassily Leontief was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in Economics for developing input/output-analysis and thereby solving the illusive problems of “circular influence”.
We use this method to measure the influence of websites based on which websites link to them, and in turn, which websites link to those websites and so on.
So here it is what you’ve all be waiting for: We have used this measure to find the top 20 most influential websites in the global English debate on the Royal Wedding:
Table 1: Top 20 Influential Stakeholders in the Debate on the Royal Wedding
||The Official Royal Wedding Website
||The Daily Mail
||The Scottish Sun
||News Online from Australia & the World
||The Daily Telegraph - Australia
||London Evening Standard
||TMZ - Celebrity Gossip
We have recently seen The Official Royal Wedding Website climb to the top of the chart, surpassing national news media from the UK, the US and Australia. We will be keeping an eye on the top 20 over the next four weeks to see what kind of movement occurs.
Report compiled during the period 1st October 2010 – 29th March 2011. Please email me (email@example.com) if you would like further information on findings presented in this blog post.