Friday, January 4

Blog analytics outsourcing — the new buzzword

Mumbai, Jan. 3 A US hospitality major wanted to understand customer’s perception about its hotel in Los Angeles. The company hired a Mumbai-based KPO to do a comprehensive study of the blogosphere and other user-generated content on the Internet.
The exercise yielded fruit; the company realised that several customers had a common complaint about the hotel restaurant being overpriced.
The company took serious cognizance of this, slashed rates, and invited some prominent bloggers to visit the restaurant. A 24-member strong KPO team did the entire backend work for the exercise, remotely from Mumbai.Consultancy services
Indian firms are in increasing demand to offer third party consultancy services to leverage social media tools and platforms to both overseas and domestic customers, according to Mr Lokendra Tomar, Senior Vice-President, Knowledge Services, Integreon.
These firms analyse user-generated content on the Internet such as weblogs, social networking sites and online communities to give feedback about a particular product or service, to their client.
“This helps in customer segmentation and enables understanding of customer behaviour for companies. Overseas clients prefer offshoring this service so that they can utilise the time advantage,” said Ms Sangita Joshi, Managing Partner of the Bangalore-based Empower Research.
Alternatively, these firms also identify influential bloggers and advise clients on running influence programmes around them, added Ms Joshi.
Analysing blogs or other user-generated content on the Internet enables to understand trends across timelines, according to Mr Nirmal Palaparthi, Executive Vice-President & Co-Founder, Fractal Analytics.
The astonishing pace of growth of user-generated content, especially blogs has fuelled this trend. Market size
Technorati, a blog search engine, said in April 2007 that over 1.2 lakh blogs are created everyday. The size of the blog analysis market is growing at a rapid pace – and can go up to $1.2 billion in five years, according to Empower Research. Most of the outsourcing is in sectors such as stock markets, insurance, media & entertainment and sports.
Firms such as Fractal Analytics use products that would crawl across all user-generated content on the net. “We then use natural language capabilities to come out with interesting insights and predictions for our clients,” said Mr Palaparthi. KPOs also use media analysis dashboard application for monitoring user generated content.Revenue potential
Most of the outsourcing work is coming from the US; it is only now that domestic clients have realised the potential of this space. If a company concentrates on the blog management space, there is a revenue potential of at least Rs 1-2 crore annually, according to Mr Kiruba Shankar, Founder CEO of Business Blogging Ltd.
“Most Indian companies generally tend to wake up only when something wrong is written about them on blogs. The market will mature from a reactive to a proactive mode in the next six months,” said Mr Shankar.

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