SOURCE: Biz360

October 07, 2008 06:00 ET

Biz360 Launches New Opinion Insights Service

New Marketing and Product Planning Resource Aggregates & Analyzes Online Consumer Reviews; Delivers Ongoing Product Feature Insights, Turns Online Customer Opinion Into a Competitive Weapon

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - October 7, 2008) - Biz360® Inc., the leading provider of media and market intelligence solutions, launched Opinion Insights, a breakthrough, technology-based monitoring and measurement solution designed for product and marketing decision makers.

Opinion Insights captures and analyzes consumer opinion information from thousands of shopping, consumer product and expert review websites, and summarizes this information into ongoing intelligence at an individual product level. By providing continuous, real-time understanding of how consumers rate branded products and services -- down to model, SKU, attribute and feature level -- Biz360's Opinion Insights service offers marketers a cost-effective, census-based approach that complements (and, in some cases, replaces), costly traditional market research techniques.

Now businesses can make smarter and faster decisions

Opinion Insights incorporates advanced business intelligence technology in data aggregation and analytics to address the cost and limitations associated with traditional market research techniques. Recognizing that online reviews are a significant and growing influence on consumer purchase decisions, Opinion Insights provides an automated way to mine this powerful source of peer influence, and to deliver marketers an accurate, up-to-date view of consumer ratings for their products and services, as well as those of their competitors.

Biz360 collaborated with Christopher Manning, Stanford professor and leading authority in the field of natural-language processing (NLP), to create a first-of-its-kind system that automatically captures the sentiment of individual consumer opinion comments. Opinion Insights delivers a wide range of critical metrics, alerts and in-depth analyses including customer advocacy trends, identification of key influencers, competitive gap assessments, price/value analyses, as well as feature-level and source-level analysis.

"Never before has such a powerful customer insight tool been placed at the fingertips of marketers and market researchers," said Brad Brodigan, CEO of Biz360. "Opinion Insights lets companies implement real-time opinion and trend tracking rather than relying on costly and sporadic primary research initiatives. This means marketers can spend less time and money figuring out what their customers want, and more time designing, developing and marketing products shaped by recent, on-the-record consumer feedback."

Harnesses growing and influential online consumer voice

Consumers are expanding their use of the Internet to help make their purchase decisions. According to Pew Research, 78 percent of Americans have used the Internet to research a product or service before buying.(1) Of those, 8 out of 10 reports that online reviews directly influence their product purchase decision.(2) In fact, the opinions of other consumers have become the most popular source of online advice, exceeding expert advice by 21 percent.(3) A recent survey conducted by The Etailing Group showed that 67 percent of shoppers invest 30+ percent of their total shopping time researching what to buy, and yet most marketers have no cost-effective way to identify and interpret the sources and information their prospective customers are reading.

In a growing trend, consumers are being asked by retailers to share their opinions with other shoppers. One in three Internet users, or more than 70 million people, have already posted an online opinion of a product or service.(4) These opinions, provided by outspoken consumers, influence the views of others, so it's crucial that marketers understand how their brands and products are rated in these reviews.

Until now, there has been no practical way for companies to aggregate, analyze and interpret this vast amount of online information about their products and services. If they could understand this complex universe of consumer-generated information, marketers would have valuable insight into brand preferences: the product features and attributes that matter most to consumers, emerging trends, price elasticity, and even competitive vulnerabilities. Opinion Insights can be applied to assist marketers and researchers in any industry where reviews influence purchase decisions.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. mines consumer opinions for competitive advantage

Las Vegas Sands Corp. needs to understand how its Venetian and Palazzo resorts stack up against their top competitors, both overall and on an individual 'property attribute' level. It uses Opinion Insights to extract and analyze actual customer opinions from a broad universe of travel-related review websites. The intelligence derived from Opinion Insights is generating interest and action at the highest levels of the organization.

Among the findings: an opportunity to increase guest satisfaction by adding more areas of shade to the pool area at the Venetian. Another finding indicated an opportunity to enhance the guests' arrival experience by changing the check-in process to reduce lines and wait times. The report also identified customer advocacy scores at all levels, highlighting strengths as well as areas where improvements could be made to increase the company's leadership in the Las Vegas luxury hotel, resort and casino market.

"The degree of insight Biz360 delivered to us is truly amazing. We were able to pinpoint which aspects of each property received significant positive customer feedback as well as which needed improvement. We were also able to compare our results against individual competitors and determine the gaps between our scores and theirs," said Rom Hendler, vice president of strategic marketing for the Venetian and Palazzo properties.

About Biz360

Biz360 delivers media and market intelligence solutions to Global 2000 business decision makers, providing them with a 360-degree view of their marketplace. The company gathers and analyzes a vast amount of traditional and social media about an organization, its brands, its competitors and its products to deliver real-time insights that help its clients shape market perception, respond to competitive threats, evaluate trends and issues and improve the return on their marketing investments. Biz360's clients include AAA, Aetna, AstraZeneca and Sun Microsystems. Biz360 can be reached at 866.424.9360 or www.biz360.com.

(1) Pew Internet and American Life Project March 2005 - 2007

(2) Pew Internet Usage Study April 2006

(3) Pew Internet and American Life Project March 2005

(4) Pew Internet and American Life Project March 2005 - 2007

Links:

Biz360 home page

Opinion Insights home page

Contact Information