A Case Study - ORM: Keeping Your Ears to the Ground

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We've highlighted Online Reputation Management as the diagnostic, "listening" part of the ongoing conversation that takes place across the Internet, but it can be difficult to illustrate its practical implications. However, this chapter aims to draw attention to some of the insights that can be generated by utilising ORM.

The Subjects

The WebPR+ conferences hosted by Quirk in February/March 2007 provided a perfect opportunity for the unveiling of Quirk's new ORM tool. To highlight the tool's usefulness, a comparison between brands in any one sector needed to be carried out. Due to the near notoriety of South African banks' customer service levels, the banking sector was chosen as the subject matter for the ensuing ORM investigation.

Four players in the banking arena were chosen based on various criteria. For the purpose of this case study we will refer to them as Bank 1, 2, 3 & 4. As the investigation progressed, not only did the ORM tool identify strengths and weaknesses across the banks' reputations, but it also assigned a quantifiable value to these reputations known as a "reputation score". This score was calculated automatically by the application using an advanced algorithm which takes a host of independent factors into account.

Tracking and Sorting

Due to the nature of the subject matter, and the amount of online "noise" that each bank generates, Quirk began by focussing on the tracking of the individual bank names and variations on these, rather than generic key phrases relating to the industry.

All irrelevant online mentions unrelated to the topic, as well as duplicate entries, were swiftly picked up by the ORM tool and filtered out of the equation so that the reputation scores were unaffected. This step was imperative as only 15% of all online mentions were deemed "relevant" once sorting and filtering had been completed. Often the banks in question were mentioned online in conjunction with one another, either in comparison, or as an alternative option, and this accounted for a large percentage of duplicate entries.


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