Nielsen: “Our influencers, Ourselves”

Kate Niederhoffer, Director of Measurement Science at Nielsen Online spoke about a current work in progress – defining "influentials."  Is there a hotter topic in CGM for marketers?  Well yes, ROI, but we’re closer to figuring this one out, or at least more people are trying.

Kate gave an academic explanation of the history of influence – from propoganda to personal influence to a renaissance of interest via online amplification.

Defining influencers happens in four steps:

  1. Factors, focusing on three dimensions:  authority, popularity, virality
  2. Characterization of influencers: factors, independent dimensions (low inter-item r-squared), unique combinations
  3. Ensure algorithm is flexible enough to allow additional parameters, e.g. persuasiveness, linguistic style.
  4. Check for face validity, e.g. peer review

The result is a final score, an "ideal conduit" that can and should be weighted depending on client goals.

Does it go deeper than this?  Probably.  But I don’t have a PhD like Kate to explain everything properly here.

In a more simplified approach, Ken Cassar outlined a way for media planners to make influencers identification actionable.  Using data from the NetView panel:

  1. Find users who visit niche/esoteric, i.e. "expert" web sites on topics
  2. Users who spend more communication time than average (e.g. time spent, posting comments, etc.) on these sites are most vocal
  3. Identify other sites visited where you can reach these vocal experts (behavioral targeting of sorts)

In an example for TV broadcasters, 4.4% of the at home population were in the influencer category.  65% of the sample was female, indexing at 124 vs. 74 male.  The 25 – 34 age segment was most influential in age demographic cuts.  The result?  USA Today rates highest for site most likely to be visited by TV watcher influentials (684 index).  […?]


I had to get back to Boston and the afternoon sessions couldn’t be blogged anyway.  But during the day I met a couple people I’ve seen online:  Emily Riley from Jupiter and Rohit Bhargava from Ogilvy PR.  Saw Henry Copeland from BlogAds around, tweets too.