Pirelli, Michelin Still Top of the Web (2006 Report)
Following Tyres & Accessories’ pioneering publication of online tyre brand penetration rankings last year, T&A has again enlisted the assistance of Cambridge-based e-marketing specialists Envisional. The report exclusively published in this month’s magazine shows some marked changes in the relatively short time since the 2005 survey. While Michelin remained top of the virtual pile in terms of quantity, Pirelli beat the French tyre giant in terms of the quality of references to the brand. Goodyear and Dunlop showed that the two brands’ marketing investments have paid off. They remained relatively flat in terms of prominence, but made sharp improvements in terms of sentiment. In this respect (see magazine for sentiment chart) Dunlop jumped from fifth to second place overall, while Goodyear rose from sixth to fourth. Continental took the largest hit of the premium manufacturers, falling from third to sixth on the sentiment index. Interestingly, Uniroyal achieved the lowest number of negative references overall.
You may remember from last year’s survey that Envisional’s technology is unlike other e-market research tools in that it doesn’t simply measure the number of times a brand is referred to online, but also quantifies the meaning attached to that mention. This allows the system to produce a complex prominence and sentiment indexes for gauging the performance of your company’s e-marketing efforts. Like last year Michelin achieved the greatest degree of online prominence (see magazine for prominence chart), by a significant margin, although its 2006 score shows that its dominance has decreased slightly. The remainder of the top six most-prominent brands are the same brands as were observed in 2005, though with a significant increase in the prominence of Continental. In contrast with its disappointing performance on the sentiment index Conti rose from sixth to second place in terms of prominence, suggesting there has been a significant increase in the number of negative online references to the German manufacturer.
Other major changes since 2005 include Avon overtaking Firestone and Yokohama leapfrogging Toyo in terms of prominence. In both years in which the study was carried out, a significant drop in relative prominence was observed between the top six brands and the remainder. The 2006 online tyre branding study once again used Envisional’s DEX methodology and Discovery Eye technology to identify and classify online mentions of 12 brands. The system trawled the Internet over three one-day periods, from 1 – 15 August 2006, during which time the system classified over 3,600 relevant mentions. So how does it all work? The DEX Prominence index is a custom metric unique to Envisional that measures the relative extent of total brand coverage across the Internet by calculating the number of web pages which feature each brand, as well as the prominence of the brand in each occurrence. This statistic illustrates the relative likelihood of the brands being indexed in a set of search-engine results.
The DEX Prominence figure is a far more representative comparison of online prominence than a simple count of web page appearances. It combines the following statistics within a unique algorithm: · The number of web pages and hosts which feature each brand · The prominence of the brand mention within the page (higher prominence is granted to the appearance in a domain name – lower prominence for brief mention in page content) · Brand ‘concentration’ on each host (i.e. the average number of relevant web pages per host) · Total Internet coverage of all brands under consideration Because the DEX prominence scores are a function of the total numbers of pages classified, the final scores were ‘normalised’ (by the multiplication of a constant scaling factor), so that the mean score across all brands was the same for both the 2005 and 2006 analyses, to allow comparison of relative prominences between these two years. The DEX Semtiment InDEX, as it is known, calculates a sentiment score for each page on which a brand is mentioned. Each appearance on the page of the brand in close conjunction to a keyword deemed to be ‘positive’ scores +1, and proximity to a ‘negative’ keyword scores -1, giving a cumulative total score for the page (with score = 0 being ‘neutral’). This score is then weighted and normalised using square and cube roots in order to measure the significance of the pages. This process “upweights the score for brands where the mentions are consistently positive or negative, and downweights the score for brands whose results would otherwise be skewed due to the fact that only a few pages have been identified,” analysts David Barnett told Tyres & Accessories.