hmph, this was one of the possible uses i had for the buzzhit.com domain i hold.
What’s Cool Next: “Special” Marketers Track Online Volunteers
VentureReporter.net Monday, May 20, 2002, 12:56 PM ET
Want to know the “coolness quotient” of your company’s product? Consider hiring marketing firms such as Look-Look, Ad*itive and Cornerstone Promotion. These firms are cool seekers, paid by major marketers to get the first bead on what’s next on the horizon, reports AdAge.com.
Hollywood-based Look-Look’s online network includes nearly 10,000 14- to 30-year-old volunteers and part-timers, recruited over several years at clubs and hangouts around the country from New York to Los Angeles and points in-between to report on their world. After the small army is canvassed with online polls and surveys, the results are arranged into categories such as eating and drinking, fashion, mood and even spirituality.
Using focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and shadowing (trailing people to see where they hang and shop), Ad*itive digs deep for the cultural context, trying to figure out, for example, why African-American teens might adorn themselves with splashy jewelry.
More on “shadow” marketing firms
AdAge.com reports on these firms, which have been using online hangouts to help marketers understand consumer behavior.