However, conversations have been hard to track and their impact difficult to quantify. New research used by Starcom Mediavest, an agency that advises companies such as Proctor & Gamble on where and how to advertise, has measured the effects of conversations about brands and shows talk is even more important than previously thought.
One thing this article does not discuss is the importance of listening to customer complaints. A bad experience can travel from Detroit to Auckland depending on the discussion forum. In the online world, it will no longer be possible to kill stories about bad corporate behavior.
Note - I predict some companies will be stupid enough to plant bad stories about their competition. In a world of recorded IP addresses that tactic is doomed.