Once upon a time all you had to monitor were a few magazines and newspapers to ensure you were keeping in touch with what was being said about your company, product or brand.

Today there are some 80 million blogs on the Internet (with an estimated 6 million new posts a day) and around 80% of the UK online population visiting social network sites daily, not to mention news feeds, forums and the whole UGC (user-generated content) phenomenon. There are even groups of 'new influencers' who lead the charge, to either promote or destroy a brand's reputation.

Forrester Research also shows that when it comes to advertising where consumers place most trust, at the top of the list is 'recommendations from consumers', closely followed by brand websites, opt-in emails and 'consumer opinion posted online'. Search engine ads, online banner advertising and even text ads on mobile phones are in there too!

So, how do you ensure you know what's being said about you online and how do you control the dialogue? That's where we can help with NetTracker.

NetTracker identifies the spheres of influence and what's being said. It monitors conversations across the whole of the Internet (not just a sample like some tools) on websites, blogs, forums, content sharing sites, social networking sites, news feeds…

NetTracker will tell you who's having the conversation and how many are having the conversation. It will then go on to track the 'conversation' by sentiment – positive, negative or neutral, relevance, intensity and influence i.e. there's quite a difference if someone's rubbishing your brand on a major news site as opposed to my blog!

You'll be able to tell whether people are being influenced, and whether they're influencing others.

What's being said allows companies and brand owners to take the initiative and direct the dialogue with marketing activity that can influence and affect consumer behaviour.

It maybe that you want to find out what your competitors are saying in the emails they're sending out. MailTracker will obtain examples of these allowing you to track what they're communicating.

There are other tools in our toolbox that will also allow you to ensure your brand is ahead of the competition online. OptiScore evaluates your website versus the competition and OptiSite uses eye-tracking techniques to ensure the site design is as good as it could be from a consumer perspective.