Keywords: Online marketing research, brand analysis, text analysis, social media monitoring, brand value.
The research methods based on the analysis of users-generated contents are an increasingly widespread practice in some companies. These contents analysis is able to observe the «living voice» of customers/users because they represent more spontaneous opinions and preferences than those found through traditional data collection settings. This paper discusses a qualitative-quantitative methodological approach for the study of users-generated contents. The proposed method combines the outputs that emerge from automated social media monitoring platforms, based on the semantic analysis, with an ethnographic approach deriving from the analysis of online contexts in which users’ opinions are shared. The methodological model adopts an integrated and multi-methods approach and it is divided into three phases (con-textual analysis, textual analysis, extra-textual analysis). The method was applied to a case study of an Italian wine brand: the study aims to analyze the meanings associated with the brand, evaluating the alignment between the brand values and the brand image that it disseminates as perceived by users in their online conversations.