Social Media Listening

Exceptional Marketing Driven by Human Insight

The ability to form closer customer relationships, stay at the forefront of market trends, and create competitive differentiation comes at a critical time for marketing organizations across all industries. In today’s competitive world, there are too many companies competing in an environment where there are not enough customers. This is especially true for high-tech and information technology companies where technology advancement occurs at a rapid pace. Now, more than ever, marketing organizations must create clear differentiation by tapping into new streams of customer, market, and competitive data made available from external sources like the public web. We’ve proven that when this is done with some discipline, exceptional results can be achieved.
We’ve seen how a large marketing organization’s ability to discover, synthesize, and act upon public web data can have a direct and tangible impact on their marketing strategy. I’ve had the good fortune to work with HP and other large brands in my career, and they all grapple with the same issue: they are drowning in a sea of data, all made possible by the public web and social media. I’ve realized that in order to see tangible results from social media listening (read: glean actionable insight), technology alone only gets you so far. When combining technology with human analysis, however, quantifiable value can be realized.
The problem with using social media listening technology as a standalone solution is its inability to automatically provide the in-depth analysis that a human is capable of providing. For example, we worked with a major sports team who wanted to increase social media engagement amongst women. A listening platform may provide data about what content women are engaging online, but it will not offer the strategy needed to glean more engagement. Human analysis needs to be conducted in order to understand and digest certain demographic data trends, interpret the underlying reason for engagement, and develop specific social media strategies that will better target and engage female audiences. In other words, the platform only gets you so far. The interpretation and analysis that takes a market research approach to understanding the data combined with the tool (technology) is necessary to glean insight.
We often forget that business, like life, is merely a series of decisions. The success of a company can be directly related to the worth of the decisions made by its employees; this is particularly true for marketing teams. By combining social media listening technology with human analysis, it is possible to take a complex data set now available online and categorize and synthesize it to identify key themes, influential voices, and conversation share. Companies now have access to a vast data set provided by the public web. The opportunity, then, is to convert this data into actionable insight that is directly linked to marketing processes to drive business outcomes.