Digital marketers often joke about the speed at which new tools and technology disrupt our daily workflow. If we take a couple days off, the first thing we ask upon returning to the office is, “what's changed?”
While this digital disruption can negatively affect others, I believe marketers are pretty resilient and handle change far better than other functions. We’re always looking for the latest gadgets and tools to apply to our craft. Because, ultimately, it's our job to connect with consumers in ways that motivate them to buy our products, use our services or join our cause.
In my opinion, the vast majority of marketers and communications professionals are missing out on perhaps the coolest – arguably most effective – tool available today. Thanks to technology and a group of incredibly smart data scientists, especially those with expertise in text analytics, we no longer have to rely on traditional surveys and focus groups alone to gather consumer and market insights. (Don't get me wring, traditional research is still a much needed service for large corporations.) These brilliant data scientists have spent years studying math and science to measure human conversation — turning the public data avaialble today (i.e. big data) into the largest source of consumer insight. Ever.
What is this called? Social Intelligence.
There are a lot of fancy terms out there that all mean similar things. Social Intelligence refers to the ability to collect a wide variety of public information – be it traditional media (digitized radio, TV, news), social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, message boards, forums) or company-owned data (i.e. survey comments) – to analyze, interpret and draw insights based on what the data reveals. Different companies collect different data sources so be sure your research partner has the capacity to get what you need. Plus, get a sense of how they've developed their algorithms and analytics. Not all solutions are created equal. Not having a data scientis on the core team is a huge red flag.
But, first, how do you know if you're even ready for Social Intelligence. Maybe your current setup with Hootsuite, its insights and your Google Analytics is working just fine... for now.
Here are SEVEN signs you’re ready to move beyond Social Media Monitoring to Social Intelligence:
Be sure to keep this graphic handy the next time you’re boss asks you, "Where Next?" Pin it, copy/paste it, bookmark it – whatever you want.