With so much digital data now available, PR or social media teams tasked with social listening now have the opportunity to become the most invaluable resource any company can have. These teams can now learn more about how your key stakeholders behave online than ever before to the benefit of the entire enterprise. That was the theme of last week’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud webinar with Chuck Hemann, Group Director of Analytics at WCG.
With marketers currently swimming in data, Hemann notes that social channels can truly become a new frontier for research for several reasons:
- They are open, unfiltered channels
- They offer real-time market-driven conversations
- They can provide an early warning system for competitive intelligence
- It’s hard to make a move now without leaving some type of digital footprint
- While there’s plenty of noise, there’s plenty of value in the signal with proper filtering
Hemann feels the research landscape is changing dramatically thanks to these new technologies and outlined a few trends he sees emerging in digital analytics.
Here's a look at five of those emerging trends:
1. Two clear listening models emerge
The first model involves listening for program planning. This involves thinking about the "5 Ws" before implementing new programs and campaigns. What are people saying about your brand? Where are people talking? When are people talking about you? Who is talking? Finally, why are people talking about you? Once you have successfully mirrored your social data analysis with traditional market research, you’ve really begun to achieve a complete 360 degree view of your customers.
The second model involves listening for the purposes of content development. Hemann makes note of the well-covered Oreo Super Bowl tweet. More brands are jumping on the bandwagon of using listening to help develop relevant, timely content. With regards to real-time marketing, he says most company content calendars aren’t yet flexible enough to truly embrace real-time. It takes resources and flexibility to truly pull off effective real-time content.
2. Departments across the enterprise join the digital data party
Smart companies are realizing that digital data’s value extends well beyond its applications for PR and Marketing teams. Proper data analysis can have great impact across an organization, from HR to product development to customer service. Hemann feels a central source for listening is vital, despite the data’s ultimate value across the entire enterprise.
3. Companies begin to hire internal analysts
Digital analytics professionals are becoming more prevalent as more companies begin to realize the power of this data. The task of making sense of all of this digital data is now becoming a full-time internal position. He feels your analytics pro should be able to not just effectively listen to social, but be capable of bringing disparate data sets together for truly interesting insights.
4. Measurement finally becomes integrated
Communications has been working to break down silos for years. The trend is to apply the same thought process towards the area of measurement. Measuring social against social and traditional against traditional simply isn’t useful. To see what’s performing best in a particular campaign, measurement needs to look at all channels and how they are performing against each other.
5. Analytics goes hyper-local
As marketing programs are built to reach those in specific geographic regions, analytics tools will need to be able to keep up. Tools exist now that can identify, down to street or city block-level, what people are saying about a particular event, such as a convention or store opening. This is invaluable data for any company engaged in event-based listening and are interested in what people are saying directly on the convention or showroom floor.
To see the complete discussion of these trends (and five more) with Chuck Hemann, click here to watch the recorded webinar.