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Social Listening Vs. Listening Intelligently for Market Intelligence: What's the difference and why you should care

Social Listening Vs. Listening Intelligently for Market Intelligence: What's the difference and why you should care

IBNS | @indiablooms | 20 Jul 2018, 12:55 pm

The Internet has become a treasure trove of data. Google is great at finding the answers to our search keywords. But we don’t always know the right keywords to find what’s changing in our industry or stay on top of what our competitors are doing. Moreover, even with the right keywords, we cannot continuously search for new information. We need to be informed when relevant information becomes available. We need to listen to the internet, not just search. There are two types of listening:

Social Listening:

Tools such as Mention, Meltwater, Brandwatch, are designed to “listen" to every mention of keywords across the Internet. Between Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, News, Customer Reviews, and more. These tools are helpful for Customer Service, where you need to track any customer complaints. They are helpful for PR and ORM (Online Reputation Management), where you need to track comments about your brand. They also help to track the general sentiment around your brand, product, competitor, a keyword or topic.

These tools also help to track user engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments on various posts by the marketing teams. Or metrics like "share of voice”. They can also find demographics of the people who mention you. Even though these tools don’t specialize in tracking news, they do cover a few news sources and also influencer conversations while also identifying new influencers.

They also help in producing reports such as a weekly chart showing how many brand mentions you generated vis-a-vis your competitors, and how many were positive, negative, or neutral. Therefore, these tools are popular among customer service, PR, brand communications and B2C marketing teams.

If you need to know what your competitors, customers or regulators are doing, rather than what people are saying about your brand, you need a different kind of listening. To listen to what is happening in your market and how it is moving, you don’t need you to capture all the available information, rather, you need to discard non-business information, which is more than 95% of the mentions. You need to capture relevant and unique business information to stay on top of what’s going on in your market landscape.

Listening for intelligence:

Intelligent web listening helps when you want answers to questions like:

1. Which companies are expanding into new geographies in my industry? Just one and the most important article, not all the PR and news coverage about the announcement of a business expansion by a company.

2. Which of my prospects have shared the pictures of their new office on Facebook? Just one and the most important Facebook update, not all the unnecessary shares that companies do to “engage” their followers.

3. Which topic and industry are my competitors publishing their marketing content on? Not how many likes, shares or comments their marketing content have received, which unfortunately is sometimes gamed by bots and “social media marketing” companies. 

4. Are my key accounts hiring for roles for which they’ll need more licenses of my software?

Answering such key intelligence questions requires intelligent web listening. The information that does not answer such strategic questions is essentially noise. Removing this noise is complicated. Simply crawling the web and aggregating information does not work. Therefore, companies hire full-time analysts for this job because it is difficult for tools to understand the subjective and strategic context of the information.

There are new tools like Contify that combines the raw processing power of computers and human intelligence. These new breed of intelligence tools remove the noise to deliver only the most relevant information that qualifies as intelligence.

General social listening is like separating the wheat from the chaff. But intelligent web listening is like mining for diamonds. Here is how a market intelligence platform mines intelligence from the depths of the unstructured web.

But finding intelligent information is only a part solution. It is not complete. Unless this information is used intelligently, it will just be another piece of information. The second part of the problem is how to ensure that this information is available to the right team member at the right time and at the right place.

This is achieved by tagging the information with different functions or teams and making it available in the existing workflows of your team members. This intelligence from external sources should be available at the same place where your team members are currently going to get other information that is important for them.

For e.g. where do your team members go to check company updates, holiday schedule, salary slips, etc? The information about your industry, company, competitors should be made accessible seamlessly in the same location. Another example, your sales executives use a CRM. This intelligence from the web should be available to them alongside their lead, contact, and account records inside the CRM.

Intelligent listening of web for market intelligence is necessary but not sufficient to make your company a market intelligent company. The systems in your company to store and share information across different teams is a critical step towards making your company a market intelligent company.

Social Listening Vs. Listening Intelligently for Market Intelligence: What's the difference and why you should care

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