Go beyond social listening

In the next three years, the percent of marketing budget that is spent on analytics is expected to more than double. To ensure it worth your time and money, you need to invest in the right technology. Here we discuss what is social listening and whether it really is worth the investment.

Pushed along by the increasing expectation for personalised communications and offers, businesses often find themselves making the mistake of falling back on social listening technology without knowing that it doesn’t allow for truly individualised personalisation. Retailers and other consumer-focused businesses end up falling in the trap of marketing to huge groups of people based on presumptions about that group. A very applicable example would be Millennials. Millennials are the huge generation born between 1980 and 2000, and we often hear statements about what Millennials want but this doesn’t consider the vast differences from person to person.


What is social listening?

Social listening is the process of utilising social media to gain insights into the interests of your target market and monitoring your brand performance across social platforms. It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that social listening is enough to shape your marketing methods, but, while it does deliver holistic insights into your consumer base, such as how often people talk about your brand or what time of day your consumers are most active, it doesn’t deliver much needed insights into each customer at an individual level.

Now we have answered the question "what is social listening", is it really the best tool you can use? Social listening platforms only enable you to tailor your marketing and communication based on the behaviour of whole groups of people, meaning that, rather than delivering a bespoke and relevant service to each individual, you are delivering something that you think they probably want based on the average behaviour of the group they are placed in.

While social listening platforms return quantitative data such as the number of likes or shares your ad has got, or the number of times a consumer has mentioned ‘Kit Kat’ for example, they rarely deliver actionable insights that enable you to personalise engagement based on individual interests, personality, and needs. This risks leaving your customers just as frustrated as they were before implementing this social listening tool.


Give them what they want

Consent-based analytics tools like PROFILE empower consumers to get the communication and offers that they actually want. Instead of constantly seeing ads or receiving emails for something irrelevant just because that’s what people in their age-group tend to buy, what they receive will be constantly relevant.

A consumer’s digital footprint is ever growing and it is full of noise. What is difficult for marketers is leveraging this to create usable and actionable insight, particularly considering that a significant proportion of online data consists of qualitative data; how can you know what an individual is talking about when they mention ‘working’? The word could indicate being employed, or it could easily be ‘working hard at the gym’, ‘working hard on my dissertation’, or ‘working on the car’. For this reason, the tool you choose needs to have an element of text analytics, such as psycholinguistics and natural language processing, in order to derive accurate meaning and avoid simple errors like assuming anyone who mentions ‘work’ is employed.

PROFILE Personalisation is a cloud-based software which uses various advanced techniques, including psycholinguistics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Bayesian belief networks, and natural language processing to create meaning from the unstructured data from a consumer’s digital footprint. With the consumer’s consent, PROFILE delivers unique real-time consumer insights including life-event alerts, interests and hobbies, travel, shopping habits, personality and more so that you can tailor the user journey at every touch point and adapt with the consumer’s changing needs. Whether they’re moving house, going on holiday with friends, or taking up running, you can ensure that what you offer is always relevant and your customer feels truly valued.

PROFILE enables you to personalise rewards and loyalty programmes, target advertisements, tailor email campaigns, create bespoke deals and packages, and individualise website landing pages.

This is big data made personal.

Get in touch to find out more


Author Ashley Gray