I just had a chance to spend some time with a report that came out from Forrester Research last week. In “Defining Social Intelligence,” Allison Smith and team makes the point that social listening isn’t enough and that companies need to leverage the data available from social sources is critical in delivering relevant and effective customer experiences.
The report lists a series of specific business functions that can leverage the compiling, curating and analyzing data from social sources. These functions include, but are not limited to, reputation management, brand protection, competitive research, market research, display ad targeting, informed marketing messaging, campaign measurement, consumer segmentation, influencer marketing, customer support, lead generation and product innovation. Across the marketing organization, various groups including customer insights, customer support, interactive marketing, public relations and research & development among others can use social data.
We agree with Forrester. For market research for example, why survey a few hundred people and speak with a dozen or so in focus groups when you can discover and track online panels numbering in the millions. We recently started looking at the active lifestyle audience for a major financial services company. In short order, we began tracking 2.8 million individuals and not only at a set point in time, but constantly over time. We’ve been following that group for a number of months and have gained some great insight into not only who they are, but what are their motivations and behaviors and how do they relate to the brand and products offered by our financial services client.
The takeaway is that there has never been a richer source of data to inform customer experience. The higher the relevancy of the experience the higher the conversion rate, retention and frequency of sharing and advocacy will be.