The last 12 months have been marked by difficulties for marketing and research departments the world over. The economic downturn caused by Covid-19 has forced many to not only reconsider their budgets but more profoundly, their very ways of working.
However, crises can make us hungry for change. Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. When trying to understand post-Covid consumers, some brands are pressing the reset button on how they use social data. They’re going beyond the first wave, where the analysis was driven by the dashboard. Instead, they’re deploying more advanced tech stacks (e.g. audience segmentation) and, importantly, integrating a more qualitative approach to creating insights.
Social insight remains underutilised, despite the surge in social media activity during the pandemic. Most businesses continue to rely on traditional market research, overlooking the fact that people simply don’t talk to researchers in the same way as they talk to each other. Social data analytics takes one step towards bridging these issues. However, while analytics can map ‘what’ users are sharing on social, it struggles to uncover the ‘why’. And with listening tools becoming commonplace, this data carries little competitive value. For companies to get ahead and gain that most rare and sought-after of customer insights – the ‘why’, they need to look deeper.
Conversations are made up of a complex and subtle mixture of words. Humans, rather than machines, are essential to capture the richness of language, inseparable from the human experience itself. The demand for human analysis of social data is rapidly growing, as more and more businesses realise that valuable, actionable insights rely on the cultural, linguistic, political and societal expertise of the analyst interpreting the data. It’s this that lets them find the humanity in the data, that rich vein of experience, emotion and opinion that helps them understand what motivates people.
So, in this brave new, emerging-from-Covid-world, the owners of social data should be looking to press the reset on their stakeholder’s expectations. What was dull and superficial, has been brought to life, made vibrant. Richer audience intelligence and deeper, qualitative social insights mean that much more is possible. The potential of social data is here.
It’s time to reach out to stakeholders in strategy, comms, product development (among others). To create demand for social insights by showing them it can help them...
Listen + Learn Research works with social data to help brands deliver positive commercial results in each of these areas. As one of the first to embrace a more ‘human’, qualitative approach to social data, we’ve seen time and again how powerful social data can be. If you’re thinking of pressing the reset button we’d be happy to share our experiences with you.