As a CMO or Brand Manager, it is vital to learn as much as you can about your high value markets. As a graduate student in Northwestern Medill’s Integrated Marketing Communications program I have been exposed to many cutting edge thought leaders in the industry, and will share my thoughts about why the combination of quantitative data analysis needs to be paired with qualitative social listening to reveal key insights and strategic inspiration for your company.
|Image Source: Sales Force Marketing Cloud|
The article The Art of Listening Completely to Social Data by Erick Brethenoux discusses how listening completely to social data is essential to truly understanding your consumers. According to Brethenoux, “The most crucial step to targeting your marketing efforts is vetting consumer data carefully through marketing analytics technology and a disciplined eye.” Active social listening can reveal emotional triggers that are the driving force behind consumer behavior, however listening to what makes one single person tick on a given day is not particularly helpful. Some companies view social listening in this light, and therefore discard it as useless. However, pairing active social listening with Big Data driven insights to reveal what collectively makes a group tick is huge. From here, a strategy can be crafted to provide a personalized meaningful experience that really speaks to the consumer.
After analyzing these two articles and combining this information with insights I have gained from my professional experience and courses at Northwestern, I propose that there are 3 actions you can take to put these strategies to work for you:
- Listen Broadly - Get to
work on actively listening to social 24/7, and be prepared to pair your
findings with data analysis. Don’t
slack off, don’t fudge your results, and don’t discard what you hear because it
does not align with what you had envisioned hearing.
- Analyze Data – Put Big
Data to work for you, but don’t use those findings alone. Get ready to combine these findings
with your social active listening.
- Take Action – Combining the qualitative
results of active social listening plus the quantitative data analysis is a
great jump point for you to strategize.
Make the most of your findings by providing a meaningful, personalized
experience for your consumer that engages them and drives them to action.
Big Data analysis can help to transform what was once indistinguishable noise into insights. This is a great start, but don’t kick your shoes off and put your sweatpants on just yet. Where there is noise, you have to listen up! Combine your new found filtered insight with active social listening, and you can paint a vivid picture of not just where you are headed, but where you need to go.