Sept 21, 2018 – How Can Brands Best Understand Their Consumers: Social Listening? Traditional Brand Tracking? Or Both?

This first meeting of the 2018-2019 season examined and debated how the latest use of big data compared to a well-established research tradition.

This first meeting of the 2018-2019 season examined and debated how the latest use of big data compared to a well-established research tradition

Featured speakers included:

  • Rob Key, Founder and CEO of Converseon
  • Bill Pink, Head of Brand Guidance Analytics, Kantar North America
  • Howard Shimmel, CRO, Turner
  • Jim Spaeth, Partner, Sequent Partners

Bill discussed Brand Guidance Systems and how they integrate multiple data sources for fast feedback, e.g.

  • surveys (short, mobile and modularized)
  • search and social digital signals regarding a brand
  • behavioral outcomes (shopping, sales)

Survey “modules” can be used to probe on issues, for instance by using more open ended questions.

He noted that social and search data provide early signals for media, creative and brand KPIs. In addition the impact of media spend on search was shown to impact revenue.

Rob’s approach is totally social in nature, and seeks to capture VOC in real-time. He recognized that such data is often unstructured and can be ambiguous, with many meanings.

However, he indicated that the use of machine learning (ML) combined with artificial intelligence (AI) plus human input to resolve confusing terms is changing the game, even at times revealing new variables along the customer journey.

Such high quality social data has predictive ability, e.g. for brand preference and advocacy.
Just as the merits of qual and quant have been debated for decades, the likelihood is that combinations of methodologies will endure as a useful approach to addressing market research questions.