The explosion of consumer networks like Facebook, MySpace & LinkedIn and digital platforms such as Twitter, blogs, forums and other types of social media continue their expansion across the internet at breakneck pace. With the proliferation of these networks, consumers have almost unlimited means by which to share their brand experiences and opinions. These opinions, whether good or bad, are readily available to other consumers for a long time…at least. As companies of all sizes are begining to understand that many times, these opinions have more influence in the potential purchase decisions of other consumers than almost any other form of marketing or communications. In this case, “listening” to consumers for sentiment is a purely reactive effort.
So if listening as we understand it is a reactive measure, how can we “listen” more effectively and for better results? How can we better predict a consumer’s actions based things like the economy (pricing) and factors like age, gender, geography and more interestingly, social graphs? How about emerging market trends, Brand and sector vulnerabilities? The vast trove of data across the web can present more than typical quantitative and qualitative based research. The information, if used in creative ways, can lead companies in understanding how cultures, personal networks and digital platforms can influence propensity to purchase, length of product trials needed, effect of negative influence, etc. In the words of a leading consumer insights company, ScenarioDNA, it’s “looking for patterns and making connections that become the building blocks for better ideas”
Handling the topic this week is the leading digital consultant Ken Burbary from Ernst & Young, #3 on the Global list of accounting firms. Ken has led digital practice teams from both the agency side and client side and is a thought leader on many digital practices being used today. Ken will lead the the discussion in discovering new ways to listen, how to better influence your company with the results and how to coral the resources needed to be effective. The questions this week are as follows:
Topic – How Social Media can Influence a Next Generation of Listening – Consumer Insights 2.0
Q1: Beyond Brand Mentions – (good/bad) what should you be listening for?
Q2: What resources and people are needed?
Q3: How can consumer insights drive actionable results throughout the organization?
Q4: Ways to fund your SMM program?
Please tune in Tuesday 9/22 at noon EST, follow #socialmedia and share your point-of-view.