Consumer preferences are not simple measurements to be read from a surface analysis of current sentiment. If the trend is that “sugar is the new killer”, why are confectionery sales still so high and growing? Trends and preferences – and ultimately buying habits – aren’t dictated by a few simple logical choices, there to be easily unearthed.
Yet despite the apparent immediacy of cause and effect, one of marketing‘s greatest challenges is to show business stakeholders the effectiveness of its efforts and, furthermore, to provide quantifiable evidence of marketing effects in which is a fascinating and complex series of equations.
And even with up-to-the-minute data, a lot of “traditional” marketing data collection platforms miss out on the nuances expressed online around, for example, research data. In crowded markets, changing the sentiment of common search terms around a product is more important than increasing the number of related searches, for example.
Sometimes the overall share of search terms may not be changed by campaigns, but taken alone, metrics like this give decision makers the wrong idea of each campaign’s effectiveness. Building the data models that show deeper market insights is time-consuming and complicated, and of course, that assumes marketers have both the time and the tools at hand to do so.
Yet there is a wealth of valuable data behind headline stats, and simple social listening platforms can rarely show anything deeper than product or brand mentions. During a long-term nuanced marketing strategy, this can be a problem.
The answer lies in analyzing search and sentiment patterns. For one thing, tracking search data can be incredibly powerful: literally, what do people want right now? But what about the sentiment inherently expressed by search terms? After all, there is a world of difference between “alternatives to [product]and “products like [product].” Although both are looking for the same thing, the sentiments behind each query are polar opposites.
Research data and its deeper analysis allow consumer brands to better understand the behaviors of customers and, more importantly, future customers. By staying on top of these types of information, brands can quickly pivot to fill niches as expressed by consumer sentiment in real time.
Conversely, the same data will show where existing marketing activities miss the mark (where there is little evidence of messages), strike the wrong tone (where reactions to messages are negative), or where there is enthusiasm (the message was on point).
There’s also a huge area that needs to be investigated by marketers who are on the ball: analyzing the sentiment around competitors’ products. In-depth knowledge of an entire market keeps a brand alive and in the minds of potential customers. This gradually improves a company’s results, and iterating on positively received messages increasingly increases business.
With data pulled from multiple sources and aggregated into highly directed dashboards, operations, marketing, and strategy formulation teams can see, react to, and even define consumer trends. Informational acumen engenders in a business the ability to be nimble, react to positive and negative sentiments, and stay ahead of consumer trendlines. These capabilities are simply not possible with the latest generation social listening platforms and are, in turn, a world away from manual sentiment analysis exercises like consumer surveys.
A little history lesson
Today, fewer people can claim to be market gurus – experts whose opinion on an industry can be considered “gospel truth”. Indeed, today things are simply changing too quickly and surface statistics never tell the whole truth. This means that there is little reason to completely trust so-called conventional wisdom. The recent history of disruptive companies – organizations that have transformed an entire industry (think Uber and Airbnb) – is one of the bold challenges to accepted wisdom. Yet while the success stories of disruptive companies are well known, many have bet on something revolutionary and lost. This is because their proposal, although different, was misguided.
But with a modern sentiment research and analysis platform, the guesswork element of the equation can be removed. Decisions (conventional or left-field) can be made on empirical data drawn from real-world sentiments, as expressed in what consumers are looking for right now. After all, Gallileo was proclaimed a visionary not because his theories were just guesses: he based his work on data he could see through his telescope.
The digital telescope
my telescope gives you over 20 proven data models that help you see search results and gauge sentiment in your industry. CPG companies and large retailers can create their own data toolkits and gain the necessary access to information that will help shape tomorrow’s trends. By basing operational decisions on real data and using the power of proactive marketing based on empirical facts, companies can improve their prospects.
To learn more about how My Telescope allows you to see not into the past, but to see today’s trends and better predict tomorrow’s markets, Try it today