Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eavesdroppers!.. Some Management Fundas !!

We’re hearing Voices.

And no, we haven’t gone crazy.

We’re just listening.

Over recent months, we’ve been listening people talking to each other. We (the Listening team) come to office and eavesdrop on conversations about airlines, cars, cosmetics, drugs, green tea, hotels, and insurance, the IPL, pharmaceuticals, soap operas and water filters.

Oh, and Shilpa Shetty.

Nice job? You bet. And why are clients paying us to do it? Why are businesses across the world increasingly keen to know what people are saying about them, and to understand why they’re saying it?

Because Voices are driving the market.

Word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful influencer - the first-hand experiences of a fellow consumer have a credibility that advertising finds hard to match.

And now that social media has taken over the world, a person doesn’t even need to ask for opinions – chances are that other people have already have posted all the answers he’s looking for. At any time, in any place, he has access to a myriad first-hand experiences and opinions. And these peer opinions shape his decisions…decisions on which phone/car/laptop to buy, which company to join, where to holiday, which hotel to stay at, which movie to watch…

So, by analysing conversations on social media, companies can get amazing insights into The Mind of the Market.

And that’s what IT Companies brand new Listening Solution does. It scans conversations across millions of posts, picks out the relevant comments, makes sense of them using sophisticated Natural Language Processing, sorts the data, extracts sentiment, analyses it, and represents it graphically, so that it’s easy to understand.

And all that is only what the basic automation does. After that, there’s in-depth analysis to get actionable insights. But that’s another story…

Some other time, maybe.

Meanwhile, what do you think - what kind of brands or businesses most need to Listen? Any examples that come to mind? Who could benefit most from understanding what people are saying about their offerings, their advertising, their reputation, and their competition? Do comment

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