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Traditional Listening solutions and platforms have been around for a while – almost a decade now!
They have served and continue to serve a important purpose in being able to track and monitor the web for reactions and responses related to brands and topics and to serve up charts, alerts and reports based on the same. It has in fact increasingly become a ‘must have’ solution for most marketers.
Where traditional listening has fallen short is in the area of insights and research. The lofty goals of replacing, supplementing and overtaking traditional market research methods have not been met.
The main reasons why marketers have not embraced traditional listening as a tool for research and insights can be boiled down to the following.
- Lack of accurate demographic data. While conversations analysis can help marketers understand what is being discussed, there are little or no reliable insights about the audience behind the conversations. This is a pretty big deal for most marketers when it comes to making the really important decisions.
- Inadequate coverage. A vast majority of conversations happen ‘behind closed doors’ – behind the firewalls of Facebook, WhatsApp and others and as a result the crawlers cannot reach there and analyze those conversations.
- Too much noise – self promotion, junk, content created by bots etc.
A recent development has the potential to change this. Facebook has launched ‘Facebook topic data’ and this allows analytics companies like Circus to mine insights from billions of Facebook interactions that take place everyday. This information is provided to us in an anonymized manner – which means we never have access to any personal information.
- We can go beyond conversations and also understand the audience behind the conversations – and access accurate analysis in terms of age, gender, location, likes, preferences, media habits and a lot more!
- Facebook conversations are more than 6 times the no. of conversations on ALL other platforms combined – and therefore are much more likely to be representative of the views of the world’s population. (Roughly one fourth of the world’s population is on Facebook)
- Conversations on Facebook are more likely to be authentic as they are private.
As a result of which, marketers may finally be able to make the product management, media and messaging decisions with confidence.
Listening 2.0 is here! What are you going to do about it?