By Aaron Field
There’s a lot of noise about monitoring social media. Some would call it the birth of a new insights engine. Others take a more nuanced view. Marshall Sponder’s overview of Social Media monitoring is a nuanced perspectives. His point is that Social Media monitoring is in its infancy. It lacks common definitions or user-friendly tools. Technologies like meme tracking and sentiment analysis promise much for the future. But it is a tool not a new source. It will be best as a merged piece in a larger business intelligence picture. Frankly it’s nice to read a balanced view in a world of hype.
The MREB agrees strongly that Social Media is part of a larger Insights machine. In fact we argue even more strongly for the flip side. Social Media has been a poor source of original insight – despite considerable hype. An informal survey of research functions reported no new insights from their social media monitoring. None. Admittedly it was a small sample but the results have been consistent. For now social media has not resulted in an insight inundation. And it’s been a serious time drag to use monitoring tools.
On the plus side social media has some nice advantages for Research
- Relatively fast confirmation of existing insights
- Quick access to lead users- MREB Members: check out Lego’s Specialist-Direct Model.
- Great collector of customer language (not just teen-speak but the hot terms among business travelers or accountant slang)
And social media isn’t going away. Marketing spend via social media is likely to rise x3 – x4 by 2014 according to the Board’s Social Media Report. And where marketing goes – market research will follow.
So it is nice to read Marhsall’s balanced perspective.