A big thank you to Brandwatch and Spredfast for putting on an amazing get together at the Poolside Café in Sydney!
By Adam Fraser
I was lucky enough to visit London last week on a whistle-stop tour, primarily to attend Brandwatch’s 2017 “Now You Know” conference.
Attended by 400+ practitioners from insights teams within some of the worlds largest brands, it was short on sales pitches from Brandwatch and long on valuable information relating to the world of social media and consumer insights.
In addition to the obvious networking benefits of such a face to face event (we all love social and digital – but really no substitute for this!), it was a valuable learning experience.
Some key highlights from the conference were:
- Blending social listening insights with other data sources (whether traditional market research, CRM data or website analytics) can be more powerful than looking at social insights stand alone.
- Major retailer Coop used social listening to identify key consumer feedback around environmental issues and particular products, leading to significant change in the core business processes.
- Coop also discussed how they were notified of a fire in a store via a Brandwatch alert before the PR team had formally been informed, showing the real-time benefit of active social listening.
- 95% of social media updates don’t mention a brand or product. Read that one again! Brands are not that important in people’s lives (something I have blogged about previously) – showing the importance and massive opportunity of using social listening to understand consumer attitudes to broader market research themes (e.g. climate change, congestion, buying a home, millennials etc).
- Nestle presented on the role social media played in their broader digital transformation, with listening used to anticipate future consumer needs and increase competitor knowledge.
- Emoticons have moved beyond the gimmick to the mainstream – Brandwatch now can generate ‘Emoji clouds’ as well as ‘Topic Clouds’ to summarise the key emotions being conveyed in a brand conversation.
- Approximately 80% of the time a brand appears on Twitter, there is no accompanying text naming the brand in question; hence the increasing importance of ‘visual listening’ via logo recognition technology.
- An interesting view of the media landscape from an ex BBC and Channel 4 employee looked at the impact of media consumption now taking place via “the Stream” (in social) not “the Schedule” (on broadcast TV).
- Twitter presented a McKinsey stat that social recommendations are responsible for 26% of purchases, showing the power of word of mouth marketing.
Brandwatch runs the Now You Know conference twice a year – once in the USA and once in Europe. Highly recommended if you get a chance to attend a future event.
By Adam Fraser.
As founder of EchoJunction, a business operating at the intersection of the worlds of the CMO and CIO, I live and breathe the marketing technology landscape and a world of 5,000+ marketing technology vendors (the “Martech5000”).
EchoJunction works with enterprises on their social media strategy from a technology roadmap perspective and partners with global social media software specialist providers such as Brandwatch (social listening), Lithium (social service and community), Hootsuite and Spredfast (end to end enterprise social media platforms) to fulfil defined business requirements.
Hence I had more than a passing interest in two exciting announcements from Brandwatch this week – both as a local partner and analyst of the sector.
Firstly Brandwatch has acquired Buzz Sumo, the leading content marketing and influencer identification platform on the market. Two market leaders in synergistic market segments coming together is a powerful play, and it will be interesting to see if this merger is symptomatic of a broader consolidation in the crowded marketing technology landscape, something I have previously discussed with author of the MarTech landscape ideographic Scott Brinker on the EchoJunction podcast in both 2015 and 2017.
Secondly, Brandwatch announced on off the shelf integration between their Vizia large screen command centre product, and Hootsuite Insights, one of the most powerful analytics capabilities on the market. We now live in the world of the API where you need to ‘play nicely’ with other software partners – who can also potentially be competitors at times. No one tool can do everything, so best of breed specialists working together to stitch together end to end solutions via API connectors is a reality of today’s marketing technology sector. One of the reasons marketing and IT are working in a closer alliance.
Smart forward-thinking software companies embrace rather than resist this – one of the reasons I love the Brandwatch Vizia platform, which can display business insights not just from Brandwatch’s own social insights product, but also from a multitude of third party sources such as Google Analytics, CRM, Hootsuite and any other data feed.
I love the fast-moving, dynamic nature of the social media and marketing technology sectors, and working with enterprises and partners embracing these rapidly changing dynamics. Certainly never a dull moment!
By Adam Fraser
I was lucky enough to attend a recent conference run by Brandwatch in the UK – Now You Know Europe.
Brandwatch is the worlds leading social intelligence company (with whom EchoJunction partners in the Australian market) and the conference provided a fantastic update into both future developments in the Brandwatch platform as well as social intelligence trends more broadly and case studies of brands effectively using social listening,
So many insights in a jam packed 2 days, but my 5 headline take aways were:
- Social listening is maturing; in the early days it was all about tracking brand mentions (something which of course remains important) but the leading brands are now also using social listening as a form of market research to deepen understanding of customer insights and customer psychology. This could relate to the brand but also more general topics of consumer interest (eg buying a first home, drinking coffee, eating ice cream, 5G technology, Brexit etc). Some great case studies were presented around this.
- Image recognition is coming and will be an increasingly important aspect of social intelligence in the future. The entry level technology has arrived (but remains of limited value today) – the ability to bring up image recognition (eg brand logo) as well as valuable context is the challenge, and Brandwatch is planning on adding this capability to its platform in early 2017
- Social media is evolving to a more private environment (as I previously discussed) – a world of 1:1 or 1:few rather than everything being public. Clearly this represents a challenge for the industry as a whole.
- Never confuse correlation with causation – lots of sessions with big data analytics specialists dissected this topic and showed why high quality, specialised analytics capability is critical to extract maximum value from social intelligence
- Data merging – some of the best brand examples came where social data was being blended with other data – whether internal (eg sales, CRM etc) or external (e.g weather, political, economic indicators) to derive business insights of demonstrable value.
The Brandwatch blog has a much more detailed commentary around many of the presentations and I highly recommend you have a browse.
Social media technology specialist EchoJunction has announced a new Australian partnership with Brandwatch, an enterprise social intelligence company. Brandwatch is already used by global giants such as ESPN, Heineken, Marks & Spencers, University of Melbourne, Cathay Pacific, Dell, British Airways and BSkyB.
Brandwatch’s first international partnership in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace. The exciting partnership marks an important step in broadening EchoJunction’s offering.
For full story click here
By Adam Fraser
It’s been quite a year for fundraising in the enterprise social media software space.
I have discussed previously the deep, broad and complex marketing technology landscape. Almost 2,000 vendors across 43 categories. “Social media marketing” is just one of these categories but even it has its own living and breathing sub eco-system.
I often dissect the social media software market into verticals such as:
- social listening (think Brandwatch, Netbase, Radian6)
- social analytics (think Simply Measured, Social Bakers)
- social customer service (think Conversocial, SparkCentral)
- end to end social media management platforms (think Tracx, Sprinklr, Hootsuite)
There are of course many (many) other niche execution tools which help with listening or publishing on one or many social platforms (think Thunderclap, Tagboard and SocialBro to name just a few).
So as with the entire marketing technology landscape, the social media technology landscape is also deep and broad. There has been a massive investment of funds into marketing technology more broadly but the investment trends within the social media sector are interesting.
Venture capital and private equity investors expect growth, a return higher than the stock market and a path to an exit. Implicit in their investments is confidence in the enterprise social media space and obviously the specific business they are backing.
Some investors are betting that, increasingly, larger enterprises will seek one end-to-end platform to manage their social media activities, all the way from listening, through to publishing, analytics and customer service, rather than integrating a number of ‘best of breed’ verticals.
In the last couple of months, enterprise social platform Tracx raised $18m from Edison Partners and social marketing platform Spredfast raised $24m from Silver Lake Waterman. This comes less than a year after social management platform Sprinklr raised $40m from ICONIQ and social relationship platform Hootsuite raised $60m from a range of investors.
These are just a few examples but they highlight the key take-out – professional investors believe social media technology to be an ‘investment grade’ sector worthy of significant investment. It’s a sign of the maturation of the industry. We have come a long way from the “You should have a Facebook page” view of social media for enterprises.
Whether end to end platforms or best of breed verticals come to dominate within social technology will be an interesting topic to observe over the next 24-36 months. Mergers and acquisitions will also start to play a part in the landscape as some level of consolidation in a crowded market seems inevitable.
The battle lines have been drawn and people have made their bets. There will always be winners and losers, but the social media technology sector as a whole is healthy, growing and growing up.