Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO of NetBase, is not only on the cutting edge of social media research and marketing, she is also an expert in e-commerce and CPG trends. In this interview, Lisa Joy talks about NetBase and its proprietary insight and analysis of social media for marketers, the issue of privacy in the digital arena and the mind of the new consumer. She also posits some predictions about the media landscape and what we can expect from social media in the years to come.
Below is an excerpt of a longer interview, which can be viewed here.
CW: They say that the landscape is in constant change. Where do you see social media going? Will Facebook last?
LJR: I think it is just getting started. Look at what is happening with Groupon and how fast they are growing. And now there is FourSquare. Every day there is a new technology popping up. What has happened is that we have created a new crop of consumers which I call the Digital Natives. My kids know how to use my smartphone and they are three years old.
So I think we are seeing the very first wave and human interactions are going to move more and more into the online world. The smart phones are going to get even smarter, and get "Ph.D.s" and we will be using them for everything. And so, will Facebook last? Maybe.
Or it will get superseded by something bigger and better. But I think that the way humans communicate and doing it via their phone through the waves of the internet is really here to stay.
CW: Television has a fairly standard way of being measured and bought. Do you think there will be standard metrics for digital?
LJR: I think that is one of the things that this market is craving now: a set of best practices for measurement. That is one of the things that NetBase is working on right now.
We look at three different things: What everyone looks at, which is Buzz, how much people are speaking about a subject. We also look at something we call Net Sentiment, which is the overall feeling that consumers are expressing in amalgam about a brand. We have actually been correlating that to some of the key statistics that brands use to measure customer satisfaction like the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)metrics that are put out by the University of Michigan. We found a tremendous correlation, over 70%, between our Net Sentiment score and theirs.
We also look at Passion Intensity. We assign scores to all of those and we also have visualizations, including the Brand Passion Index, where we incorporate all these three metrics so you can see how your brand rates against the competition. I do think that the industry is craving for metrics, and we are just starting to do this. I think it will be about five years before we begin to see all these brands galvanizing around this methodology.
CW: In research nowadays there is a question about privacy - that consumers are concerned about infringement of privacy. Do you see that in your social media research? Are consumers really concerned about privacy?
LJR: I think some are and some aren't. We talked a little bit about the Digital Natives. Digital Natives don't care at all. People in my demographic (Gen X) - some do and some don't.
The Boomers, again, some do and some don't. Four years ago I was working for a company called MyBuys, the leader in personalization. I commissioned a Harris poll and back four years ago I found out that 60% of consumers are willing to trade a certain amount of privacy for personalization. So that means that when I land on a site and products are recommended to me, they are the products that I am looking for, the types of products I like to buy.... And that was before social media took off as much as it has today.
I would surmise that that number has gone up because everyone's attention span has gotten shorter and they want to get personalized service even more. Who wants to sift through so much data for the item or the article or the product that you are looking for when you can just get it instantly if you sacrifice just a little bit of privacy? Now, there will always be people who will backlash and write and rant about it. The truth is that NetBase is only looking at the data that is publicly available, and we have very high ethics standards. So I think that the conversations that need to stay proprietary, stay proprietary.