Social media research firm newBrandAnalytics says surveys are defunct, since now companies can get all the data they want online. The firm says companies got a 25% increase in online customer reviews on their social sites. “Many of the more progressive brands have already decided to eliminate surveys and instead focus on social feedback as their primary source for customer experience information,” said the firm's CEO Kristin Muhlner.
The firm also said companies will use consumers' online habits to find out how their competitors are doing by benchmarking competitors' social data. They will also use that competitive data for product creation. NewBrandAnalytics predicts that more than a third of businesses will products explicitly because of what their competition’s online customers are saying.
Also, social intelligence will make real-time performance evaluation common, as companies figure out how to assess their performance from online chatter, and use comments -- from employees, customers, and consumers -- to help make hiring and firing decisions.
What all of this suggests is that social media currents won't belong only to companies' marketing departments. The firm predicts that buzz content will work its way into the decision-making processes of operations, human resources, customer service, and product development.
To the extent that such content is becoming richer and more sophisticated in terms of how it all gets parsed by analysis tools, companies' use of star ratings will become pretty much defunct, NewBrandAnalytics predicts. The firm says that marketers, rather, will look for themes in reviews to drive improvements.
And brand level intelligence will also become more local. The consultancy suggests that focusing on general brand image will become less important than studying location-specific social reviews, alerts and trouble spots because that will let them do a better job of addressing issues at the source: stores, franchises, and local brand touchpoints and extensions of various kinds.
....And "Web MD" meant the end of going to doctors?!
I fully appreciate the sensationalistic spin of the headline and lead, but as a former national president of the US Marketing Research Association and head of a full service marketing research company, I take real exception to the assertion of this piece that formal research is defunct.
We're fully engaged in social media sentiment analysis as a powerful "directional" feedback lever. It is but another tool in the qualitative research tool kit. But to eschew the necessity of careful sample design and management, the deployment of rigorous analytics that cut through the noise and the construction of sophisticated methodologies that derive embedded belief systems and perceptions rather than the rantings of a self selected vocal minority is as sure a recipe for insight disaster as it would be to self prescribe disease treatment.
Please embrace social media analysis, but let's save the eulogies, please.
Many companies will not want to do this or can organize, synthesize, compartmentalize, constructualize, deconstruct, reconstruct, evaluate and analyze all that big data stuff with second by second reports. Makes you want to go back to the back of napkins at the bar.
Have to agree with Jon Last that there are some kinds of new product/service/program research that need to be done in a controlled environment where different audiences rate different concepts. Also agree with the article that social media provide new customer insights that weren't available before and social media needs to be used beyond the marketing department, but it is an additional tool rather than a replacement tool.
wonder what they say to Charter Comms (cable TV) ditching its "Twitter Care" last month? Sometimes being human is good...more here...http://lairigmarketing.typepad.com/lairig_marketing/2013/01/twitter-hits-reverse-tipping-point.html
This is a joke, right? Companies are going to trust their futures to a tiny (5% or less), self-selected group of social media folks with absolutely no corresponding relation to their broad market? Companies who choose this route will deserve what they get. Because relying on social media creates a massive tunnel vision. http://dsgarnett.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/social-media-research-tunnel-vision-on-steroids/
Great to read the comments here, adding a dose of common sense to what is, clearly, hype by a self-promoting social listening firm (who seem to have limited understanding of actual market research)