“Knowledge is power, information is liberating, education is the premise of progress” Kofi Annan Needless to say effectively collected, ...

Social Scriptures Part 2 : Embrace Data


“Knowledge is power, information is liberating, education is the premise of progress” Kofi Annan

Needless to say effectively collected, well organised and cleverly analysed data is essential to provide information and knowledge and ultimately support better decision making.  Recently however this has become a lot more complicated…..and at the same time more interesting !

The cause of this ? you guessed it……social media !

In 2011 Facebook reached 900m interactions per day, You Tube now has 8 years of video content uploaded every day and at the start of 2012 Dick Costolo announced that Twitter had reached 100m tweets per day – all of this information is a double edged sword – on the one hand it is hugely useful for brands to find out what people are saying about them, where they are saying it and what it means, but on the other it is often scary, opaque and insurmountable.

This is why the concept of “Big Data” was coined in 2011 ie data whose size is beyond the capability of common software, and most companies are becoming overwhelmed with what to do with it. The bad news is that this is only going to get worse – as Cisco have researched there are now more networked machines than humans on the planet and this will double by 2015.  This is probably why a recent Adobe report in Oct 2011 found that only 16% of companies are harnessing social data for business despite the fact that 64% recognize the opportunities.

We believe that 2012 is the year that brands should embrace “Big data”
Why ? Quite simply because it is the best route to real Business Intelligence - it drives insights that can be used it to improve marketing effectiveness and business performance.

To do this companies need tools, processes and procedures to manipulate and
manage these very large data sets and the good news is that developments in 2011 and into 2012 are going to help enormously.

There are now a plethora of analytics tools and social listening technologies out there to help in the understanding of essential information from brand sentiment to conversation themes and from location of influencers , understanding of ROI to the ultimate ‘Holy Grail” of a single customer view. For us Social Intelligence fills both end of the “funnel”– it provides:

-       Insight into your audience – what they are thinking, saying , sharing etc. which is the basis for great ideas
-       Ideas: The insight facilitates relevant, targeted and customized messaging
-       Impact: It allows you to measure impact and return on investment / interaction / innovation

Compounding this the huge leaps in making big data storage and querying possible in “The Cloud” through services such as Dropbox, iCloud and Google Docs means 2012 is the year that you should start investing in understanding and using Big Data to gain a real understanding of your audience and start a conversation that is expected, meaningful and productive – as Jason Falls puts it “Big data will allow us to market small”


Consider the following areas to make data work for you:

-       Social Intelligence: Consider using one or a variety of the social data sources to help build intelligence and improve your communication and marketing to customers at an individual and collective level – essentially  ‘Social CRM'. Sources include social listening tools and social media management systems which will help with challenges from gauging sentiment and enabling targeted and relevant communication to improving customer service and informing product and services development. There are a multitude of solutions out there so ensure that you use the most appropriate for your challenge.

-       Measurement solutions: Consider development of reporting including dashboards for both one off activity, ongoing reviews and long term campaigns. These can be both complex or simple but ensure they are focused on measuring the objectives you are aiming to address and provide ongoing feedback and tracking tools whilst the campaigns are running to allow for adjustment whilst it can make a difference not after the campaign has finished.

-       Data unification across silos allowing for relationship and behavioural analysis, customer experience analysis , personalization and automation, content development and deployment.

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