Text Analytics for Marketing
What McKinsey knows
If you’ve got 4’30” spare, you’re in marketing and you wondering what text analytics can do, take a look at this recent video by McKinsey: “Putting Big Data and Advanced Analytics to Work”
It’s about the widening commercial uses of text analytics.
It’s interesting. Especially because the speaker doesn’t mention Marketing once.
In his view, big data (i.e. the ability to gather, sort and model all the data from whenever and wherever a consumer interacts with a consumer) can do a lot. It can help a retailer optimize its supply chair; it can help a railway optimize its crew scheduling to meet likely demand; it can help an airline optimise what it charges for each day of the week; it can help a bank better answer the questions its customers ask via its five different channels.
But in all of David Court’s 940 words, he doesn’t mention Marketing once.
It’s the same problem I saw at the client’s Big Table. Marketing is perceived as the fluffy stuff.
And so it should be: marketing is the interface between the intellectual self and the emotional self. Marketing is knowing how to make the fluffy stuff work.
What McKinsey doesn’t know
Marketing can use text analytics.
In fact, marketing should use text analytics. Creativity without rigour is day dreaming.
The biggest data set in Big Data is text analytics: how language tells you about your consumers’ behaviour and intention. Whether it’s language on social media, in CSAT surveys, on call centre transcripts. Wherever. Whenever. Customers are telling you what they think, and what they’ll do next.
So what can text analytics do for marketing?
1. Give you an early warning of faults – If the Marketing Dept. is listening, text analytics can help you identify a sudden spike in chatter about your product -before they become a sudden spike in complaints.
2. Wouldn’t you like a low-cost validation of an internal proposition?– Marketing departments can analyse customer conversations to understand how they currently think about a brand or product. If your competitor has already launched something similar, you can identify what customers do and don’t like about it. Text analytics for marketing departments means you can tweak your marketing message to help it fit the market.
3. Include a bit of insurance in your New Product Introduction – Real time analytics for marketing means that you can see how your marketing message is being perceived, from Day 1. Making a flight-path correction while you’re still in the air is the best way of making sure you don’t end up in the wrong place. The best example I can think of is this case study explaining how linguistics and verbal identity methods were used by Amex to spot (and deal with) consumers’ pain points when they introduced their Link/Like/Love app on Facebook.
4. How Much Do your Customers Love your Pricing? – marketing departments that use text analytics can get consumers’ unguarded thoughts on pricing (and they can get it quicker than most traditional market researchers can find space in their diary to take a brief).
5. Optimise your Marketing messages – our first ever client was Sky, who had spotted that consumers knew there was something wonderful about a new product they’d just introduced, the problem was that the consumers didn’t have a clue what the product did. If you’re good with text analytics, you can see which parts of your marketing communications need to be explained better, and which bits are in danger of boring your consumers.
6. Gain competitive advantage – do you know what your competitors’ customers don’t like about their product? Could you add something to your product to make it more attractive? You can if you are using text analytics in social media.
In the last 12 months, we’ve worked with one of the UK’s big 4 telecoms companies, a global hotel chain and a global brewer. The good news is that they’re just starting to understand the importance of text analytics in marketing. You need to listen a little, analyse a little. And be prepared to write a little.
The even better news is that each time we go looking for a use for text analytics in marketing, we find about ten. The hard part is knowing where to start.
If you’d like to talk more about text analytics for marketing, or hear a few case studies, please get in touch. We like to talk.
PS if you had a magic wand, what could you find out using text analytics in your company tomorrow?