3 Then analyse the conversation
People’s views have never been tracked like this before. The breadth and depth of discussion takes time to get to grips with but there are a series of simple steps every brand should evaluate. Track the footprint of the brand on the web using simple search engine tools; continue tracking this each month to provide indicators about the growth of discussion and the performance of marketing initiatives. Set up alerts to highlight new issues and have an internal process in place for escalation. Apply similar tactics to competitor websites to aid with benchmarking. Look for where the activity clusters are strongest and build a communications plan for these areas. This will highlight some of the emerging spaces that are influencing your customers and allow your team to refocus their energy to where the real discussions are taking place.
At a more advanced level, evaluating brand salience with tools that can decode how your brand is being described are a great way of getting a quick snapshot of whether you are winning the hearts and minds of your audience.
Collectively these richer research techniques can provide leadership teams with a digital nervous system that immediately relays what the market is thinking, even if they never say it directly to the brand.