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The East African : Sep 22nd 2014
The EastAfrican SEPTEMBER 20 - 26, 2014 MEDIA MONITORING AND RESEARCH SPECIALISTS Special advertising section 1 Monitoring of the media has been made easier by the prolifertaion of digital platforms and the wide use of the Internet. Picture: File Brand research in the era of digital media Every single part of how a brand communicates to its customers can affect what happens to that brand in the media By A CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican been in digital technology, following the ≥ising uptake of social media and Inte≥net usage. Digitisation has b≥ought about a g≥eat technological shift that has t≥ansfo≥med not just media ope≥ations, but society as a whole, adding new dimensions to business and leisu≥e and the way people consume info≥mation. Access to info≥mation is no T longe≥ enough. Getting this info≥mation instantly and in the most convenient and accu≥ate manne≥ is a must fo≥ eve≥y co≥po≥ation that has futu≥e plans. Media monito≥ing com- panies have come up with st≥ategies that aim to help o≥ganisations make sense of the info≥mation in the public domain, by o≠e≥ing businesses INSIGHTS ONLINE MONITORING CAN GIVE YOU POWERFUL INSIGHTS INTO BOTH YOUR COMPETITORS’ ONLINE AND OFFLINE STRATEGIES WHEN IT COMES TO BRANDING, STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES AND THE PERCEIVED VALUE BY CUSTOMERS AND INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS. he media landscape is constantly unde≥going ≥einvention. The biggest change has new oppo≥tunities to: imp≥ove thei≥ st≥ategies th≥ough social intelligence, c≥eate b≥and equity and ma≥ket thei≥ p≥oducts and se≥vices and manage thei≥ online ≥eputation th≥ough social netwo≥ks. Media monito≥ing and analysis tools have a my≥iad of uses; f≥om t≥acking ma≥keting campaigns and ≥eputation management to custome≥/ p≥ospect engagement and sea≥ch analysis. One of the p≥ima≥y themes that featu≥es in many ways of using the tools is ≥esea≥ch. Social media monito≥ing platfo≥ms o≠e≥ fantastic new oppo≥tunities fo≥ ≥esea≥ch and gaining insight into b≥and and ma≥ket issues. The depth and powe≥ of so- cial media ≥esea≥ch is always g≥owing and the mo≥e people use social media, the mo≥e sophisticated the tools become. B≥ands have ≥ealised the powe≥ of these new tools of communications and a≥e exploiting them. Media ma≥keting is one of the most obvious tools available to b≥ands to do this – it is one of the most obvious, pu≥ely due to its physical p≥oximity to the conve≥sations of the day. Eve≥y single pa≥t of how a b≥and communicates to its custome≥s and p≥ospects can a≠ect what happens to that b≥and in media. It the≥efo≥e follows that all these pa≥ts should be in some way info≥med, di≥ected and enhanced by media monito≥ing. Many of the mo≥e innovative and fast-thinking b≥ands integ≥ate thei≥ communications and ≥esea≥ch ac≥oss channels, but it seems many a≥e still a long way f≥om unde≥standing that insights f≥om social media can and should influence decision-making like just like it happens in the t≥aditional methods of ma≥ket ≥esea≥ch. Media monito≥ing tools al- low you to quickly and easily mine thousands of conve≥sation about you≥ b≥and. Those comments can be sto≥ed and a≥e sea≥chable, and of cou≥se, a≥e publicly available fo≥ futu≥e use. While t≥aditional ≥esea≥ch methods a≥e still valuable, monito≥ing social media is a cost-e≠ective way of complementing them and even ≥eplacing some of them fo≥ faste≥ and mo≥e intimate feedback. Monito≥ing can b≥ing added benefits to t≥aditional ≥esea≥ch, such as uncove≥ing t≥ends o≥ insights that you had not conside≥ed o≥ spotted befo≥e, as well as backing up findings f≥om t≥aditional ≥esea≥ch methods (o≥, in some cases, cont≥adicting them, in which case they can be a ≥evealing insight). The≥e a≥e va≥ious elements of ma≥ket ≥esea≥ch that you might use monito≥ing fo≥, and this a≥ticle will give an ove≥view of them. Online monito≥ing can give you powe≥ful insights into both you≥ competito≥s’ online and o±ine st≥ategies when it comes to b≥anding, st≥engths, weaknesses and the pe≥ceived value by custome≥s and indust≥y thought leade≥s. With monito≥ing, you will be able to see what does and doesn’t wo≥k fo≥ you≥ competito≥s, the≥efo≥e lea≥ning f≥om thei≥ e≠o≥ts, whilst also showing you gaps in the ma≥ket by identifying what you≥ competito≥s a≥en’t doing and which you can use to you≥ ad- advantanges If you can begin to learn how consumers interact and what it is they like about these methods and social communities, you can begin putting in place processes to optimise your marketing. Monitoring offers an easy entry into analysing competitors, understanding your target customers, and vantange. Fo≥ example, you can uncov- e≥: how is the competition inte≥acting with custome≥s and p≥ospects, what kind of ma≥keting campaigns they ≥unning, whe≥e a≥e they getting public ≥elations, what is thei≥ b≥and messaging, how much do people talk about them, what a≥e the key topics, what causes spikes in conve≥sation about them, what do you≥ ta≥get custome≥s like about them, how does custome≥ pe≥ception of you di≠e≥ f≥om pe≥ception of them, what p≥oducts o≥ se≥vices a≥e they focusing thei≥ effo≥ts on most, what new p≥oducts a≥e they developing. Consume≥ ≥esea≥ch has, in the past, been dominated by focus g≥oups and su≥veys. These can be e≠ective, but lack the unfilte≥ed, unp≥ompted opinions that social media allows us to access. Media monito≥ing allows you to listen in on conve≥sations consume≥s a≥e having with thei≥ f≥iends, family and followe≥s and gives access to: independent, candid opinions, la≥ge samples, ability to expe≥iment based on what you gaining insights from the broader market. Once you have a monitoring process in place which keeps you informed of these, you can start to look more deeply at competitors, consumer opinions, and the wider market trend. a≥e finding, a sea≥chable ≥eco≥d of conve≥sations, automatic analysis of the topics, common keywo≥ds and sentiment of conve≥sation. Howeve≥ it can be di∞cult to know whe≥e you≥ ta≥get audience is hanging out online. Fo≥ some indust≥ies, people discuss p≥oducts and b≥ands in fine detail on ve≥y niche fo≥ums. Fo≥ othe≥s, consume≥s may be on mo≥e gene≥al lifestyle fo≥ums, o≥ w≥iting a blog. Fo≥ many, consume≥s a≥e focusing thei≥ time on thei≥ favou≥ite social netwo≥ks. One can use social me- dia monito≥ing to sea≥ch fo≥ discussions a≥ound a topic o≥ theme, ≥athe≥ a specific b≥and o≥ p≥oduct. This is an oft ove≥looked use of tools. By sea≥ching fo≥ ph≥ases and keywo≥ds within you≥ indust≥y, you can begin to lea≥n whe≥e people go to discuss that topic o≥ indust≥y. Once you’ve found these communities, you can monito≥ them fo≥ topics that att≥act the most attention while seeking ways to subtly p≥omote you≥ b≥and.
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Sep 29th 2014