How enterprises can integrate social intelligence with their business

by Anees Merchant, SVP, Blueocean    Jul 26, 2013

Anees Merchant

Social media should not be looked upon as a vacuum or as a complete different medium. At the same time it is a great digital medium (new media) that provides unsolicited feedback, comments or information. Moreover, it is not just about tracking sentiments or likes and followers in the social intelligence, it is more than that and it all boils down to the objectives on which an organization drives its social media practices and engagement.

The key is to leverage and integrate the intelligence from the medium in the various aspects of business areas.

Innovative marketing programs

Large organizations and popular brands, who have successfully leveraged social platforms, have integrated the intelligence in the different aspects for strategy and decision making. Traditionally, marketing and PR teams have made great progress as well as integrating the data to decide on marketing campaigns, build brand awareness and engage with potential and existing customers. But there are many other applications for the marketing teams to help and innovate on the marketing programs:

1.       Integrate social data to understand white space marketing opportunities: Either from an unfulfilled customer needs, alternative usage of products, cross-sell/ up-sell opportunities or entering new markets / geographies.

2.       Drive acquisition programs.

3.        Drive brand activation, switching and protection.

4.        Campaign impact analysis by leveraging data to measure pre, launch and post period of a campaign launch cycle.

Focused sales strategies

These are just few compelling examples for the marketing teams. Similarly a sales leadership can aid their sales team with better and refined information about the potential/ existing accounts and contacts. This information can be about—what are they key strategic moves the company is planning to make, key investment areas, or key expansion or focus areas in the coming financial year. Similarly at a contact level–what is the latest tweet, blog or post by the contact (for example is he planning for a vacation, or talking about key projects they are working).

More product ideas

Social practices or objectives may not be confined to just sales and marketing initiatives. Social information can be leveraged by the product development and R&D team to understand new product ideas, capture customers unmet needs, competitive strategies, and alternative uses of the brands or products. These types of information and data can be leverage in product development, concept testing and other such initiatives. Many large firms are today co-building new product/ service ideas with the customers via social platforms.

Customer engagement

In the recent article in Economic Times, the interviews and trends highlighted that many international firms are partnering with India based Business Process Outsourcing firms to initiate the social CRM practices. This practice should definitely be leveraged by the firms to drive customer engagement on a multi-channel platform. This would also improve the customer satisfaction as well as a direct impact to Net Promoter Score.