In a new Q1 2016 Wave™ report Forrester Research evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of enterprise social listening platforms against a list of 30 criteria and named 4 platforms top providers. The research was intended to help B2C marketing professionals with the selection of a social listening platform.
Forrester identified, measured and scored 12 enterprise social listening platform providers and designated Synthesio, NetBase, Sprinklr, and Brandwatch as leaders, Crimson Hexagon, Clarabridge, Networked Insights, Salesforce, and Cision as strong performers offering competitive options, and Prime Research, Oracle and Sysomos as contenders who are lagging behind.
Forrester selected only vendors that offered end-to-end technology for social listening, including the capability to captures social data, present it to users, and analyze it to produce actionable insights. In cases where vendors provided services to clients, they had to use their own technology for all of these services. In addition, vendors had to generate more than $15 million in revenue from their social listening product and had to have more than 50 enterprise customers. Scores were al based on a scale of 0 (weak) to 5 (strong).
Social Listening Trends
Enterprise social listening platforms monitor social media data primarily for brands. For brand marketers, tracking social data to find out what people and competitors are saying about your brand, is not a new trend or strategy. Some past research shows that brand marketers have been tapping into social analytics to meet their business objectives for years. A 2015 CMO report “Predicting Routes to Revenue”, for instance, found that nearly half of marketing executives surveyed in North-America have been using social listening to better understand their customers, prospects and markets.
Today, enterprise social listening has moved well beyond looking for buzz and managing public relations crisis. Many marketers are now collecting massive amounts of social data for performance measurement, analytics and engagement to derive at actionable insights that span the entire enterprise.
Conversely, and somewhat surprisingly, there is other research showing that many brands are not convinced that social data derived from social listening platforms can advance their company’s strategy. A May 2015 study by the Marketing Executives Network Group (MENG) revealed that 39.2% of US marketing executives felt that social listening data was not actionable, while 37.4% disagreed with this statement, meaning that they found the data from social listening to be actionable. Nearly a quarter didn’t have an opinion either way.
Rationale For Enterprise Social Listening Platforms
The Forrester research reveals the rationale among B2C marketers for using social listening platforms. Here are the top-5 reasons why they use or are planning to use enterprise social listening platforms:
– Brand monitoring/brand health: 36%
– Measuring campaign success: 36%
– Gain better understanding of customer behavior: 32%
– Customer service: 22%
– Inspiring content for campaigns: 22%
17% of the customers Forrester surveyed said they use social listening data for product development.
Forrester concludes that in order to be successful with social listening platforms in the future their product must be able to:
– Integrate with other marketing and business tool
– Identify insight for action across the enterprise
– Measure the intangible and inspire new ideas