In Category: Converseon News
Austin during SXSW can feel a little unreal. Music, culture, technology and parties, all in that Texan landscape, can make one feel a little transported.
So it is apropos to those looking to reconnect with the real world that on Sunday, March 13 our Lead Scientist, Dr. Philip Resnick, will be speaking on a panel on “Using Text Analytics to Predict the Real World.” Text analytics is one component of how Converseon tackles the next generation of Social Intelligence — finding deep levels of meaning and insight in socially-driven conversation. Here is the description of Dr. Resnick’s session:
How can we use text to tell us what is happening in the real world? Text-driven forecasting is the challenge of making concrete, testable predictions about future events and trends from publicly available text data. Text-based modeling methods make it possible to discover the agendas and attitudes behind the words people use. In this panel, we consider some recent success stories that use various kinds of text (expert-written analysis, blog posts, tweets) to tell us interesting things about the future and about the people behind the texts in various domains (finance, political discourse, and public opinion polls). Session co-organized by the McCombs School of Business and the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce (CREC).
For a deeper discourse on our view of the evolution of Social Intelligence, you can read my interview published recently by Digiday Data.
Social listening is a hot topic, but despite the large volume of information and chatter about it we find that many companies are still not really sure what is it, how it is done, how it is used and where it’s going. That’s why we are happy to support the Advertising Research Foundation in its effort to provide research-based answers to these questions and equip business leaders to use listening better or become listening champions in their own companies.
This comprehensive webinar series is presented by Stephen Rappaport, author of Listen First! Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage, and is held over 10 weeks. Any or all sessions can be attended; they’re short and to the point, 30-minutes each from start to finish, including Q&A. This series is designed to “teach, learn and apply,” not merely “tell and sell.”
The webinar schedule is outlined below. To register for this series please head over to http://my.thearf.org and log in with your credentials. If you don’t have them yet, you can register for free on the site.
Webinar Schedule (webinars scheduled for 12 pm ET)
Part 1 – What is Listening and How is it Done
- February 28: Listening – What it is and it’s strategic value.
- March 7: Listening Tools: The 4 Types
- March14: How to plan and run a listening initiative
- March 28: Creating Organizational Frameworks to Scale Social Intelligence (Converseon co-presentation)
Social intelligence and digital media metrics are becoming more and more critical to the success of any marketing strategy — not just something to measure at the end of a campaign. In fact, the right metrics can help a brand to define when and where to start planning, who to target and even the messages and conversations that will have the best chance of resonating over time.
Last week, Converseon hosted a panel during Social Media Week, wherein our SVP of Enterprise Analytics, Mark Kovscek explained that many marketers use social media analytics to measure the very basics of social media programs, such as Facebook fan counts or the volume of brand mentions across the social graph.
Instead, brands should understand that significantly more meaningful and actionable metrics are available to inform social media strategies and to optimize marketing performance.
Take the example of Hennessy Cognac, presented by Steve Rappaport of ARF Knowledge Solutions. “Hennessy was able to revamp their entire marketing strategy based on the insights provided to them through basic SEO analysis.”
Years ago, it was SEO that taught the CEO of Hennessy the brand’s old fashioned French values and branding was not transcending the American Market. They saw that their website traffic in the US was suddenly originating from urban music websites and communities. The American customer was very different. That finding sparked more research and eventually an entire rebranding effort for the American market.
Having crossed the threshold between 2010 and 2011, this is an ideal time to reflect briefly on the the year that was, and the year that comes.
2011 brings the 10th anniversary of Converseon, making us the oldest pure-play social media consultancy. Over the years, our vision has remained largely consistent, and, although it evolved more slowly in 2001-2006, it has accelerated beyond our expectations in the last two years.
2010 was breakthrough at Converseon. We grew significantly and we also invested heavily into R&D, new talent and capabilities to further lay the foundation for our next evolution, which we are designed to fulfill in 2011. At one point in 2010, we actually slowed our new business efforts to focus on digesting and delivering on the work that was here.
As social media has matured, so have our capabilities. We remain on course to become the world’s leading social intelligence and social media consultancy, and we continue to believe that our organic, fast-moving, nimble approach is right for the market. Our success in 2010 bears out that our approach is indeed the right one for us and our clients, so far.
Social intelligence is clearly fueling business transformation and we are well positioned for leadership in this area. In fact, we expect 2011 to be the tipping point for business transformation driven by social media in the enterprise.
- Continued Growth: We grew approximately 80% YOY and doubled our staff. We also formalized a new office in Detroit and added more leading brands to our client roster across industries, including automotive, financial services, consumer packaged goods, healthcare and more.
- Technology Leadership: Converseon was named category leader in the Forrester Q3 Wave on Listening Platforms, ahead of some solid and well-funded competition. As one industry observer (Marshall Sponder at Webmetricsguru) wrote, “this Forrester Wave establishes Converseon as one of the leaders in Social Listening Platforms – and last time, in January 2009, they weren’t even on the map – impressive!”.
- Twitter Partnership: In August, we announced a partnership with Twitter to incorporate their entire dataset into our Conversation Mining technologies in near real time. Converseon was the first company in the Forrester Wave with full Firehose access, which provides 100% of Twitter data, versus 5-15% from the public API. Forrester called this a “big step” in the social listening marketplace.
- Advanced R&D: Behind the scenes we are making very significant technical investments with internal and external Ph.D. teams working on natural language processing and machine learning for our listening platform, without sacrificing the critical insights that only human intelligence can provide. As a result, we expect to lead important industry advances, which you can expect to see in 2011.
Last week at the WOMMA conference, Converseon released a new white paper entitled “Listening 2.0: Leveraging Social Intelligence to Meet Business Objectives.” The report focuses on how basic monitoring services are giving way to deep level intelligence that can be infused across organizations to provide competitive advantage. In short, the report, finds, social intelligence is growing up.
As we enter 2011, social media is passing a tipping point in the enterprise. For many brands, social engagement is no longer seen as a set of small experiments on the fringe of the organization. They are becoming a core component of business strategy. As such, we are witnessing a rapid evolution from ad hoc and sponsored exploration to a desire for enterprise enablement, whereby social media and social intelligence become competitive advantage and help enables critical business performance.
For these organizations, they will need to address four important areas to help achieve business outcomes through social media:
- Determining how and where listening can significantly impact business outcomes and objectives.
- Understanding how to manage the vast rivers of data, find meaningful insights, and support business processes and use cases — for today and tomorrow.
- Determining what should be automated and the role that people need to play; and determining the balance of internal versus external resources and capabilities.
- Creating frameworks to infuse social intelligence into the far reaches of the organization and ensuring timely action with a systematic, best practice approach and measure impact.
The social media conversation is increasingly global. And we at Converseon continue to expand our social listening so that brands can understand these conversations across regions and languages. One of the most dynamic regions is China.
CIC is based in shanghai, independent, and is a leader in social listening in china, which is a very complex market with tremendous potential. For example:
- There are more people online in China than the entire population of the United States (420 million)….with room to grow. China’s population is 1.2 billion.
- While Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are all blocked in China, local equivalents exist in China for every online ““““social medium. These are more than just copies. In fact, they have localized and transformed social business. For example, Taobao (the ‘ebay’ killer) launched a ‘group purchase’ flash sale recently that sold 205 Mercedes Smart cars in 3.5 hours.
- There are almost as many people on social network sites in China (210 million on Facebook equivalents) as total people online in the US (220 million).
- Chinese netizens are creating 2x the volume of original online content per person, according to Forrester.
CIC is independent, like us, and they share a similar vision, methodology, etc. In addition, we have enjoyed a successful working relationship to date. This announcement builds on that relationship to bring their social listening into our global Conversation Mining solution, while CIC can now offer our consulting and multi-language solutions to their clients.
We look forward to growing and evolving our partnership as brands continue to evolve from basic monitoring to deeper global understanding of online conversations.
Converseon has long had a strong contingent in Detroit, including a core part of our development team. Some of the DNA of our top executives trace back to the Michigan area.
After facing so many challenges, Detroit is, in our view, a great base for some amazing talent, and we’re proud to have brought on some of the best.
As part of our commitment and investment to the Detroit area, just last month, we upgraded our facilities with a new office in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth.
So please join us in welcoming Converseon Detroit.
Last week Converseon was pleased to have been recognized as a finalist for Social Agency of the year in the SAMMY Awards (we won the inaugural award for Best Social Media Agency last year, so were understandably underdogs to win it two years in a row). It’s testament to our hard work to continue to evolve our solutions, fully integrating social listening, operational consulting and activation for an end to end social approach. The recognition was in part due to our very rapid growth (110% YOY), addition of top clients, the evolution of our technologies (including leadership recognition in Listening Category), the maturation of our strategic management consulting and international expansion.
Of course, the real judgment is based on the company we keep and the results we deliver to clients. Thus, we were especially pleased to win the SAMMY recognizing our work with IBM for Best Socialized Business.
“We thought that the SAMMY for Best Social Business should go to the most forward-thinking company that uses social media to build their company culture and brand, and make listening a core competency,” said Nick Friese, CEO and founder of DIGIDAY, the organizer of the SAMMY Awards. “IBM’s C.O.R.E. approach is an innovative and exemplary approach for social intelligence and this recognition demonstrates the importance of listening in social engagement.”
We thank IBM and our team for their dedicated hard work in making social intelligence actionable. It’s one thing to provide pretty charts on what social strategies should look like in large enterprises, but quite another thing to actually be able to make it happen. We are only as successful as our clients, so a recognition of effective social intelligence and media in action is the real reward.
Between now and the end of 2010, Converseon leaders will speak at the following social media conferences and events:
August 29 – September 1, 2010
Rob Key, Chris Boudreaux and Craig Daitch are attending OMMA’s Social Media Insider Summit beginning August 29 in Lake Tahoe, NV. Chris and Rob will speak at the event.
Twitter hastag: #mpsmis
October 27, 2010
At Social Media Bootcamp: Social Media For Research and Marketing at ARF University, hosted by the Advertising Research Foundation, Chris Boudreaux will present best practices for using social media as a research and marketing tool.
October 28, 2010
Several Converseon-ites are attending Forrester’s Consumer Forum, beginning October 28 in Chicago, IL. Rob Key is speaking.
If you attend any of these conferences, please say, ‘Hi.’ And if you aren’t able to attend, you can always follow the action through our Twitter accounts:
We always look forward to meeting friends and fellow travelers.
On August 16 Converseon announced an important partnership with Twitter to infuse the Firehose – all 80+ million daily tweets – real time in to our Conversation Mining platform. You can read the release here.
It’s a significant advance, and a big commitment. But it is also critical: if you care about social CRM or near real time social engagement, you simply cannot operate without access to the full Firehose. As Forrester Research said in response to the announcement, “ultimately, this is a big step in the listening platform market…”.
And indeed it is a big step. In our experience, general API Twitter data represents only a fraction of tweets (those limited to “high velocity) and Twitter is continuing to limit that data stream. Just last week, reports surfaced that Twitter is limiting historical searches to four days. The plain truth is that there are currently significant blind spaces abound even for those companies who may be using paid listening services if they don’t have Firehose access.
At Converseon, we take pride in bringing a healthy skepticism to new platforms and technologies. In the early days, we too were a little skeptical about the growth potential of Twitter. However, it indeed has evolved into the heartbeat of social conversation. As author and technology observer Steven Johnson wrote recently in Time Magazine, “Twitter is looking more and more like plumbing (of the web), and plumbing is eternal.”
We’re proud today to plug this plumbing into our Conversation Mining solutions to finding meaning and insights – and action – in the immense stream of data to help brands harness the power of social across the enterprise. Effectively managing the vast amount of data is one challenge since in addition to Firehose we mine blogs, newsgroups, and more. Finding meaning in the data is the other. This requires a lot of technical horsepower, advanced text analytics and human intelligence.
But we’ve been preparing ourselves for this for quite some time. And the benefits to brands are myriad; they include demand/lead generation, customer service, real time social engagement, and, ultimately, using active listening as an engine to transform brands into social organizations with real time intelligence flowing across the organization for action and competitive advantage.
Let the Firehose begin.