We talked a lot in this blog about the different type of information and the value of each of them. One type of information is “Behavioral information“, useful to answer the “What are people doing”. Even when some people mix up Analytics with Website Analytics, the true is that Analytics it is much more than that. You can answer “What are people doing” with behavioral information, but not “Why they are doing what they are doing”. That it’s a huge problem…I mean, at least if you want to do something with the information like make a decision that drives your company closer to it’s objective. The coolest information to know “Why the people are doing what they are doing” is attitudinal and not behavioral. For instance if the people is not buying your products, that doesn’t mean that your products are not good, or your campaigns are not well targeted, or any other thing, that is something that you know with attitudinal information but not with behavioral. If you wanna know why they are not buying your products just go and ask them…why assuming the risk of making decisions with inferred information? Exactly…there is no reason…
Behavioral is cool but it laks of own value by it self, it requires to be used with any other type of information. We have the very same situation with the other type of information like Attitudinal. Before knowing why people is doing something you should what are they doing. So, when you mix both types the magic appears and you feel like having an epiphany is something possible and is not so far away.
However, even when you feel that the above is something clear to you, the possibility to measure all the attitudinal information required to give relevance or to answer the “WHY” to the Behavioral information is pretty new. I mean we have polls and surveys insite since…well, we always had them, but surveys and polls cannot capture the total reality of the behavior unless the survey allow open answers, but if so you have another problem…make that information useful or turn it into qualitative information, otherwise you have like a short list of things that you are measuring with the survey, so the possibilities of explaining the “WHY’s” are almost null.
Having said that is easy to understand the importance and power of the Text mining and Sentiment analysis for Analytics. However I’m not sure that we are using that technology in a properly way. Every day I receive four or five emails about a new “solution” for measuring qualitative information about what people are saying online and it seems to me like we are all accepting some kind of freaky schema where if you have more tweets and likes then it means that your company is being successful, so companies that develops technology for “listening” what is being said delivers reports that are focused exactly on that, but unless someone pays you for size of you ego your company won’t get any benefit from this.
As a person that begin as an analyst and a researcher I must said that I found lot more value on this technology than measuring likes and tweets. I mean, I found extremely fabulous using Text Mining and Sentiment analysis for Research Proposes more than anything else. I’m not yet talking about “Social Media Analytics”, “Social Media Monitoring” or “Social Media Engagement” platforms, I’m just talking about the potencial of this technology for business.
Have you ever heard about a person called Michael Porter? He talks about a model called value chain, almost every person in the world that studied management knows exactly what I’m talking about, if you don’t just take a look at Michael Porter by Wikipedia.
Mr. Porter (not Potter…don’t be such a nerd person) says that the margin that a company gets from its operations is the result of:
1. Primary Activities: Inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, Marketing and Sales and Post Sales support.
2. Secondary Activities: Firm Infrastructure, Human Resource Management, Technology and Procurement.
The better you work on those areas, the better your company goes. The better your company goes, the better margin you gets. So, if you want that your company gets more margin you can just provide each area with the possibility to listen what people are saying about them and let them work on give people, what people want it. Isn’t it soooo sexy? I mean, who cares on how many tweets or likes or even mentions you have when you can listen, in real time, what people are saying about yours, or your competitors’ products?