The Science of Social Listening: Mixing Market Research with Competitive Analysis

In this day and age, marketing and market research involves observing and experimenting with digital trends and customer psychology. When it comes to deriving actionable insights from market research, audience analytics, and competitive analysis, a social listening service is required that can tap into previously untapped consumer insights and make that data speak volumes. 

In this article, we will discuss how to utilize the science of social listening. We will outline market research and competitive analysis and how the consumer insights gained from mixing these tools can help you listen to your audience and turn your data into action. 

Market Research

Market research is the process of gathering information from multiple sources of data to construct a complete picture of your brand’s general marketing position. The insights discerned are then used to help marketing specialists generate more relevant and appropriate digital strategies.

In general, the larger the data set and the more information used, the easier it will be for marketing specialists to understand target demographics and audience archetype(s). Moreover, it will also help them create more relevant and eye-catching content and identify potential influencers for partnerships.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is the process of discerning insights from data gathered through social media and other sources. The main objective of competitive analysis is to better understand a brand’s competitors.

In order to stand out amongst your competitors, it is essential to understand your competition and be able to differentiate yourselves from them, allowing you to expand your customer base. 

By combining the insights gained from both market research and competitive analysis, brands can create  successful customer engagement strategies. Below, we highlight a couple ways in which these two tools can be used alongside social listening analysis to generate actionable insights for your brand. 

Campaign Performance Optimization

Imagine your brand lies within a competitive ecosystem, in which many other brands are offering similar products and services. How do you stand out from the rest? One approach you can use is campaign performance optimization (CPO) to help your brand’s messaging stand out from the rest.

CPO involves both market research and competitive analysis, the combination of which can reveal the following data points:

·         Market Saturation – CPO will tell you how many similar product options from different brands are available to your target demographic.

·         Pricing – CPO will help you determine your company’s pricing model when compared to your competitors.

·         Market Interest – CPO will help you determine the overall consumer interest in your particular market pool.

·         Demand – CPO will help you understand whether there is stable or fluctuating demand for your brand’s products.

The kind of actionable insights that these data points can offer are limitless. For example, suppose CPO helps you find out that your competitor could not connect with their target demographic after aligning themselves with a particular social movement. By finding this out, you now know what you shouldn’t align yourself with.

Brand Reputation

A critical aspect about social listening to understand is that while at first it may seem like you’re dealing with numbers and graphs, you’re dealing with real people. Social media posts on Instagram and Facebook reflect unique sentiments and emotions that may affect the reputation of your or your competitor’s brands.

For this reason, it is important that a social listening service involves the combination of market research and competitive analysis in order to discover: 

·         Strengths and weaknesses of your brand’s messaging.

·         Most active shopping seasons and business quarters.

·         Potential red flags in your brand’s marketing strategies.

·         Your brand’s current overall market share and potential market share if specific strategies are implemented.

·         Industry competitors and how they manage their brand reputation.

The Science of Social Listening

Social listening is the process of understanding the online conversation about your brand. For this to happen effectively, we recommend that any social listening service use a combination of market research and competitive analysis. By mixing these tools together, you can listen to your audience and discover consumer insights to help you create new and improved marketing and customer engagement strategies. 

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