c-suite

As social insights roll in with rapid fire, marketing departments analyze and leverage data to build brand reputations and inform sales conversations. Along the way, what information should be shared with the C-suite – and how?

Visual dashboards offer real-time highlights

“Quickly and clearly” is the answer to the “how” question. As technology speeds up every aspect of business, there’s no resource more valuable than time. Lengthy spreadsheets and reports get in the way of taking decisive action – especially if there’s a crisis brewing.

Visual dashboards come to the rescue by loading a ton of data into quick and easy-to-digest snapshots. These visuals provide decision-makers with key real-time insights into emerging trends, campaign performance, and loads of other critical information in a fraction of the time it takes to mine through stacks of data. The best are customizable, to display the data your brand’s leaders find most important.

But with so much information at the touch of a button what, exactly, are the metrics the C-suite should be focusing on?

Brand passion and net sentiment

Forbes contributor Daniel Newman writes, “For any organization in the world, the target customers need to be at the heart of that organization’s marketing efforts and strategies. Brands, slogans, products, and media aren’t at the center; rather they are spokes that help to bridge the gap between the customer and the business.”

In today’s always-on social world, consumer power has caused a shift in the approach marketers must take – and that shift starts with considering consumer emotions, the driving force behind everything they do online. Decision-makers need to know how consumers feel in real-time so they can amend strategies for success.

Consumer sentiment analysis informs brands of the more subtle messages lurking behind consumer sarcasm, slang and emojis. These messages tell leaders what’s working, while at the same time letting them know about any problems consumers are experiencing. When tracked in real-time, sentiment analysis gives brands the opportunity to fix issues right away, and to implement strategies to sway consumers back to their side before it’s too late.

But sentiment analysis shouldn’t stop with whether consumers are simply satisfied/unsatisfied with your brand. The intensity of the emotions also matters. Strong negative feelings in particular should be brought to the C-suite’s attention, so appropriate action can be taken to solve consumer problems without creating a reputation nightmare.

And on the positive side, gauging intensity of consumer emotions allows for targeting of potential influencers and brand advocates, in addition to those who might need some inspiration to get on board.

Emerging trends

The only constant, especially in this technological climate, is change. With technology expediting nearly every aspect of business, brands hoping to stay competitive need to know about trends as they emerge.

Real-time social media monitoring lets decision-makers spot changes to the status quo in the moment, and use these advantages to better their brand. Conversely, not paying attention to changes in the marketplace will see brands falling behind.

None of these upsets were predictable based on history – and that’s exactly the point. Ability to spot a dark horse is now a marketing must-have, and social listening the tool.

On a grand scale, this gives brands the opportunity to adjust their messaging and mission to meet evolving needs as they’re happening. On a micro level, leaders can identify any brand-centric issues, such as those around customer service, and address them before they escalate past the point of no return.

They can also course correct when social data reveals a new audience.

Target markets

Beyond anything consumers have to say or feel about a specific brand lies an entire world of information they’re offering up about themselves. These details inform decision-makers of adjacencies and market segments they’d likely never otherwise consider.

For example, if a brand discovers through social listening that a segment of health-conscious adults share a lot about their altruistic tendencies, health brands can incorporate sales donations into their marketing plans. Something they might not have considered – or might have assumed would fail – is now worth doing, with social proof.

Consumers trust the brands they feel understand them and speak to their needs. The more specific the target market, the easier it is for brands to reach out and cultivate meaningful connections.

Because social media analytics tools provide C-suite executives with real-time data in a glimpse, game-changing decisions can be made as quickly. Brands can react in time to ride a trend wave, or to shift gears to a more effective strategy before it’s too late – saving time, saving money, and possibly saving your brand overall.

Image from reynermedia

Originally appeared on MarTech Advisor