Commentary: Technology, Social Intelligence, and the Need to Evolve Commentary

By Giles Palmer on August 4th 2015

Social media is big. It’s only getting bigger, and it’s changing the world – but it can also be messy and bring its own problems, especially for businesses.

It can be hard to manage, and often doesn’t fit very well into existing business structures or processes – meaning CEOs, CFOs, and sales directors don’t really know how to evaluate it.

When talking with our customers, we often hear that it’s hard to get budget for social media – as it’s hard to link these activities directly back to ROI.

We understand this.

The world is changing and there’s no roadmap for it, leaving many people within organizations scrambling to figure out what it means to their existing, successful businesses, and in particular to their own jobs.

The difficulty of change is balanced with the fear of being left behind, and often the way forward isn’t obvious.


Social intelligence and the need to innovate

Some of the most successful companies have found individuals or teams within their organizations to innovate, experiment and pioneer new initiatives, but very often these people have to fight very hard to deliver their vision for change.

Budgets are usually released iteratively, gradually unlocking as results start justifying increases in resource.

Brandwatch has been, we like to think, a help to those on this journey.

We’ve built the most flexible system for measuring and evaluating the complex world of social media, which our customers consistently rate highly. But that’s not enough; we need to do more to really help this shift, by making it easier to prove the results of the investments companies are making.

Technology companies like us are tied to innovation and reinvention, and there is no sector that tech doesn’t play a role in. A steady stream of new products and features is standard; with the investment and talent available in our sector there’s simply no way to sit still.

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Evolution is desperately important, and we know that the space we embody – software – is cyclical by nature, thus pushing us to make changes and constantly review our mission to reflect that.

Think of the big hitters in tech. Apple, Microsoft. Both companies have had their obituaries written many times as younger, hungry competitors entered the market and shook it up – but they listened. They evolved. They’ve adapted their mission statements throughout the years to reflect the many transformations they’ve seen, and there they still are, at the top. Household names.

They continue to innovate and develop in order to answer the questions their customers are asking.


Answering the questions that matter

Our new strategic push is designed to answer the questions we hear so often – how to tie in social media to ROI, or to dollars, as we put it. We all understand dollars, after all.

Behind the scenes, we have a team of data scientists and professional social marketers who are helping us craft this development.

We wanted to help cut through the mess and lack of structure for businesses. Enter, intent-based data sets and use-case dashboards.

This is just the beginning of our new journey – we are using these datasets and dashboards to evaluate and improve our own marketing, customer service and PR, and we’ll be adding tie-ins to non-social sources like CRM and onsite analytics as well as other data over the summer. Read more on this from Glenn White, next week.

We want to help our customers take their businesses to the next level in this new world.

There is wisdom in social media that, when unlocked, is a huge force for growth and goodness – our new mission is to unearth this intelligence and bring it to you.



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Giles Palmer

@joodoo9

Giles is the CEO and founder of Brandwatch. He is a regular speaker at leading conferences and also serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for Sussex University, as well as the Social Media Committee for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.