Conversational Intelligence: Social media listening and beyond

Rami is a seasoned marketing professional with vast experience in the MENA region over the past 10 years. As MEA Marketing Executive, Rami manages Talkwalker's digital marketing efforts for the MEA market, specifically engaging with thought leaders, events, content distribution, and cross-industry partnerships.

He had previously worked at Wamda and MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab where he spearheaded all community-building initiatives and communications efforts. His background includes media studies and television broadcasting. 

Connect with Rami on his MAGNiTT profile

Conversational intelligence and social media listening are closely related, however, they must not be mistaken for the same thing. While social media listening does provide insights on how your brand is performing on social media channels, it does so without giving a comprehensive picture of what your customers are actually saying and where they’re saying it.

Whether it’s engagement rates, the number of followers, or even viewing time -- relying on social media listening alone gives marketers the assurance that they are relevant and in tune with their customers' needs. Whereas, in reality, consumers might be sharing different opinions about a certain brand on other mediums and platforms.

To be specific, consumers might be saying one thing about your brand on social media, while also giving a negative anonymous review on another platform - or worse, creating a meme around your brand or complaining about your customer support personnel. Consumers are far more complex today than they have ever been, and they have the platforms they need to develop various personas.

Brand marketing and communication strategies must adapt to constantly shifting online consumer behavior, instead of being a static master plan that defines a brand’s activities for the entire year.

What is Conversational Intelligence?

Conversational intelligence, on the other hand, is a brand’s ability to establish a shared sense of reality with their client base, creating a consistent and relevant narrative with all members of the value chain to connect, engage and navigate with others. In a nutshell, conversational intelligence lies at the foundation of enhanced relationships with customers and partnerships with investors, which ultimately leads to becoming more agile and aware of trends. Conversational intelligence gives brands an objective view of the state of their customers and community.

It has long been the consensus that collecting and observing qualitative data is a tedious endeavor for marketers. In today’s increasingly digital world, time is of the essence when brand reputation can so easily be tarnished.

Failing to react swiftly and correctly could result in repercussions such as reduced trust and diminished confidence in your brand. Brands have long utilized a series of tools to look at different aspects of their digital efforts like SEO rankings, share of voice, sentiment, and competitive analysis. Though, breaking down data silos within an organization could exponentially decrease the time needed for your brand to react to current online trends as well as to join the conversation. The old adage remains true, however with a slight change: Time is money and data is power.

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There are 4 main ways through which a brand could truly become 360-degrees customer-centric and activate the voice of the customer to drive more revenue:

• Accessing a single source of truth that provides accurate data on customer research, social analytics, and CX. The centralization of data would enable teams across departments (and borders) to make informed decisions without hesitance.

• Leveraging real-time insights to find the signals from all the noise on digital channels. To accelerate the process, platforms have developed AI-powered tools to measure overall sentiment and uncover trends as they occur.

• Embed the voice of the customer in every decision throughout the organization. Meaning, by democratizing access to conversational data, organizations can activate insights to develop products and services that have proven impact.

• Partner with the right people: Working alongside like-minded organizations has recently proven effective in increasing a brand’s share of voice and likeability factor.

In summary, conversational intelligence gives brands the ability to contextualize their data, where they proactively hear the voice of their customers and act on it. What that means is brands are now capable of creating a consistent and pertinent customer experience (CX) across all channels that is empathetic while putting the customer in the driver's seat.

Talkwalker, the conversational intelligence and consumer insights platform, recently published its flagship report ‘State of Conversation’, where it surveyed over 1000 PR and marketing experts from around the world, to see how global brands are shifting their strategies from social listening towards conversational intelligence.

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