June 22, 20225 min read
As consumers, we’ve never had more options, more ways to make a purchase, more information to make the best decisions, or more outlets for sharing experiences.
As brand leaders, this age of customer centricity is an opportunity to build more personal, trusted relationships. With a strong social listening strategy, you can be there for conversations about the experiences and brands consumers love (or dislike), simultaneously across dozens of channels. That gives you real-time data to better understand, communicate with, and serve your customers.
Of course, the same opportunity exists for your competition. In fact, the digital ecosystem that makes social listening such a potent tool also lowers the barrier to entry into the marketplace — meaning you likely have more competition from more nimble, niche brands in addition to the traditional players.
Since technology and shifting consumer expectations have leveled the playing field, brands must maximize every opportunity to differentiate themselves. That means understanding your customer as well as your competition.
In our experience, though, most brands look at social listening and competitive analysis as two separate disciplines. Not only does this often lead to redundancies and the inefficient allocation of resources, but it also fails to maximize the solutions you do invest in.
Your social listening strategy should go hand-in-hand with your competitive analysis so you have a 360-degree view of where your brand is situated in the market. By unifying these two strategic imperatives, you can reap unique benefits that will help you stand out, including:
Often, brands only measure success against their own past performance. But while the ability to measure internal growth is important, you won’t have a truly clear picture of brand health unless you can contextualize social insights against the rest of your industry.
One practical example of this is service-level agreements. Your SLAs may improve over time, and social listening may confirm that improvement. But competitive benchmarking may show you still fall below industry standards — or even just below your single biggest competitor. You may also find that other successful brands focus on different performance indicators, which can give you a fresh perspective on your own KPIs and what customers are responding to outside your brand.
No matter how great your brand is, it’s a certainty that your customers’ needs, expectations, and preferences will change over time. Strong brands leverage consumer and competitor data and identify opportunities to innovate so they can lead this kind of change.
But true innovation can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky. Social listening can help mitigate some of this risk by giving you signals about unmet customer needs, so you can focus resources on the right innovations. It can also help you decide which new ideas to pilot by tracking sentiment for messages around innovation. Competitive benchmarking can amplify this consumer insight by illuminating what worked and didn’t work when other brands tried similar tactics.
We know more than anything that consumers make purchasing decisions and develop loyalty with brands they trust. There are many intangible elements that factor into trust, and it’s important to have as much real-time data as possible to understand how your customers are feeling about your brand.
Listening and benchmarking gives you consumer sentiment about your brand and your competition simultaneously, so you have a sense for your overall reputation and how it stacks up against other brands. By combining these solutions in a single platform, you can also identify risks to your reputation by understanding what not to do when competitors slip up.
It’s not just social listening and competitive benchmarking that coordinate to give you the fullest picture of brand health. A truly unified approach leverages myriad solutions simultaneously to more fully contextualize customer experiences and needs, so you can take the right action more quickly. Build on a foundation of social listening with:
Product insights to understand how how consumers are using each one of your products
Visual insights to clarify the full reach of your brand in images, track customer sentiment in photos, and monitor both positive and negative uses of your brand logos
Location insights to understand brand performance in specific geographies and tap into customer reviews for individual store locations
Media monitoringto support PR efforts, see how important news stories impact your brand, and identify influential journalists to maximize brand coverage
With each of these tools in a single unified solution, you not only gain comprehensive customer insight. You also streamline internal operations, breaking down silos across teams, ensuring data consistency with a single source of truth, and creating opportunities for automation and efficiency.
For many brands, customer-critical teams work in isolation from one another, leading to competing data that precludes action, workflow roadblocks that slow down production, and the use of dozens of expensive point solutions.
For years, Sprinklr has been partnering with brands to become more customer centric and outperform competitors by creating the only Unified-CXM platform to remove these barriers and multiply the combined power of rich, nuanced consumer insight. With Social Listening and Competitive Benchmarking — both part of Sprinklr Modern Research — you build the foundation for a truly unified approach to customer experience and engagement.
Contact us today for a demo and start seeing the difference a Unified-CXM platform can make.