Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 | 7 min read
Research suggests that our keen visual perception abilities stem from the threat our ancestors faced from predatory snakes. In order to survive, individuals needed to be able to recognize snakes, understand that they were dangerous, and react before they were bitten. The need to avoid these predators drove the development of our visual abilities at a quicker pace than the development of our other senses.
So, the human brain developed an ability to see faster than nearly other of our innate abilities. We can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds. Images indicating danger elicit a physiological response even when they’re flashed too quickly for the conscious mind to register their content.
These days, our innate aptitude for all things visual has manifested itself in our digital sharing culture. In the past two years, the number of images posted on the major social platforms has doubled, going from less than 1.5 billion in 2013 to more than 3.2 billion in 2015. Within the next five years, it’s estimated that 50% of online searches will be made through images.
These trends will only continue, as future generations are much more likely to use images than older ones.
Capturing and analyzing these images is a major opportunity—and necessity—for brands.
The unstructured information in photos is an increasingly important reflection of how customers feel at any given time. If you can’t understand pictures at scale, you can’t understand your customers, because you’ll miss out on a primary way that they communicate with the world.
Brands need to leverage the intersection of text and visual analytics to discover with greater clarity how customers feel about them, and immediately act on visual intelligence to power more meaningful, targeted connections.
I’m excited to announce that with Sprinklr, brands can achieve just that: meet Visual Insights—the most integrated and sophisticated listening and marketing suite in the world.
Visual Insights, innovated and built in-house at Sprinklr, allows brands to analyze visual content across the entire social web, including social platforms, blogs, news sites, and forums. Powered by content captured through Sprinklr Listening and posted on brands’ owned accounts, the solution will give brands an additional layer of intelligence. They can catch, filter, and analyze photographic brand “mentions” right alongside text, engagement, and campaign analytics.
By decoding facial expressions for sentiment in combination with text sentiment analysis, for example, brands will have a better idea of how customers actually feel beyond the words that they use.
Content, advocates, and detractors can be identified, flagged, and addressed by the appropriate teams with flexible workflows, and audience segments can be created for advertising or nurturing. In this way, the solution supports the entire customer journey.
But the true power comes from its ability to drive action through listening, inform strategy, and improve customer experiences in the moment. This means brands will be able to simultaneously analyze text and images to gain the deepest possible understanding of the content, and the data will live in the same place as the rest of their social data.
Visual content analysis can also help brands address negative sentiment. Imagine a customer tweets a picture of their new running shoes with the text, “Are these shoes small for anyone else? I hate shopping for new #running gear.”
Since your brand is listening for text mentions of “running gear” on social channels, you’ll know that this post is something you’re interested in monitoring. But because you’re also able to identify your logo in the sea of “running gear” content, this tweet will automatically be tagged and organized for analysis.
Everyone else on social media would be able to see that the post is about your product, but without Visual Insights, you may not be aware of the issue because the customer didn’t mention your @handle or brand hashtags.
Visual Insights allows you to not only recognize the mention, but also turn on a dime to give your customers the support they need—all at scale.
Say someone posts a selfie holding a drink with the caption, “#peachicedtea with Bae.” It’s a real advantage for a beverage company (who’s listening for “#peachicedtea”) to recognize their logo, and upon sentiment analysis of the image, that the customer could be an advocate.
With Visual Insights in an integrated platform, brands can recognize the image, reach and nurture the customer, and route the content through the proper approval process for use in a UGC campaign. Their community manager could “like” the post, and marketing could thank them for their loyalty by sending them a promotion.
Say you’re that same beverage company and you want to bolster your advertising strategy with insight on the people who enjoy your products the most. You co-sponsor an event and observe that your textual analysis yields neutral results from both men and women.
Using image analysis, though, you find that more women there are posting photos with your product than men. While the photo captions have a consistently neutral tone from both genders, a combination of face sentiment analysis and your own observations show that the women in the pictures are actually having a blast.
Conversely, you may find that a different event generating a lot of photos featuring women looking bored or annoyed.
With this sort of knowledge, you can get to the bottom of the differences in the event, and adjust your advertising approach and better target the people who are more likely to respond to your product in a positive way. Visual Insights layered over textual analysis provides the intelligence necessary to uncover patterns that textual analysis alone can’t tell you.
Thanks to those pesky snakes, modern humans have brains that can understand visual information rapidly and easily. Considering that visual information can be processed so quickly that we sometimes don’t register it consciously, it’s no wonder that many people prefer visual content over written, and that images are playing a growing role in our social sharing culture.
Visual communication on social is only going to become more widespread, and brands need to be able to analyze the influx of images both as a person would, sure, but also as an enterprise brand would—at scale. Only then will brands be able to fully understand how customers perceive them, and how they’re really using products and services.