Text Analytics Can Turn Customer Feedback Into More-Meaningful Insight

Text Analytics Can Turn Customer Feedback Into More-Meaningful Insight - http://adage.com Avatar Posted by ILuvMktg under News
From http://adage.com 5176 days ago
Made Hot by: on March 21, 2008 2:12 pm
Text analytics -- a general term for the mining and interpretation of written words -- has been used for more than two decades, most notably by the defense industry as far back as the Cold War to read into the word choices and text of, say, a speech written by Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

However, today it is marketers who are increasingly turning to text analytics to mine information from the mountains of customer data they've accrued from customer-service surveys, e-mails, online forums, hosted feedback sites and user-generated blogs. It's a way to listen to the boss -- customers -- and hone marketing based upon those insights. "Any company research is what a company thinks is important to them at that time," said Robin Korman, VP-loyalty marketing at Starwood. "But in the blog atmosphere, participants decide what's important to them."

That core value of text analytics -- plucking qualitative "aha's" from hundreds of piles of unstructured text -- is complemented by other marketing tactics, including competitive-intelligence gathering, real numeric tallies of positive and negative comments, short-term-goal checking and long-term-capital-spending value.

Starwood, for instance, discovered that its guests discussed beds and showers more favorably than other hotels, while competitor Hilton's guests more often discussed food and health clubs positively. That validated the "tens of millions" spent on new beds in Starwood hotels, , Ms. Gillan said, while also giving them new areas to work on. Starwood is now focusing on healthful foods. And those insights all were delivered at a much lower cost than commissioned research.

In recent work for Unilever's Dove brand and its Pro-Age marketing campaign, Anderson went digging for consumer insight on Dove's own message boards, coding the text content against 43 different psychological attributes. Anderson found the vast majority of women who posted comments appreciated the realness of using older nude models. But they also discovered other common sentiments. For instance, most women over 50 strongly dislike the concept of "perfection" in beauty images. They also often talked about their mothers, grandmothers and daughters with concern about their portrayal in media. In fact, two in 10 women expressed real anger at how other advertisers portray women.

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Written by JohnH
5175 days ago

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