Last week, Brandwatch was acquired by Cision, a leader in news distribution and media monitoring. This acquisition is the latest move in a changing social intelligence market, where the most innovative players have already gone beyond social listening to help brands accelerate their business. With that in mind, where is our industry headed? 

 

Historical leaders on the social listening & analytics market such as Talkwalker and Brandwatch started appearing in the marketplace at a time when brands were figuring out how to best leverage nascent social media communities. 

 

Ten years later, the digital landscape has evolved, and both tech providers and businesses have had to redefine their approach. Over the past year, we have seen an unprecedented shift in the importance of consumer and customer intelligence within organizations: according to our recent global survey of 1000+ industry professionals, over 82% of respondents believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their understanding of consumer conversation. 

 

While social media is still a must-have for brands in today’s environment, there are many other channels where the voice of the customer can now be heard: product reviews, location reviews, online communities, surveys, call center transcripts, chatbots, etc. All of these channels have become even more important as socially distanced customers look for a more human and personalized touch in their digital interactions with brands. 

 

Superior consumer and customer intelligence is now a matter of survival for brands in each and every industry: they must become even more customer-centric. Or accept to fall behind. As a result, the role of enterprise listening platforms such as Talkwalker lies in helping these brands connect the dots between social conversations and the voice of the customer.

 

It is no longer enough for companies to independently practice social listening, market research or customer experience. Brands need to break down their internal data silos, and activate the voice of the customer in real-time by combining all three in one unified platform.

 

Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, from sentiment, speech and visual analytics to conversation clustering, all of this information can be analyzed at scale in the same place to boost marketing ROI, improve customer experience from start to finish, and create new and enhanced products. 

 

Innovative businesses need to be able to quickly analyze this mass of consumer and customer conversations and obtain a 360-degree view of the latters’ changing preferences and behaviors. This is how brands will accelerate their business and remain relevant in today’s marketplace: with conversational intelligence that goes beyond social listening, beyond media insights, beyond traditional market research. It is time for them to activate the voice of the customer in real-time