Making the Leap from Listening to Insight: What AI Won’t Tell You According to Linkfluence



At #SMWNYC 2019, Benjamin Duvall, Chief Evangelist at Linkfluence, shared what’s new in social listening.


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In 10 years, 75 percent of all brands that are on the Fortune 500 today will no longer be there. According to Harvard Business Review, the main reason for this is due to a failure of adapting to what consumers are doing on the internet and social media.

During this period of intense digital transformation, it’s important to understand your consumers. Even though there is a massive wealth of data to help us do so, we can’t make sense of it without a little help from machines. And those machines can sometimes miss the mark on important cultural and social underpinnings.

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Linkfluence combines best-in-class artificial intelligence with humans to understand the reasons for what’s happening in society and how they impact brands. At #SMWNYC 2019, Benjamin Duvall, Chief Evangelist at Linkfluence, shared what’s new in social listening.

Here are Linkfluence’s top three takeaways:

Avoid dealing with non-meaningful metrics

Pretty much every brand is using social listening today, but most of them are using it for performance tracking. While this is a great thing, it doesn’t take advantage of the full potential. “The transformative nature of AI is very useful for observation, but at its current state, it’s not useful for insight,” explained Duvall.

Duvall also emphasized that the social listening companies around today are founded by geeks. “We created our own social marketing metrics which are not in line with core marketing metrics that we need to follow,” he said.

Use humans to make the best of AI

Market research is ethnographic, so there’s going to be a long time before AI can solve create and complex problems. With human expertise, we can do that today.

“Brand equity is the only thing from marketing that you see on corporate balance sheets. There’s a financial component tied to it.” AI and human expertise can be used for brand equity tracking to quickly get a massive amount of scale, scope, and clarity. “With social data, we can drill down on each brand equity pillar to get a high level of clarity that can only be achieved from very large telephone interviews or year-long focus groups.”

Don’t just get a license and a log in

When dealing with social listening tools, a survey of 55-60 marketers responded that one of their biggest issues is human expertise. People are unsure of how to make meaning or find value from social listening, which can prevent them from having an edge over competitors. Talk to your marketing and consumer insights team on how you can use social intelligence for digital transformation.

Duvall puts it best when he says, “The difference between observation and insight is the difference between spotting the next big opportunity and missing it. Missing it is the difference between landing in the Fortune 500 list or landing in the graveyard of forgotten brands.”

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