Coca-Cola North America, one of the leaders in marketing innovation, is launching a new social-media monitoring program that’s signaling another shift in the business of social. As reported by AdAge, Coca-Cola is conducting a first of its kind “listening review” to find an agency that can track what consumers are saying across social-media channels and then gain insights from the mentions.
Coca-Cola intends to use the insights to improve existing marketing strategies and further determine consumer sentiment about brands such as Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Minute Maid, Powerade, Vitaminwater and Dasani. This “listening review” is important because it shows that organizations are recognizing the value of the information that can be harnessed from social media. And a brand known as an industry thought-leader, Coca-Cola, not only recognizes it but is also investing in it. They’re looking for an agency to specifically handle the monitoring and insights side of social media.
At this point, many brands see the value in conversation and engagement. They have at least one digital agency tasked with handling that side of social media. But as many of us ingrained in the space already know, and as Coca-Cola’s actions point out, not all social media marketing-related activities are the same.
This is the future of one specialized aspect of social media – the mining of consumer insights. I predict this will become a key aspect of social media in years to come as brands continue to recognize the value of online insights and dedicate teams to the cause. The role of extracting and formulating insights from online information will also evolve under social media and work in conjunction with data found through traditional research to aid in brand positioning, marketing messages and product development (oh, and competitive intelligence, too!). In my opinion, these grand goals for social media present exciting brand opportunities for the future. A consumer-centered organization powered by consumer insights is appealing for both the business and consumer alike.
With few exceptions, companies today depend on their website as their initial, and often only, point of contact with their customers. Even businesses like restaurants that rely