What’s hot and exciting in customer research? A neurological breakthrough? A fancy new psychological tool? Nope – Analyzing text. That’s right – analyzing what people say.
A recent Advertising Age article, What All That Chatter Is Really Saying, talks about how text analytics can turn customer feedback into more meaningful insight.
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.
“You can have someone read through 100 comments, and they will likely overstate the importance of some concepts, understate the importance of some concepts and totally miss other things,” said Tom H.C. Anderson, managing partner, Anderson Analytics. “For instance, if one person in 100 mentioned something, it would be missed. But if in 100,000 responses, 1% of people say the same thing, it could be noticed as important, like a new trend that’s developing or something wrong with a product that’s just starting to surface.”
So what are these companies learning? Unilever’s Dove brand is using text analytics to gain insight into who their customers are and what really matters to them.
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.
“Text analytics is a new methodology for us, and we were very pleased with the results and the depth of insight,” said Catherine Cardoso, associate insights manager at Unilever, in a statement. “The results were helpful beyond understanding reactions to our campaign. We also gained an understanding of what motivates people on discussion boards, which issues are most important to women in our target group, and how to create better products and messaging for them.”
Interesting stuff. At FutureNow, an important part of our persona development work is assigning value words to each persona – these are words personas may be typing into search engines, may use to describe their problems or the solution they are seeking, or may be words that appeal to their buying modality.
How do we determine these value words? One of our secrets is mining the text of customer correspondence, blogs, and live chat logs.
What are you doing to use your customers’ words to better understand who they truly are and what they truly want?