Welcome to the second edition of our blog series on Social Intelligence Beyond Monitoring, from FACE CEO Job Muscroft.
In the second blog in this series I want to look at use cases for social media research which go beyond counting mentions of brands and consumer sentiment. Companies can find big, untapped sources of value if they invest in what we call socially intelligent research. What’s that? It’s research that goes beyond merely narrating what’s happening in social media to answer the real questions ‘Why?’ and ‘What should we do about it?’ With this deeper level of insight, social media can do a lot more than simply monitor discussion.
Last month I talked about how social media intelligence can guide brand positioning; this month, product innovation.
A large global financial services brand with a leading position in the credit card market was looking to develop a new proposition in the emerging area of mobile payment. They were interested in exploring peer-to-peer payments – don’t think Bitcoin decentralised networks (it was before that time!) but simply “consumer-to-consumer” payment between friends and family.
What we did
We recognised that payment generates high levels of conversation amongst those communities that need to make regular payments such as students, small traders and families. So we started wide by listening to discussion about the whole category of sending and receiving money. From this we identified thousands of relevant conversations, from which we identified 10 major pain points.
One notable behaviour was the large numbers of conversations started by people checking with their friend or family member that the payment had actually arrived. This showed people using peer-to-peer payment need validation and confirmation built into the systems so they know for sure when the payment has been made and received. An app can’t just offer financial transfer but needs to have a communication layer as well.
The next stage of the project was a co-creation workshop where we used the 10 painpoint areas to ideate the key features of the new P2P product with the target market. Using rapid prototyping methods, we develop a mobile prototype of potential app functionalities, which we tested with a larger number of consumers for a further two weeks to refine the key product features.
Why this worked
The client found this use of social intelligence at the beginning of the innovation process had 4 main benefits. This method…
- Helped them quickly root ideation in strong observable and quantifiable global needs
- Gave the stakeholder team great confidence that the ideas they were generating would solve a real consumer need from the scale and robustness of the data from social intelligence, more than they felt they got from traditional small-scale ethnographic research
- Confirmed and brought to life the key target audience for the product
- Enabled the client to move to prototyping within four weeks, which is two thirds faster than their usual innovation approach
At FACE we call this ‘augmented research‘, tying together the best of social and qual and emerging and established research methods to get brands closer to their customers – and ultimately making better business decisions.
In the next blog in this series I will be highlighting how we can use social intelligence to help improve a live marketing campaign. Stay tuned!