Big data. For businesses seeking to learn about the general sentiment around their brands, the success of a marketing strategy or to gain customer feedback, there’s a plethora of data available on the Web on forums, blogs, mainstream media and social media. But sifting through the millions of social discussions happening online can be a daunting task. Even when companies are able to collect all this data, the real concern is how to make sense of it. One company, Synthesio, a global social intelligence company with offices in New York, London, Singapore and France, is helping organizations turn that big data into analytics and actionable insights that fuel business intelligence, at scale.
Founded in 2006 by Loic Moisand and Thibault Hanin, Synthesio helps businesses implement social intelligence within their organizations using a four-pronged approach that consists of listening and analyzing, and collaboration and customer engagement.
“Companies are starting to understand that all of the people who are important to their businesses — their customers, their competitors, their influences, their fans — are voicing their opinions online, and there’s no stopping those discussions. What companies need to do is to be a part of that conversation, to curate that conversation and to take that conversation into their business strategies so that they can really understand how to better build their products and to really understand their customers’ needs,” said Leah Pope, VP of Global Marketing.
And whether companies are interested in online reputation monitoring, social customer support, crisis monitoring, consumer insights and customer research, influencer identification, online campaign management or competitive and business analysis, the process begins with customized data coverage tailored to the geographic locations and online content that matter most to their brands.
Clients can monitor high-quality data in over 50 languages, across 200 countries. And state-of-the-art crawlers and in-depth filters mean that users have access to full posts and media content, without all the spam, splogs, ads and duplicates.
“When companies first come to us, it’s important that we sit down with clients and set their goals and expectations for their projects in order to understand what they’re trying to listen to, so that we can build the right KPIs and focus on the right content.”
Helpful tools include SynthesioRank, which identifies the top influencers for brands and helps businesses understand which insights to focus on in order to generate more target awareness.
The Social Reputation Score allows organizations to understand how they compare to their competitors within their markets and against different markets by analyzing customer satisfaction in real time.
“There are customer satisfaction surveys that happen online or in focus groups that get data directly from customers, but in those scenarios, organizations are asking questions that can be leading, have their own biases, or may simply miss the focus of customer needs. SRS is a very similar concept, but we take real data from customers — unsolicited — and turn it into a score of how your brand is doing from an online customer perspective. There’s a big difference between what customers say when feedback is solicited versus understanding what they’re actually saying socially on the Internet in real time,” Pope explained.
The platform’s user-friendly dashboard includes sentiment analysis, an intelligent word cloud, a net sentiment scorecard and a unique report builder that lets users generate an unlimited number of instant reports that are exportable into .pdf and PowerPoint with just one click of their mouse.
“It’s important to be able to integrate our platform into your CRM system, your Google Analytics and all the other relevant systems and departments within your organization. Once you are socially connected, you’re able to scale it out across your organization.”
To achieve the collaboration and engagement central to Synthesio’s method, clients can automatically route real-time actionable social media data to the appropriate departments and individuals on their company’s customer service, marketing, sales and PR teams in order to efficiently and effectively interface with customers and prospects. Users can even respond to a mention or comment directly from the platform’s verbatim tab.
And this seamless interdepartmental social connectivity and real-time, online customer engagement are critical when businesses are dealing with crisis prevention and management.
“A lot of people these days see that, with social, once a topic or discussion turns negative, it escalates quickly. With Synthesio, companies can adapt their strategies on the fly and engage with the customers who are having the problem before it turns into a big crisis. If a crisis does occurs, our platform allows you to quickly turn bad scenarios into good scenarios because you can engage with your customers, solve their problems and turn the person who may be angry into an advocate, because you’ve changed their whole experience.”
It is these key features that led to Forrester Research naming Synthesio a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q1 2014 Report. The company received the highest-ranking score for current offering and strategy for enterprise listening platform vendors in the report, The 11 Providers That Matter Most and How They Stack Up.
“You can be number one in a bunch of different categories, but to become number one in every category was a huge validation of all our hard work. [Forrester] recognized us for being very global and for having great data quality and coverage, as well as for having very happy customers.”
Clients include McDonald’s, Gucci, MTV, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Trident. Nissan has worked with Synthesio since 2011, when the auto company wanted to evaluate consumers’ response to the company’s electric car — Nissan Leaf.
“Nissan identified five potential barriers-to-purchase prevalent in online conversations (relevant to all electric vehicles) – such as doubts about battery life and driving range. They also discovered that people were much more positive about the Nissan Leaf if they had actually driven one. They shared these insights with their creative agencies, and asked them to build a campaign that addressed the barriers but also ultimately got people into the cars via test drives. The campaign was a huge success and the Leaf is now one of the world’s biggest selling electric vehicles. Nissan moved on from just listening to the data, to collaboration with its agencies and engagement with consumers, and are a fantastic example of an innovative brand focused on becoming a truly social business.”
“They’ve integrated with us so that they can build in the direct understanding of analytics and metrics of their social interaction within IBM Connections. It’s available within IBM and also available externally to IBM’s top clients using IBM Connect.
Along with these key features, another big differentiator between Synthesio and its social intelligence competitors is the company’s customer-training program.
“Becoming a social business doesn’t automatically happen just because you have the tools. A lot of our customer onboarding is helping clients to not just understand our platform, but to start changing the mentality within these organizations and getting people to adopt this into their business strategies at a wider scale.”
Outside of the customer-training program, Synthesio also offers webinars on best practices and case studies, available to anyone interested in learning about social intelligence and its application.
“These are not specific to our platform. Discussions include best practices on how to implement social intelligence within your organization and defining Social Intelligence maturity around the world.”
Recently, the company secured $20 million in funding from leading European private equity firm, Idinvest Partners. The Series B investment will be used for continued innovation, research and product development, as well as expansion and development of the global team.
Synthesio will be at Forrester Research’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals in NY in June, as well as another forum in Europe over the summer, while also speaking at enterprise software events, analyst events and engaging with prospects and customers on the Web.
“People are realizing the importance of social intelligence and the need for a proper tool to listen, analyze, collaborate and engage with these influences,” said Pope. “Being able to listen to social media is one thing. Being able to turn that into really actionable insights that the company understands and that helps them build their business strategy is really where the sweet spot lies.”