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Sentiment Is Just The Tip of the Iceberg

If you are attending The Sentiment Symposium in San Francisco tomorrow you will see a great presentation from our own VP of Products, Catherine Van Zuylen. Catherine will be discussing a topic that is critical to the concept of understanding sentiment. It is a topic I have discussed in the blog many times before.

Our main point, sentiment is important, but if you don’t know the why behind it, as an organization, you can’t use it to take actions because you won’t know what to do.  We’ve seen in many customer situations that sentiment can be an excellent barometer, but to drive business action it requires further understanding and detail.  Here are some examples, 2 from business and 1 from the elections:

  • New Product Introduction: With the recent iPhone launch, Apple could have been lulled into thinking that all was well with this new product release because the overall sentiment was so positive, when in reality, the issues with their new map application and with  #scratchgate, which was related to the new material of the back of the new phone.  These two areas turned out to be big issues that they ultimately dealt with.
  • Marketing Campaigns: Another customer recently launched a social media campaign asking customers to provide their opinion about a new ad that was scheduled to come out.  While customers liked the ad and gave really positive sentiment to the campaign idea, they were still overall very negative. What Attensity uncovered is that the product that they were doing the campaign on had recently experienced serious outage and service problems.  Their feedback indicated that while a fun marketing campaign would be positively received if the product were performing well, during that time, when the product wasn’t performing well, running it would have done more harm than good. The company chose to pause the campaign and focus on the product issue, which ultimately turned out to drive even higher positive sentiment for the brand.
  • Political Opinions: Some competitors of ours have created really cute charts on the sentiment of voters around each candidate.  While these charts are interesting in general, they miss two key things: a) they don’t tell the candidate what is driving the sentiment; b) they don’t tell the voter what issues are impacting fellow voters.  Neither the candidate nor the voter can use the sentiment for anything more than general interest.  If you’ve seen our recent blogs on the debates, you see we go beyond the general sentiment about the candidate, and get very granular. We cover: sentiment by swing states, the specific comments and topics related to and driving sentiment and we even show empirical views on stated intent to vote, at the candidate level. Voters can see which specific issues are impacting their fellow voters and candidates can see what issue areas they need to focus on when talking to voters, at the geo-location level.  VERY ACTIONABLE!

Below is an example of how simple sentiment can be more powerful when attached to an issue. It is a screen shot from the Yahoo! politics site that uses Attensity to show candidate sentiment, at the issue level. In these two examples, visitors can see which topic area is most impacting sentiment about the candidate.

This first one is sentiment about the economy:

This second one is sentiment about jobs:

Both not only show you the sentiment details, but they also overlay that sentiment by topic areas that are important to voters.

If you want to learn more about how Attensity (and other vendors!) look at the concept of sentiment, come see us tomorrow at the event OR give us a call and we can show you what your consumers think of your products and services!