50 shades of sentiment

50 shades of sentiment


After three years, I happened to think back to the first meetings in which I told about sentiment analysis to potential customers.

When I was able to get to the end of the presentation (interrupting and commenting is a typical Italian feature, for better or for worse), the question more typical was: “So what?”

Possible applications were so many, in my opinion, that I was feeling (pardon  the comparison) a little like the first salesmen of PC: they did not know well how to convince potential buyers to buy an item that was useful to do many different things, but not anything in particular.

Just like market researches was telling: the awareness-building would be the main activity to work on to make the market grow.

Three years later, I see certainly more awareness in stakeholders. Maybe because big data are very fashionable and “sexy”, even though this is not exactly the same thing. Maybe because budget allocated to digital investments continues to grow, one of the few. In any case, I myself have much more concrete examples to give, again a little ‘as the seller of PCs that finally was able to show a video game (yes, that was the winning lever for mass market computing). And then, in the case of “so what”, I started my list of what you can do with sentiment analysis:

  • Informed decisions marketing – no more, only, the eye for creative, but a creativity informed and inspired by numbers, trends, feedback on the choices of competitors
  • Sentiment call to action – that is to say marketing actions directly suggested by the online conversations (for example, by intercepting the malcontents of other brands)
  • Services prediction of sales – in particular we have worked on movie’s box office predictions
  • Use of customer comments for guiding developments – for example apps and websites for banks digital
  • Management of social networks, and choices on communicative materials, inspired by the sentiment of users

Three years from now, what will be changed again? I expect an ever deeper integration between services, with sentiment analysis to influence the B2B purchasing decisions, and determining web and social media planning. I expect integrations with enterprise CRM data, creativity increasingly driven by sentiment, predictive services more and more accurate and widespread.

Basically, I expect a pervasive sentiment analysis, namely that any company of a certain size will not be able to do without it, albeit in forms, depth, time and different ways.

I expect, in short, 50 shades of sentiment, at least.

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