Identifying long-term shifts in culture versus short-term chatter: Beware the “blip slip”

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VP, Client Experience

I wish I could take credit for that headline. I really do. But truth be told, I “borrowed” it from one of my favorite clients. I was recently describing our new cultural tracking technology to a Global Head of Consumer Insight.

Here is what she said:

“With so much noise out there, it is so hard to know if a topic or trend you are tracking is actually a long-term opportunity or just a blip. We can’t afford blip slips. They have cost us billions. What we need is something that helps us track new associations consumers are CONSISTENTLY making with our products or categories over time. Most solutions can’t weed out the short-term anomalies.”

This is why we built MotivBase Signals.

Signals uses MotivBase’s Contextual Intelligence algorithm to spread the net wider and study the broader context of discussions consumers have around a topic or issue. This allows Signals to pinpoint those signals that are newly entering into the contextual boundary around a topic, and track its ongoing growth in relevance.

This is what separates Signals from any other types of social media trackers. Signals is built to not just capture the dominant (often obvious) signals, but identify those that are not-so-obvious yet contextually relevant. Best of all, it scores the signals so you can see what is growing fast AND growing consistently to identify the right time to act.

As you can see in the visual above, taken from a recent Coronavirus tracker, our dashboard is tracking both long-term and short-term signals.

The bottom row is tracking consumer-led signals like air quality and lungs that have been selected by the client (demand spaces that are important to the organization).

The top row shows system generated signals that the AI has identified – sort of like a stock ticker, showing the client new signals each month that they might consider adding to their ongoing tracker.

Why is this so powerful?

These signals aren’t based simply on volume of conversation or a literal data dump of the mentions of “coronavirus” and its synonyms, each signal serves as an identifier for opportunities and threats that matter to our client’s business. They are signals that our technology has measured over time to assure that there is both relevance and consistency.

Think of a topic, relevant to your business, as a circle.

Blips are associations that consumers may link to your circle in the short-term. Think of it as a dot that may flare up but will then dissipate. Investing in blips will not yield growth because they will not last long enough to benefit the organization.

A signal on the other hand is not a blemish on your topic. It is a complementary circle that is readily and consistently being associated with your topic over time. Think of it, as two merging cultures that create Venn diagrams. The more relevant and consistent the associations, the larger the overlap and the deeper the connection between your business and the emerging signal.

Our technology is focused on identifying such overlapping signals early, and then giving our clients the ability to track them over time. For example, in the screenshot above we can see that the pandemic has further increased the consumer’s concerns around animal feed, especially when it comes to traditional sources of protein. So instead of jumping to the conclusion that this is about plant foods, it allows us to understand that the relationship between Coronavirus and plant foods is driven by consumer concern about animal feed and pesticide leakage – something that can be addressed differently than if it were simply about a fear of contracting the virus from animal protein.

MotivBase Signals Launches June 1.

Having now completed several successful beta projects with some of our most trusted clients, we are excited to be launching the MotivBase signals platform in the coming weeks. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us here.

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