Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tapping Dark Social

Are we as marketers correctly trying to understand the worth of communication that is not passing through the mainstream communication channels? It is a well know fact that people prefer to communicate through their preferred private channels with their loved and beloved ones. They talk truth here. They pass on facts here. They open their hearts here. However, it seems either don’t know how to tap this source or simply acting in such a way that this kind of channel does not exist. By the way, the market categorizes this private communication channel under DARK SOCIAL [with love].

Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc., are history now. This post-Snowden era, the most happening social media place is either the private communication channel or anonymous social networking channel. They say that 70% of the communication that is mostly useful for marketers, sales people, etc., happen in these two channels.

Now the trillion dollar question is about how we can tap the value of these private and anonymous communication channels where people open their hearts and talk facts without any fear and favor. This blog suggests one thing; accessing private communications is next to impossible. However, why not build an anonymous social networking site and attract people to talk, share, and discuss whatever they want, whenever they want, and whichever topic they want.

The advantage here is that you as a marketer can throw a topic in the discussion ring and see what people say against that topic. This way, you will come to know the real-time sentiment analytics part of the particular topic and you can add these results to your sentiment analytics search stuff to get make them more precision oriented. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dark Social

Your friends call you a Facebook pro. And everyone knows that tweeting gives your heavenly pleasure. Besides, you have a website which lists out funny things. All your friends and their friends’ visit your site at least once in a day. Analysts envy the visitor statistics of your site. Google search always list your site in the No. 1 position. And market investors estimated your site is worth a few millions based on the eyeballs it attracts. Every day is a fun day for you! And you are light speeding your way in to the billionaire’s league. Then… suddenly something happened! 

Your website eyeball count started crashing. Your website analytics are not reflecting the actual statistics. Market investors are dragging down your million dollars’ worth! What is happening?

You force exit of your dream world, enters real-world, sit before your system, and starts going through the visitor analytics statistics. While trying to understand why suddenly visitors are not coming to your site, you would like to know more about your influencer websites who used to direct traffic to your site and would like to check whether they are doing the same thing even now! But, alas! What you find? Most [60%] of the URLs are without UTM parameters and they are all bucketed under ‘Direct Traffic’. 

Where from this direct traffic is coming? There is no origin; seems like that the links have been shared between visitors through some private means like emails, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. There is no chance to find out the referral source. All these direct traffic URLs falls under Dark Social. 

There is no way to decode Dark Social… And there is no way to find why the traffic to your site has come down abruptly now!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

End of the ‘Breaking News’ Saga

A few years ago, when the TV channels have started broadcasting the so called ‘Breaking News’, did they ever think that in the next few years, analytics would spread like wildfire across all the domains and it puts the ‘power of analysis’ at the fingertips of an educated common man? No, right. If yes, the broadcasters would have found a different route to commercialize their content. They might have added a different recipe to make their news spicier instead of feeding their audience the same old rut again and again over a period of time. 

Let’s discuss about any day’s breaking news protagonists (for whatever reason!); for example: Sushma Swaraj & Vasundhara Raje. Run any sentiment analytics engine that is available for free on the Net with these two names over a period of 5 hours; as a reader, you would come to know whether their popularity index is rising or going down and who is supporting them and what they were saying, how many unique people have made comments (positive/negative/neutral) about these public figures (for whatever reasons!). 

Whatever details you see here is what the TV people have been selling us since a long time in the name of Breaking News! All the details without advertisements! And for FREE!
Now, when news websites push to us selected news (by us!) and sentiment analytics engine let us know the opinion strength of the news, why in this world do we still need Breaking News? 

Think about it!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Change in Election Results – Sentiment Analysis Scores

What if all the news channels [on Net] display sentiment scores for each news topic? Will that make a difference? But, there is a chance for biased scores also, right? Nevertheless, the scores improve the interest of the readers about a particular topic. Even the scores are biased also, people’s curiosity make them read the topic with more interest. 

For this to happen, news channels have to keep running sentiment analysis engines backed with huge server spaces 24 X 7. The scores changes continuously just like the stock market figures. But, the readers can see how a topic becomes a fad within a few seconds of its publishing and how it fades away without a trace within the next few seconds! 

News topics are like waves that hit the shore [people!], continuously. Just like the waves hit the shore with full vengeance, burning news topics splash across the sites with colorful full-blown pictures and detailed descriptions. Whatever is the intensity of the news, it is not possible to hold the interest of the public for a long time. A nation’s attention span is very small. They swing by emotions. They go by emotional intensities and passions. Whatever is the focus on, it won’t stay for long and their respective memory span is also very less. Maybe this is the reason why politicians, irrespective of their nasty and corruption activities, still get elected again and again by the short-term memory loss public.

But not again! Although old, but when reviewed, the sentiment score helps them to remember the passion that they felt on that particular time when the news got published and helps them refresh their memory. Now, during the time of elections, what if people are reminded about the traverses that they had faced along with the sentiment scores during the current election term? Won’t their painful memories get refreshed, feel the pain again? After refreshing their memories, if they are allowed to vote, then what happens? Won’t the election results change drastically?

Controlling Market Damage – Sentiment Analysis

Saying good about others relaxes them a lot. Keeping on saying good about others, keeps them on high. Not only they start looking at you to solve their problems, but also they empathize and sympathize with you even if you don’t solve their problems. 

Human psychology is tied up with emotions. Positive emotions are like carrots while negative ones are like sticks. Besides, group psychology matters a lot when people discuss, debate, and argues about a particular topic. If a few people break a topic with positive words, then slowly other people also start doing the same thing. Exceptions like rebel statements are there in every case though but in this kind of scenario, statements that are uttered in the initial stages wield lot of influence on the eventual discussion. In other words, there is a chance to say that discussions started on a positive note would also end on a positive note. 

In this modern world, now, people convey about themselves not only using words/ phrases/ sentences/ body language/ etc. but also through the product brands they use. Using a certain costly product brand is like making a statement either in terms of fashion or displaying richness or something that the other people like to possess it. Not only they tweet it using their Twitter account, but also they update the usage status on their Facebook account. 

However, a few times, products or brands do not match the expectations of their respective fans! In this case, there is a chance that the frustrated fans and other public can make derogatory comments about the product/brand in social media . Companies, when they run the sentiment analysis application on social media, can easily find these statements, understand the root-cause of the problem, immediately reply the concerned person, take the problem offline, and limit the damage. Besides, they can easily know the new domain trends that are trending in the social media on a periodic basis and help themselves to make the corresponding changes to capture the future market.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Wind Farms need Analytics?

Now, that you have a big wind farm, which is connected to the grid and is adding a few MWH at the end of every day to it. However, one of the challenges that the wind power company’s face is that it is not consistent; but intermittent. To generate power consistently, the power company needs to depend on a few external factors like analytics.
Wind farms across the world are productive as long as there is wind to rotate the turbine. By default, the SCADA system that is supplied along with the wind turbine helps to get more information about the functioning of the turbine, wind blade angle, etc., but does not provide information about under which weather conditions the wind is working. 

Along with knowing about the functioning of the equipment, if the company could also get information about weather and wind predictions, turbine and overall wind farm performance, and predictive maintenance data simultaneously, then it gets the big picture of what is happening, what factors are critical to maintain the consistency of the wind power generation, which wind turbines are beating the benchmark, which wind turbines are not functioning and need maintenance, etc.

Countries, where wind power is not that much great, companies make sure that they are one-step ahead in knowing about the wind movements so that they can align all their turbines in that direction beforehand to make advantage out of the wind flow. 

From power grid point of view, all the captive power generating units should make commitment to their respective grids regarding how much power they add to the grid at the end of the day or by a particular period. Now, if the wind is not consistent and the company could not generate enough power, then they are bound to pay penalties to the grid. In this case, analytics help companies to calculate correctly how much they could commit based on the real-time and historical sensor data that they gathered, so far.

Analytics data not only provides power generation [ex: based on weather and wind movements] inputs, but also avails asset maintenance [ex: turbine fitness] data.  In the current scenario, where renewable energy like wind is favored by all the public, governments, and corporates at all levels and purposes, analytics play a bigger role in achieving the benchmarks set by the wind power generation industry.