Social media is too big, too fast, too messy, and too important to manage without the assistance of technology vendors. With its growing significance, more and more companies want to use the data social media creates to inform their strategies. Companies want social intelligence, but they need help getting there.
That's why I'm eager to announce that after almost two years since the last report, we're releasing a new market evaluation that will help companies understand their vendor options for social intelligence. Today we published The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q2 2012 along with an updated market overview, The Enterprise Listening Platform Landscape. These reports are the culmination of more than fifty vendor briefings, hundreds of client calls, two end user reference surveys with hundreds of respondents, two weeks of hands-on lab sessions, and too many hours of writing and fact-checking to count.
The reports are now available for client access, but here are a few key takeaways for everyone:
We listened to marketers of the world’s biggest brands when they asked, “What’s the impact of Facebook on my brand?” and we decided to take a look for ourselves. We proudly present our latest research, “The Facebook Factor.” In the report, we answer the pressing question, “How much more likely are Facebook fans to purchase, consider, and recommend brands, compared with non-fans?” We used logistic regression modeling to find out. The impact? We call it the “Facebook factor,” and I urge you to read the report to find out how you can leverage our methodology to assess the Facebook factor for your brand.
In the report, we use four major brands as case studies to assess the Facebook factor for Coca-Cola, Walmart, Best Buy, and BlackBerry(Research In Motion [RIM]). Guess what? Facebook fans are much more likely to purchase, consider, and recommend the brands that they engage with on Facebook than non-fans. As the graphic below shows, Facebook fans of Best Buy are about twice as likely to purchase from and recommend Best Buy as non-fans.
From my perspective, this is a smart move for both Visible Technologies and Cymfony. Although they have overlapping backers, the real benefit comes from their complementing offerings. Visible Technologies has its Visible Intelligence platform — one that receives consistent praise from end users for its usability, functionality, and data quality. But while Visible Technologies provides a strong tool set, the vendor has had some trouble growing internationally — both within its technology offering and in research and consulting services.
In an almost-exact contrast, Cymfony has one of the stronger international offerings — through its services and data sourcing — but its dashboard and technologies lagged behind the market's evolution. Combining Visible Technologies' dashboard with the support of Cymfony's services and international strength should create a powerful union.
Congratulations to both parties. I am — and I know both vendors' many clients are — eager to see what comes of this acquisition.