Mind Your Language! Lessons from the Confirmit Social Listening Event

Carolyn Hall

Carolyn Hall

Author Bio

An established member of the Confirmit team, Carolyn plays an integral role in promoting Confirmit’s world leading solutions for Voice of the Customer, Voice of the Employee, and Market Research programmes to its global customer base. Confirmit is dedicated to ensuring that its solutions deliver business change and value and Carolyn is instrumental in sharing best practice and thought leadership with customers, partners and the analyst community.

Author Bio

Our packed events program continues apace and last week the Confirmit team hosted over 50 Market Research professionals at the beautiful ME hotel in central London to talk social listening, text analytics and the evolution of our old friend, the survey.

These sessions are always fascinating and the line up of speakers on this occasion certainly promised more of the same. The event, titled “Mind Your Language! How Listening Delivers Insight-Driven Success” focused on the new ways in which the MR industry can harness social media, text analytics and linguistics to step into a new world of insight.

We kicked things off with Annelies Verhaeghe of InSites Consulting, a long-standing Confirmit client who pointed out that we have more data than ever before, more opportunities to listen than ever before… and yet, in most cases, we’re just not listening enough. Annelies shared highlights of some of the work that InSites Consulting has done to ensure that their clients are really able to listen to their customers, including the development of micro-feedback-loops that enable continuous listening.

Much of what Annelies discussed was backed up by Heval Ceylan-Gilchrist of MESH Experience whose aim was to provide some perspective on social media. Heval pointed out that many companies either don’t get to grips with the channel at all, or they become almost obsessed with it and lose a real sense of proportion. The quote that stuck with me was “Social is great, it's important - but it doesn't exist in isolation” which I think encapsulated a lot of what was discussed throughout the session.

Following a few refreshments (at a UK event, we need tea on a regular basis!) it was the turn of Martin Dewhurst of Hall & Partners to take the stage. Martin explained that if you’re going to work with social, you need to understand the nuances of the medium, including all the relevant acronyms, emojis and more. One of the key messages he left us with was to “be brave and think like an investigative journalist” which I think gave a lot of people something to consider as they build their approach to social.

Finally, we welcomed Jon Puleston of Lightspeed Research to round things off. If you’ve ever seen Jon present before, you won’t be surprised to learn that his session was fascinating. Introducing his content as a love letter to open-ended feedback, Jon asserted that “closed rating questions are rubbish” and then proceeded to give a pretty compelling summary of why that’s the case. While I don’t think we’re going to see the end of the old rating scale just now, it certainly became clear that there is an incredible wealth of insight that can be gained from using open questions, particularly in the retail world.

There was plenty to mull over once the formal presentations were over so the only approach was to head to the networking drinks in the bar to muse the future of Market Research and linguistics over a glass of fizz and an arancini ball or two. As we’ve seen with other MR events, what’s clear is that while the industry has many established methodologies and approaches, there is no shortage of new ideas and approaches that will be shaping the way we work for years to come. Exciting stuff.

Sorry to have missed it? Pop along to one of our upcoming events to join the discussion.

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