A Definition of Media Intelligence & How It's Used

Media intelligence isn’t new, but there are still those who seem a little baffled by what it is. We are going to demystify this excellent tool for increasing your brand’s health and bottom dollar by explaining what this magical and elusive ingredient is. And we’ll be giving you examples that you can apply to your own business.

We’ll also be offering some real-life use cases in which media intelligence won the day. We’ll cover:

  • Just what is media intelligence?
  • How this tool can help your brand
  • Real use cases on display, demonstrating media intelligence in action

Here’s some key intel to keep in mind about the role media intelligence should play in your brand’s world:

  • Nielson reports that if you’re not focusing on people as a part of your media planning, “you’re late to the party.”
  • 58% of respondents to a survey done by Statista stated that their brand had seen increases in customer retention/loyalty as a result of using customer analytics, which is a big part of media intelligence.

5 steps to media intelligence success

What is Media Intelligence?

To put it in delicious terms, media intelligence is the gooey stuffing that holds the Oreo cookie of competitive and market intelligence together. Without it, there would be a gap of intel missing – the tastiest part – the consumers’ voice. Captured via social media as well as contributions by many news outlets, press releases and journals, this elusive sweet stuff is out there in mass quantities awaiting discovery.

Media intelligence analyzes public, social and editorial media content outside of your business’ firewall, which allows companies like yours to measure and manage their performance as a brand in the wider waters of marketing. You can locate and understand trends which can then provide insights for your business strategies. Other areas which media intelligence can inform your organization is that of share of voice, competitor analysis, influencer strategies, your brands reach and the demographics of your audiences.

No matter what you’re seeking, all of this information is gathered in one big visual for your company to dig into. However, it’s not messy or confusing, instead advanced media intelligence is organized in dashboards that group similar conversations using semantic grouping that’s powered by natural language processing, sentiment analysis and, of course, machine learning.

Once unearthed, this intel can be used to guide your company, or client, through the competitive landscape in your specific industry. And it reveals otherwise hidden consumer behaviors, allowing your brand to make intelligent and informed decisions that will lead to greater success.

We’ve spoken broadly about what media intelligence is, now let’s see how to use it a bit more specifically.

Media Intelligence Tips

Every brand needs to start somewhere, and benchmarking your brand’s place in the online universe is the best first step. Without understanding your share of voice, your overall brand health and where you stand in your customers’ eyes you will be forever paddling against the current and making little headway.

Media intelligence grabs a detailed analysis of where your brand sits in comparison to others, measuring sentiments, mentions, even consumers reactions to price, services or campaigns both past and present. And you can do this for both your brand and your competitors.

It’s important to note that you’re not just benchmarking your brand, but also the categories it inhabits. Trends change within categories and sometimes that can impact your brand. There can even be new categories created that are relevant – and that you’ll recognize last if you’re not watching for them.

For example, if you’re Quaker brand, you may track health categories, as well as recipe categories. By tracking these, you would stay alerted to any change in sentiment or trend, enabling you to pivot if needed.

Once you’ve established your place in the arena, you can get more specific with your digging to understand your audience better, therefore campaigning more successfully. And locating your audience is one of the top priorities, as a Nielson reports  if you’re not focusing on people as a part of your media planning, “you’re late to the party.”

Are your consumers on Twitter or Facebook? Or do they prefer blogs? Without locating your consumers, you can’t very well expect to hook or catch them. Where are your consumers talking and which news outlets are covering you the most? For example, media intelligence  reveals Dunkin’ Donuts top 5 domains over the past year, with Reddit and Twitter showing the largest volume of mentions.

donuts by channel

Once you locate your audience, you can begin dialing down what is being consistently discussed on these forums. Are there related topics to consider monitoring more closely? Are there trending terms to be aware of, or popular posts that can give way to new ideas in connection to consumers?

These are questions you can answer using media intelligence. Pinpointing these things can increase your share of voice within your industry by giving you the opportunity to explore the larger discussion, perhaps discovering what really makes your audience tick. For instance, this tweet went viral and received 33,780 engagements in August of 2020 alone.

Consumers really loved this humor, as it felt honest and gave them a reason to laugh. In our age of online advertisement, offline ads done well have the ability to hit become online sensations too.

Media intelligence takes the pulse of consumers and reveals what they value, and this includes the online personalities, or influencers, they love as well. If your company has an influencer marketing strategy in place, it needs to include media intelligence in that decision-making process.

Media intelligence helps brands pinpoint these social media celebrities, allowing them to reach an entire demographic of people that they may not have access to another way. If your brand is well known with the Baby Boomer generation, you may not be reaching Generation Z. Locating the right influencer that bridges the gap and generate organic chatter that converts.

And all of this helps brands keep pace with consumers’ ever-changing emotions. This is always a roller coaster of a ride, and if you aren’t using media intelligence to catch the ebbs and flows, you’ll either miss the perfect wave or get crushed in a tsunami.

For example, to find the billboard tweet below, we examined summary metrics. We can see the spike in post in August that put it on our radar. Further along, we see a dip in sentiment towards the beginning of February. It’s concerning posts about a National Guardsman seen in a Dunkin Donuts in a federal building without a mask on. And we can see from corresponding posts that people were angry about it, but that anger and negative sentiment wasn’t directed toward the establishment. This is so important to understand, as a less-informed response might have an establishment wading into a fight that wasn’t theirs and creating a PR nightmare that could have been avoided.


Media Intelligence in Action

And here are a few more ways to see media intelligence in action . . .

Consumer Advocacy Campaigns Informed by Media Intelligence

Banner Public Affairs works with many clients throughout various industries. A while back, they used media intelligence to help their client with an advocacy campaign on the role that drones were playing in fighting the wildfires spreading throughout the west coast.

By exploring multiple channels, they created campaigns that really spoke to consumers, sharing how people were impacted by the wildfires and the specific ways drone technology was helping fire fighters to better do their job and help people. Their research helped them humanize the messaging, making it less about the technology and more about the human impact and the humans behind it. This resulted in greater community engagement and understanding.

Innovating with Media Intelligence

In 2020, Shopify did captured $5.1 billion in worldwide sales as other sites struggled. When the world couldn’t go shopping, Shopify realized they could bring a very in-person experience to their consumers sitting on the couch via livestream shopping. And they did this by listening to the online room.

Partnering Social Media Intelligence with Shopify Livestreams to Win in 2021

Protecting Brand Health with Media Intelligence

The Brunswick Group, a New York based premier advisory group specializing in business-critical issues, works closely with clients to measure their share of voice and monitor their brand health. They compare their clients share of voice to others in the market and in the industry as a whole. Using a consumer analytics tool they examine how their consumers and even employees are talking about them. They also explore their sentiment score and how they measure up in categories such as price, value and services.

And they’ve realized it’s equally important to look toward the future and make informed predictions to get ahead of, or set, the narrative. So, competitor analysis not only helps plan out strategies for increasing your voice, gaining more consumers, better sentiment etc. – but it can also help create a map of where you want your brand to be a year from now.

After all, 58% of respondents in a study done by Statista said that their company saw notable increases in customer retention and loyalty as a result of paying attention to customer analytics – so it makes sense to project ahead a bit, when you can. You can do this when you’re confident of your tool’s results. It’s a big part of media intelligence, and one that many brands shy away from.

Where do you see yourself in one year? Five years? Ten? We can help you plan for your future, fight any battles in your present and increase your brand health and consumer approval ratings as you go, all while offering precisely what people are searching for. Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you the power of media intelligence and our other advanced AI-enabled tools!

5 steps to media intelligence success

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