Now here is a good idea. Why not move social media analysis beyond the marketing department to provide its benefits to other groups within the enterprise? This is exactly what NetBase is doing through its reseller relationship and collaboration with SAP. NetBase reads and analyzes vast amounts of social media data in real time to help organizations understand what people are saying on the Web: what they love (and hate) about brands, categories, issues and trends. I have written about them before see NetBase Provides an Expanding Set of Social Media Monitoring Measures and NetBase Provides Next Generation Semantic Technology for Brand Monitoring and Understanding for more details about their offering.
Recently I spoke again with NetBase CMO, Lisa Joy Rosner, to catch up on the company’s latest moves. Lisa Joy mentioned that they now have a global partnership with SAP. In this relationship SAP is repackaging NetBase in an SAP skin as SAP Social Media Analytics by NetBase. At the same time NetBase continues to directly market their analytic tools through its existing channels. SAP has a traditional BI tool, Business Objects, which allows you to do analytics that uses transactional data ie looking at past business results. NetBase complements this as social media can help you see emerging trends and make predictions about the future. Here is an example of social and BI data NetBase metrics and Business Objects viewed on an iPad.
Lisa Joy said it has been an interesting expereince educating the vast SAP sales force on what NetBase adds to their set of offerings. Because of SAP’s broad reach throughout the organization this partnership has allowed NetBase to enter SAP workflows and opens up the new opportunity I started this post with. Now the predictive value of social media analysis can be applied to help with decisions through the enterprise and not simply be a marketing analysis tool.
Lisa Joy provided an excellent use case example of the benefits of this broader reach. A company produces a line of Greek yogurt, which is a very popular item today for its health benefits. Their BI tool tells them that Vanilla is the highest selling brand so if you followed that advice you would make more Vanilla and make sure it was widely distributed. However, the social media buzz picked up by NetBase said that everyone is talking about the Pineapple flavor as the most loved. At the moment Pineapple is produced in much lower volume and is offered through fewer stores. So when people hear about how great Pineapple is through social media and go their local store they often find it is not there and buy Vanilla instead, perhaps adding some Pineapple of their own, or worst case buy nothing or go for a competitor. Here is a word cloud showing pineapple as a top buzzed flavor
This social media insight about Pineapple yogurt changes the game across the organization. Obviously the company wants to get more Pineapple in more stores to meet this demand. Now they have to look at supply chain issues. They have to deal with more distributors. The creative people need to develop some advertisements to expand on this viral popularity. Even the call center people need to be advised on how to respond to people asking where they can get Pineapple and perhaps offer future coupons if it is not yet in a store near them. With this example you can see the power of looking beyond past results to anticipate customer demand going forward and how social media analysis addresses this need. Here also is a source pie chart to analyze where pineapple buzz is most prevalent.
The first benefit from social media was increased collaboration and connectivity throughout the organization as well documented by McKinsey. The transparency generated by social media opens up the next wave, analytics. NetBase is offering some creative ways to make the most of this second opportunity.