Sentiment analysis uses natural language processing to understand the opinions and attitudes based on text in written or spoken language. For businesses, information gathering has always been a part of the process of understanding what people think about their product or brand. Sentiment analysis facilitates an efficient alternative for gathering market intelligence without investing heavily in traditional market research activities. While older techniques such as surveys, interviews and focus groups have been employed to analyse sentiments, the use of automated tools and techniques allow an almost endless volume of opinions to be extracted in real time, thereby speeding up reaction times to remedy negative consumer attitudes or opinions.
In the current scenario, sentiment analysis uses deep learning to analyse online expressions. At the initial stage, the process involves collecting user generated content on social media or other online platforms for market intelligence research. The extracted data is then filtered and analysed for a set of sentiments, based on which the collated results on attitudes and opinions are presented.
Among the ways in which sentiment analysis can help businesses improve their performance are:
1. Improve Marketing Strategy
Since the technique uses data to analyse consumer perceptions in real time, marketers can use the information to adjust their strategies to ensure the success of marketing campaigns. For example, a company launches a new all-natural facial cream, and the social team gathers post-launch market intelligence that the majority of online conversations are negative due to the unusual aroma of the product.
Based on this insight, the marketing team can rework the strategy in several ways, including withdrawing the product or focusing the advertising campaign on highlighting the all-natural ingredients that are devoid of artificial scents, among other possibilities. The quick response time, compared to traditional market research techniques, can help to stem negative consumer attitudes and restrict them from eroding brand value.
2. Get A More Holistic Measurement Of ROI Of Marketing Campaigns
Instead of solely relying on quantitative measurements such as the numberof likes, followers and shares that the marketing campaign receives, sentiment analysis provides qualitative insights into the volume of positive or negative discussions around the campaign.
In the above example, the marketing campaign for the all-natural facial cream could receive the highest number of likes or shares that the company has ever seen but without a corresponding increase in sales. On closer analysis, the team finds that a significant volume of the discussions show that consumers have a negative perception about the product, thereby indicating that the campaign is not as successful as the numbers show.
3. Improve Product Quality
Since opinions and sentiments influence the consumer’s relationship with a product or brand, it is vital to listen to their voices to create successful products. For example, based on the results of sentiment analysis of the facial cream above, the company can go back to the drawing board, research and tweak the content of the face cream before relaunching it with a more pleasant aroma.
4. Enhance Customer Service
In certain industry segments, especially in service-related businesses, customer service is a key element in the success of the company. Regular monitoring of customer sentiments can help to identify negative attitudes or experiences as soon as they occur so that necessary action can be taken.
For example, a high-end leisure company sees a sudden surge in negative opinions among its regular customer base. Sentiment analysis reveals that the complaints are only about a tour run by a partner company in one destination. Reaching out to the affected customers and offering them a redeemable travel voucher they can use for their next trip can help to convert the negative experience into a positive one without the company losing customers to its competitors.
5. Increase In Brand Loyalty
The benefits of sentiment analysis mentioned above trickle down to improve the consumer’s relationship with the company or brand. Real-time consumer insights help to strengthen business strategy, which contribute towards improving product quality and customer service. As a result, the business gains the loyalty of its existing customer base. Additionally, since positive social conversations have the same effect as the traditional word of mouth, the business will attract new leads, resulting in a corresponding boost in sales revenue.
The Human Element In Sentiment Analysis
While digital ethnography using artificial intelligence to collect data on sentiments can provide realistic insights into consumer behaviour, its success is still dependent on the human factor. Ultimately, consumer market insights or market research teams and innovation leads need to understand how to evaluate the results of sentiment analysis and learn how to prioritize or measure the impact of the customer opinions and attitudes, so they can devise stronger strategies to improve business performance.