Geo 101: What Is Sentiment Analysis?
Here's how marketers can leverage it to provide the right experiences to happy customers — and salvage the brand relationship with frustrated ones.
With the goal of breaking down some of the most important concepts to provide a better understanding of the basics — and a jumping off point for exploring how far technology may take us — we introduce the next installment of our GeoMarketing 101 series: what marketers need to know about sentiment analysis.
What Is Sentiment Analysis?
Sentiment analysis — also referred to as opinion mining or “emotion AI” — is the process of computationally identifying the opinions or feelings expressed in a piece of text or speech, with the goal of determining if the attitude toward a particular person, product or topic is positive, negative or neutral. In a broad sense, it’s exactly what it sounds like: Analyzing someone’s sentiments to determine mood or intent.
But sentiment analysis in the technical sense means identifying the sentiments expressed in, say, a social media post — or a spoken request to a voice-activated assistant. This means it involves the use of natural language processing, computational logistics, and/or text analysis to determine not just the words that someone says, but the intent behind them — and what that means.
Why Does Sentiment Analysis Matter To Marketers?
As we wrote previously, natural language processing is already important marketers’ business: first, because of the ability of voice-based communication to engender relationships, and second, because of the growing import of understanding the intent behind users’ queries when it comes to search marketing.
Sentiment analysis is important in a related way, because it is all about determining the mood and/or intent behind what someone says or posts. Again, as this relates to both written and spoken communication, there are broad brand applications.
For example, gathering data about how a person feels towards a brand or product — what words they used in a tweet, how much stress was in their voice when they asked for the customer service number via Siri — can help marketers respond to queries more effectively. The idea is that the tone a person takes when discussing an issue certainly matters in face to face communication; it should in online or device-facilitated interaction as well. This means that marketers can be one step ahead when it comes to providing happy customers with the right experiences — as well as potentially salvaging the brand relationship with disgruntled ones.
As CRM specialist Robert Stanley put it in a blog post, “when utilizing the right technology tools and applying it to key business drivers, sentiment analysis is a powerful tool for steering companies and their individual business units to successful outcomes from every customer interaction.”
As social media and influencer marketing continue to grow in importance — and voice adoption continues to skyrocket — marketers would be wise to explore platforms that facilitate sentiment analysis today.