<< by on June 23rd, 2009
The next panel, moderated by Catharine Taylor of MediaPost, was “Choosing a Social Monitoring Tool: How to Find the Right Fit”, featuring Anna Banks of Organic, Inc., John Bell of Ogilvy, Pepper Evans Roukas of American Express, and Heidi Skinner of Critical Mass.
How do you shortlist solutions?
John said that there were three main reasons to look at in a listening post solution:
- Marcom insight
- Rapid response
Pepper agreed that AMEX used those similar requirements to find their listening tool. Heidi also added that you want to also be able to find the conversations but also identify the right community folks to reach out to.
What internal hurdles did you have?
Pepper is going through selecting a tool now at AMEX, and she described that experience. While they have been listening in parts of the company, it’s been a hodge podge of support tools. But Pepper wants to feed back what they are hearing and share across the entire enterprise. Needless to say, that’s a huge job. They did a first round RFP and got 75-page responses, so it was difficult to compare and contrast. So they narrowed down to some vendors and had demos and test accounts.
John gave a few short things to consider when selecting a tool:
- Define listening goals across the enterprise.
- Map out the workflow that fits your organization.
- What do you want to get out of the report? Envision the end result.
- Review 3-4 top leaders. There are tons of tools, so narrow it down.
- The all collect.
- The all rate and sort.
- Some do cool things around rating and sorting.
- All should have reporting.
- None of them do insights and actions…
- Lastly, do a trial.
Be sure to find out what the search collection is. Is it based on a keyword function? It should have a broad base of sources.
Heidi added that it is important to know the level of help you may need interpreting the data and understanding how your strategy should change. Many tool vendors do have staff to help with that.
John also added that you should consider what phrases you’re looking for — it’s like figuring out keywords for search marketing. This is an iterative process!
How do you convince management or clients that you need a listening tool?
Pepper shared that AMEX was hearing more through Twitter and other social media, so they knew they had to get involved.
Anna said the challenge is that cost is a big factor. Another factor is what clients are using.
As for RFPs, Heidi did not recommend using Forrester’s Wave Report as a tool. It’s not all-inclusive and you’ll find the same info on their site — not a deep dive. Anna added a blog post today of ten things to look for when you consider a tool. Heidi continued that you want someone who has experience with the tool. John said he’s tested about 20 of the top providers in the past year. He encourages everyone to ask your peer set or your agency.