Just a few years ago, Los Angeles County waited for the morning newspapers before scanning and manually clipping out any mentions, which created a late response and often meant missing the initial wave of a big story. In a world where 42 percent of consumers expect brand responses on social in less than 60 minutes, and where more than two-thirds of brand crises go international in 24 hours, real-time media monitoring and intelligence is a necessity.
The media intelligence solution employed by Los Angeles County helped them inject their perspective into major news stories, enabling them to take control, limit damage and influence audiences. However, many in PR still rely on time-consuming methods involving scissors, Internet searches and alerts. That’s akin to eating soup with a fork. You get some of what you want, but you leave a lot behind.
Here are four reasons to adopt a media intelligence solution:
1. Determine Content Strategy
Whether it’s a target audience mentioning pain points or influencers discussing your industry’s latest trends, the ability to monitor social and traditional media in real time can inform short- and long-term strategies. See a lot of buzz swirling around one topic? Provide a solution or some insights with a blog post. If you see a topic gaining steam, capitalize on it by creating a gated piece of content like a white paper.
In a world filled with content, capitalizing on trends is one of the best ways to stand out.
2. Create More Targeted Pitches
Top media databases, such as Cision’s, have media intelligence built in. They go beyond searching beats and outlets to identify influencers who hold the most sway over your audience based on content they recently created.
For example, instead of a clothing company targeting reporters because they write for Harper’s Bazaar, media intelligence solutions can scan thousands of tweets to identify the influencers who have created the most content about summer skirt trends. That information makes it easy for the clothing company to pitch to the right person at the right time, improving the odds for earned coverage.
3. Understand Brand Perception
What do influencers, customers and target audiences think of your brand? It’s a basic question that many brands can’t answer accurately. A recent study by IBM shows that 80 percent of marketers believe that they have a “holistic view of individual customers and segments across interactions and channels.”
Customers feel differently. Only 37 percent feel their preferred retailer understands them as an individual. That drops to 22 percent when considering the “average retailer.” Since media intelligence solutions track all the content around your brand, it provides opportunities to understand how subsets of your target audiences view you—which enables you to engage them appropriately.
4. Keep Pace With Competitors
Communicators went on a shopping spree in 2014 and returned with $2.62 billion worth of media intelligence information and PR software. That’s a 7 percent rise from 2013. Yes, just because your competitors jump off a bridge doesn’t mean your brand should, too. However, media intelligence provides immense opportunities for brands. The ones who adopt and best utilize it will increase reach, build visibility and, ultimately, drive sales.
Those who choose to stay in the dark ages run the risk of irrelevancy.