In this interview Benjamin Koe (Co-Founder, JamiQ) gives us his take on social media monitoring and the unique challenges and opportunities provided by the Asian markets with their multiple languages.
Benjamin talks to us about the value of conversations in marketing, how B2B marketeers are using social media monitoring and some of the issues that social media faces as its reach and use spreads. JamiQ is a multilingual social media monitoring and measurement solution that provides the largest coverage of the social media in Asia.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video are the personal views of the interviewee and and do not necessarily represent the philosophy or viewpoints of their organization or clients.
Transcript of the Interview
My name is Benjamin Koe. I am one of the co-founders of JamiQ. JamiQ is a multi-lingual social media monitoring solution that we designed specifically for Asia.
Motivation for JamiQ
JamiQ was created because we needed a solution for Asia. We needed a solution which could pick up all the different languages in Asia, in all the different markets that we have here. A lot of the tools that came out from the US or Canada or even Europe cater very specifically to their markets and as a practitioner in this part of the world it didn’t appeal (to us), and it didn’t work to pick up the data that we required. So JamiQ was created specifically for the need to pick-up the multi-lingual nature of Asia.
One issue is the language. In the Western world there is a very strong focus on English, or in Europe, on the European languages. While that was one of the issues, the other issue was the data that they collected. Many times, social media monitoring providers have a collection of social media (channels) that they want to monitor and present to their clients. Now a lot of those that come out of the US do not focus on Asia and the ability to mine data in Asia is amazingly complex. So that became our mission and that’s why we started JamiQ.
Value of Conversations in Marketing
What’s happening in Asia is actually mirrored everywhere else in the world. We are right now kind of in-between traditional media and social media. You will start seeing a lot of magazines losing readership to the media that we see online. There is increasing consolidation of what’s happening online. While the traditional media space may be shrinking or consolidating, the consumers themselves are growing in the way they create and share data online, and social media has a strong impact on marketing not just from a conversation point-of-view but from a pure data point-of-view.
People are having conversations on blogs, on Twitter, putting videos up on YouTube, photos on Flickr, commenting all over Facebook and that’s conversation and that’s great. But at the same time data is being shared. Data about themselves, data about what they bought, about who they are. Dating sites make use of data too and the more data that you share the better your results become. The more data that you share with sites like Amazon, or shopping sites, the better recommendations you get. So what is happening is that people are learning and beginning to react to a social space where creating and sharing data with more people gains you more benefits.
Privacy is always an issue but it was more of an issue in the past than it is an issue now because as people get more savvy the providers of platforms like Facebook, blogs and all that –they also give them more and more control and with that control comes a balance between what people want to share and what people do not want to share. Now the benefits of sharing data is that you get to share your preferences with the world, and the biggest advantage, especially in relation to monitoring what people are saying, is that marketers and companies can then start to engage these people and know exactly what they want, when they want it, how they want it, whether it’s urgent, whether critical – and the feedback channel becomes the web as opposed to a single website or email address or hotline. That’s the biggest benefit that we see happening right now.
There are of course the other issues such as the lack of control. A lot of corporations were very used to control. In the past when you only have media channels to worry about, your PR team could usually control the disaster that’s going on. This time around it’s a lot more difficult because everybody is a media channel and when something gets popular enough it will make its rounds around the Internet by Facebook, email – whichever way you have it; so there are pros and cons to the way the social media is working today.
Who uses JamiQ?
With regard to my company, JamiQ, we get customers from all over – from PR people, who care about the reputation of their clients or their company internally, to those who even bother to manage a crisis that’s happening and worrying every single day about something leaking out, all the way to advertising folks who use buzz, as an ROI measure. We even get customers who come to us and tell us “look we’re not concerned about what’s being said as much as who is saying it; so why don’t you give us the top ten bloggers that we can reach out to?” And the list goes on.
We’re starting to see market research people coming in, wanting to use the conversations that happen in social media as primary research as opposed to just surveys and focus groups. We’re also seeing the use of social media in customer service, customer feedback as well as intelligence when people are trying to discern and discover what’s being said and why they are saying it and this could be in relation to products that are being developed, and new campaigns that are being launched. What is interesting about social media that we found is that it’s not confined to any particular segment of marketing – all the way from PR to advertising to digital marketing and even word-of-mouth – it just goes on and everybody has a piece of this social media to engage with.
What next for JamiQ?
What we find is that there’s a lot more data to be mined, not just the conversations that are being mentioned but who these people are, the demographics – where they belong, what other platforms they use. If a guy has a blog, does he also have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and who are his friends? Do his friends trust him and what do they trust him for? So there’s a lot of data to be mined and all of this in multiple languages. The ability to do sentiment analysis automatically in foreign languages especially Chinese or Korean in Asia – there’s a lot of customization of the way data can then be presented. What we found was that right now our tool works very well to produce the data that most people require, but we are now developing it in a specific actionable way so that we meet their specific needs in a different segment.