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Adam Turner

Brand can be particularly challenging to manage in the digital world can impact your reputation

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Managing the integrity and consistency of your brand and other related risks can be challenging. This is particularly so in the digital world where the proliferation of channels, speed of message, lack of control and desire to innovate can all act as forces that work both for and against you. Consider how digital can impact organisational reputation, for example. 

Can sentiment analysis help?

An insightful article in MarTech Today from digital commentator Kristina Podnar suggests how marketers and brand specialists can operationalise the management of risk to brands, and get the right balance between risk management and opportunity.  Podnar positions sentiment analysis as an essential ingredient in making this happen.

Podnar argues:

  • Sentiment analysis can be used as the foundation for a broader marketing strategy that helps you manage brand integrity and define operational decision-making.
  • You need to establish a baseline for reputational impact by measuring sentiment analysis from a variety of media sources.
  • When you have a baseline, you can then test the potential reputational impact for different campaigns and potential scenarios, both positive and negative.
  • This can help to inform your marketing strategy and decision-making around new opportunities that have the potential to be risky.
  • To get the “full picture” sentiment analysis needs to be applied to your entire ecosystem covering your products, entities, partners and supply chain.
  • You can get an understanding of the potential impact of unexpected events such as data breaches by running sentiment analysis on competitors who may have experienced these issues.

Where automation fits in

We see real value in Podnar’s approach, but it can be hard to put it into action. Unless there is a dedicated role tasked with managing brand risk, many digital teams will not be as active as they should be in actively monitoring what is being said online about their organisation, let alone deriving insights to drive strategy and tactics. 

There are many reasons why this is the case, but often it is simply down to resourcing and budgeting. An in-house resource may not have the time to monitor channels and carry out related analysis, while the cost of an external agency or service to monitor risk may be considered too  expensive.

Realistically, automation needs to be central to any strategy to protect your brand reputation online. This is principally to monitor and identify the instances and mentions of your organization, brand, product and other aspects of your ecosystem and network, and alert you to where there may be issues. Automation may also drive sentiment analysis and associated scoring.  Any approach that incorporates sentiment analysis or any kind of online monitoring that doesn’t involve automation is simply unrealistic because of the sheer scale of data and content.

What’s involved?

Any team wishing to follow something approaching Podnar’s methodology would need to use automated approaches in the following ways:

  • Preform a regular search to monitor digital channels to identify mentions of different criteria such as organisation and product names.
  • Use intelligent searching to identity those mentions or instances where there may be reputational risk and some immediate action may need to be required.
  • Use a sentiment analysis engine to identify trends from the data.
  • Allow searches to be conducted across a wide range of online sources that can be changed based on need covering partners, suppliers, competitors and more.
  • Run one-off or campaign-led monitoring on specific issues to inform specific decisions or gain insights from events.

How Sitemorse helps protect your brand

Although we are not a sentiment analysis engine, the automation capabilities of a product like Sitemorse can make brand compliance, consistency and risk assessment more achievable.  Relevant capabilities include: 

  • Complete flexibility to search for brand aspects such as organisation names, product names, phrases, images and more
  • The ability to define the scope of search on any remote channels including websites and social media. This can cover your own domain, those of your subsidiaries, your partners and your competitors.
  • The ability to perform regular scheduled monitoring or one-off defined searches.
  • The easy ability to adjust search criteria with a few simple clicks.
  • Intelligent prioritisation of where there may be issues, based on your criteria.
  • The potential to build a full searchable archive of content as an essential reference tool to help maintain brand consistency.

Managing your brand and your reputation

In the world of digital managing your brand and your reputation by monitoring and identifying risks and trying to establish brand consistency is important. To make this happen make sure you use automation as part of your strategy, building sentiment analysis on top of this to drive insights to inform your deeper digital marketing strategy.

To find out more about how Sitemorse can ensure your Brand is delivered consistently, please visit https://sitemorse.com/assessment-categories/brand

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