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From Socially Intelligent Businesses to Socially Intelligent Research by Philip McNaughton and Andrew Needham of Face - Presented at the Insight Innovation eXchange North America 2013


By applying socially intelligent research, research companies can play a big role in helping companies to be more socially intelligent. For businesses this means thinking and acting in real time …

By applying socially intelligent research, research companies can play a big role in helping companies to be more socially intelligent. For businesses this means thinking and acting in real time through ongoing dialogue with their consumers. For research companies this means being highly skilled at integrating a range of methodologies and data sets in a coherent and seamless way to help businesses “join the dots” and deliver a holistic view of the consumer. It will not be enough to rely on just one or two sources of data. The ability to integrate the depth of qualitative with breadth of and scale of social data as well as being able to use social data to validate and scale up learning gathered through qualitative is vital. Integrating social and mobile data directly into communities, being technology driven and full of smart people that can apply qualitative rigor to big data is what will make the difference.

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  • Good Morning IIEX I am Andrew Needham the Founding Partner and CEO of Face and this is Philip McNaughton Face's MD for the U.S. We are here to talk to you about From Socially Intelligent Business to Socially Intelligent Research and what this means for Innovation
  • I am going to start with a picture of my wife who as you can see here I have left at a critical moment in a massive building project that’s going on with my house while at the same time leaving her single handedly to move out from our current rented accommodation (for a 2nd move in 6 months) as it is clear from this picture our house is not ready. As this is recorded can you give her a big clap so I can play it back to her… When I told her that I was really excited about coming to IIEX to speak to all of you with Philip re “From Socially Intelligent Business to Socially Intelligent Research” she replied saying “Well I don’t think that's very social of you” and I am sure many of you will agree that it’s not that intelligent…. Any way we are so worried that we will not have a house to move into by mid August because we're behind schedule that I am using technology to tap into the good will and skills of the people who live in my area to help finish things in the closing weeks of the project. Otherwise we will be out on the street. I am going to tap into social capital.
  • And in business where ever we look people, consumers, customers are doing things that companies had previously paid their employees to do - social capital is everywherewhether that is getting customers to deal with other customer queries or issues such as Telefonica’sGiff Gaffgetting consumers or customers to help spread stuff like a major drinks brand used a super fan to help generate 1.5 myoutube views of their ad before it when live on tellyGetting customers to help sell stuff like the global fashion brand Burberry does with it’s customersgetting consumers/customers to help us innovate like P&G have done on many occasionsTo compete successfully in the pull economy companies are recognising that more and more value is now being created outside the walls of the company And in a much larger ecosystem of participation, innovation, dialogue and big data the consumer, the customer is key.  
  • That means we have to create a knowledge framework that helps companies connect the dots and maximize as much value from the social universe (across all business disciplines) in a way that drives competitive advantage for the business while also driving meaningful experiences for the consumer. We call this social intelligence.Social intelligence is an adaptive, continuous, collaborative and open consumer driven knowledge framework that sits at the centre of a company’s organization like the hub of a bicycle wheel where all marketing and business disciplines feed into and out from the customer. The empowered customer and the empowered consumer is at the heart of everything a company does. And technology platforms and smart people are key to helping companies get the most from consumers and customers and not just in terms of transactions but in terms of interactions and relationships.
  • At a marketing/brand level this means social intelligence is about humanising brands. It means understanding the role brands can play as social entities in people's lives and in people's relationships with each other. 
  • Socially intelligent research has a big role to play in helping companies and brands become more socially intelligent by informing their behaviour with a holistic view of the consumer so that they become more human and more social, people powered entities. Socially intelligent research is about combining the power of the consumer/customer with the power of technologyI'm now going to hand over to Philip who is going to show what this means for innovation.
  • “When we think about the way humans make intelligent decisions in social contexts, they make them continually, immediately, almost without thinking. We are able to do this because of experience, empathy, and instinctive appreciation of context.” This enables us to make a huge number of decisions very quickly. We don’t always get it right, but the better we are able to apply empathy, past experience and understanding of context, the better and quicker those decisions we are able to make. Brands need to think in this way too, because they have to be more socially minded, and they have to innovate at speed. Socially intelligent research is NOT about making perfect decisions more slowly, its about making more better decisions more quickly.I’m going to talk about 2 main things today. Adding context to data and putting data in context.Thinking more continuously FIRST OF ALL – GOING TO TALK ABOUT NEW WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA DATATHEN ABOUT HOW IT CAN BE CONNECTED TO OTHER RESEARCH TOOLS TO GIVE US A HOLISTIC, CONTEXTUAL VIEW OF OUR CONSUMERS
  • One reason why social media tools have not been able to significantly help in innovation is that they focus on listening to specific topics around specific categories. We know that a lot of innovation inspiration comes from outside our categories.By sampling social data not by key words or pre-defined topics but by specific audiences we can get more inspiration from outside our categories.Understanding social data not just by what’s being said, but by who is saying it and who they are saying it to.
  • Social media gives us access to a huge amount of contextual information that we aren’t listening to properly.
  • When you start to think about social media data in that way (sampled by audience rather than just tracking topics) YOU can really start to connect it up with other types of research to get a holistic view of audiences we are interested in. Communities, social media, co-creation – working together to get a quicker, holistic view of the consumer. Not just 1% of their time that relates to our brand and the category.
  • Understanding that people think differently as individuals, as groups and as whole networks. Combining group thinking and individual thinking around a common audience.
  • Linking together into more continuous programs of research, that build in contextual understanding as we go along. Iterative research programs that move very quickly from broad understanding of consumers, to more curated experiences in communities and co-creation environments. Again, its about making more better decisions more quickly.
  • Agile & DynamicContinuous insight frameworks, rather than ad hoc projectsLearn as we go mentalityEvery consumer interaction is an opportunity for researchNot about making better decisions more slowly – speed and quality
  • Creating a Virtuous CycleBusiness actions & content, which generates consumer response, which helps us learn more and refine (Not saying diagramme below id right but could have socially intelligent research in the middle and could change what we call the 4 Cs)
  • Listening to what the brands fans were saying about the product Crowd-sourcing to understand deeper behaviors and obtain consumer generated ideasCo-creation bringing fans together with the brand teamBack to the community to validate and enrich the ideas createdAll in one 5 week process, that generated closer in and further out innovation for the brand.


  • 1. From socially intelligent business tosocially intelligent researchAndrew Needham Philip
  • 2. Not very social and probably not thatintelligent
  • 3. Consumers are doing things that companies hadpreviously paid their employees to doSuccess in the pull economy means more value isbeing created outside the walls of a companyThe consumer enabled by technology is key
  • 4. Social intelligence is a customer driven knowledgeframework that helps companies maximize asmuch value from the social universe
  • 5. Social intelligence is about “humanisingbrands” helping them to understand the rolethey can play as social entities in peopleslives and in peoples relationships with eachother
  • 6. Socially intelligent research has abig role to play in helpingcompanies and brands becomemore socially intelligent
  • 7. More listening & more watching than everbefore.#2: CONTINUOUS: Get ready for anew kind of continuous….#1: CONTEXT: What sexy metadatameans for Innovation
  • 8. Data in contextLinks with other data
  • 9. AnalyticsIntelligenceHow manyTweets/Hour?How manynegatives?What are foodiessaying?What is the brandequity?
  • 10. Getting a Holistic view
  • 11. Individual, group, network
  • 12. Listening to AllThe CrowdEngaging with ManyYour CrowdDevelopingWith 1%ersValidationIntegrating data sourcesVerticalintegration
  • 13. Dynamic & agile
  • 14. SociallyIntelligentInnovation
  • 15. Thank youAndrew Needham Philip Mcnaughtonphilip@facegroup.comAndrew Needhamandrew@facegroup.com