Intense Text Analytics with Attensity

Intense Text Analytics with Attensity

While the Marketing Consilgiere was at TWTRCON last month, he paid visits to the booths of various event sponsors. One booth that really captured his attention was that of Attensity, who provides a text analytics platform that quickly and rapidly transforms unstructured data- such as in the gazillions of tweets that fly through the Twittersphere- into valuable, actionable information with unparalleled accuracy.

If you go to their website and read about their products and customers, it is clear that this is a great, advanced, and serious tool for marketers – it is also utilized by Federal agencies and the intelligence community.

Just this week Attensity and Vovici (whom the Marketing Consigliere has blogged about before) announced a SaaS-based solution that integrates and analyzes formal and informal customer feedback, and provides managers with actionable intelligence.  This time around, the Marketing Consigliere will not be snarky with his assessment of Vovici and rather will tip his hat to both companies.

Michelle de Haaff, Attensity’s CMO, was gracious enough to speak to the Marketing Consigliere about their solution. While the enjoyable and very enlightening conversation lasted an entire hour, the Marketing Consigliere is only sharing the main questions he wanted answered during the discussion.  Mind you, these are paraphrased for brevity and do not do justice to the great story Attensity has to tell:

1.  How does your product/service allow Marketers to better gather, analyze, share, and act upon data?

Attensity’s solution can literally take massive amounts of unstructured data, and with semantic technology, understand and analyze the relationship between terms to give marketers a “listening capability” they otherwise would not have, and point to product or customer areas for which that company should take action.

2.  What is the value proposition of your product/service to Marketers?

Attensity gives marketers a 360° view by combining data from both online and offline sources – all Internet-based sources, call centers, customer satisfaction surveys, data warehouses, etc.  Attensity has six patents for semantics technology, including “fact extraction” (relationships between terms),  and “sentiment extraction” (determining emotional state of respondent).  The company’s offerings are quite unique in the analytics space.

3.  What is a common misconception that the market has about your product/service?

Many marketers have not yet grasped how important semantic technologies are.  Basic statistical analysis is good enough if you’re trying to create a powerpoint slide to explain/understand customer satisfaction.  But without the solution that Attensity provides, your actionable intelligence is not as accurate regarding the true Voice of Customer so you are at risk if you take action on that data.

4.  What is the most successful or innovative use of your product/service by a business to date?

Whirlpool Corporation has been leveraging Attensity to monitor Voice of Customer for over five years –  Utilizing Attensity’s text analytics platform, a team of Whirlpool product engineers, marketers, and business analysts were able to detect a product issue early. The analysis produced an alert that revealed a surge of calls regarding a specific product issue in a specific geography and was brought to the attention of the product engineers in Whirlpool’s manufacturing department, so they could make the fix to any new product being put into the market.

Other existing Whirlpool quality analysis tools would have taken up to sixty days to arrive at the same results.  This two-month delta in time resulted in the correction of the problem in approximately 80,000 units on the assembly line that otherwise would have been distributed with the issue, affecting the customer experience and burdening customer satisfaction assets.

5.  What is your greatest challenge as a marketing organization?

Finding the right press and analyst contacts that “get” our story and maintaining their attention with a “bullhorn.”; Keeping up with the rapid pace of social media and being a player in it. (It appears that many readers out there are obviously not alone!)

While data mining, business intelligence, and predictive analysis solutions like Attensity’s appear to be for the guys with “deep pocket” marketing budgets, rest assured these solutions will be distilled into platforms for smaller businesses someday.  Yes, even behavioral marketing is within reach for SMBs as they adopt social networking tools.

The Marketing Consigliere thanks Ms. de Haaff for her time and wishes Attensity good fortune for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010.  He also cannot overemphasize the breadth of Ms. de Haaff’s knowledge of her company’s offering and her understanding of the new world of marketing and apologizes that it wasn’t necessarily demonstrated in this blog post.  Surely the “branders” and “creative” types are looking over their shoulders as marketers like Ms. de Haaff who are better technologists, analysts, and linguists and help steer a company to success in this new marketing world.

These five questions, or Cinque Domande, asked above are good questions to ask a marketing technology vendor.   Look for more of this format in the future as we explore more about the marketing realm of gathering, storing, analyzing, sharing, and acting upon data. Clearly these concept will need to be podcasted or videotaped to get the whole, exciting story from the professional being interviewed.

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