Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Mar 4, 2016

Synthesio and Brandwatch get high marks for social listening: Forrester

ASIA PACIFIC - According to Forrester's 30-criteria evaluation of enterprise social-listening platform providers, Synthesio and Brandwatch lead the pack, while Sysomos stumbles due to a lack of cohesiveness in its value proposition.

Synthesio and Brandwatch get high marks for social listening: Forrester

This is the first time Forrester has evaluated and ranked providers specifically for APAC. Here are how they stack up:

Synthesio: Synthesio was also a leader in the last Forrester Wave evaluation of enterprise listening
platforms; it has retained that status due to its global data coverage (600 million data sources across most of the world’s countries), automated analysis built from human coding, and functional dashboards, the report noted. Customers of Synthesio appreciate its Flash Dash feature, for example, which allows users to quickly build keyword queries. 

However, users told Forrester that Synthesio's mobile app features are not as advanced as its desktop user interface. Also, while the vendor’s mission is to use social data in conjunction with business data, the tool itself is not meant for those who lack social-media savviness or analytical knowledge.

Brandwatch: Brandwatch’s customers laud it for the ease of use, reliability, self-service feature and intuitive UI. It also has a growing number of financial-services clients due to its "laser focus" on privacy and compliance. In addition, Brandwatch is being ranked as a leader within the first nine months of its operations.

However, its customers have complained about inconsistent account service that varies according to the account manager assigned to the client. Also, Brandwatch’s text-analysis methodologies lag slightly behind other providers, the report stated.

Digimind: Digimind has enhanced its dashboard capability to serve nonsocial analysts; for example, it gives customer service personnel the ability to customise dashboards to uncover insights in three dimensions: what people, Google, and competitive intelligence say.

However, customers felt that Digimind’s influencer-analysis feature fell short of expectations. For instance, its influencer list only extracts names, not URLs, making it a challenge to identify users, pointed out Forrester. Also, customers needing historical data today have to pay Digimind to extract the data—and many prefer a self-service approach.

Salesforce: Salesforce's combination of publishing, engagement, and analytical tools enable users to use one platform to both derive intelligence from and build relationships with customers, according to Forrester.

However, some customers who wanted more accurate sentiment analyses migrated to other social-listening vendors. They also felt Salesforce could make its Social Studio roadmap more transparent so that they can plan to include new features in later campaign rollouts. As the platform supports limited integration, it is the best option for marketers already entrenched in the Salesforce solution suite, said Forrester.

Kantar Media CIC: According to Forrester, this is a solid option for enterprises seeking to grow their
presence in China due to its strong partnerships with major social platforms like WeChat and
Sina Weibo; and proprietary crawlers for sources like blogs and bulletin boards.

Marketers in the automotive and fast-moving consumer goods sectors requiring extensive, granular Chinese social data for their marketing initiatives will like Kantar Media CIC’s social intelligence system design framework, the report stated.

However, Chinese and non-Chinese social data appear on separate monitoring dashboards, and customers surveyed by Forrester also felt that the vendor was slow to add new features like automated text analysis to its platform.

Oracle: Oracle’s biggest differentiator is its dynamic link tracking feature, which is the closest to social attribution Forrester has seen globally, according to the report. Oracle has also linked its social cloud to its customer experience suite, signaling an approach to help users tie social intelligence more intrinsically to sales and commerce outcomes.

However, Oracle's platform is only good as a standalone solution, as the limitations in workflow, user management options, integration capabilities with other platforms, and outreach make it less ideal.

Sysomos: Sysomos acquired companies like Expion and GazeMetrix in 2015, but needs time to piece together an integrated platform that adds value, stated the report. The social-listening tools from these acquisitions, for the time being, are separate, with packaging and pricing yet to be determined. Forrester's evaluation of Sysomos is poor because "it lacks a cohesive way to sell its value proposition". 

Overall, as the landscape of social technology develops, social-listening platforms prove their value beyond simple brand monitoring by doubling down on analytics and surfacing insights that can be used across the enterprise, the report stated.



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