5 Ways to Use Temporal Analytics for Brands
By Chris on June 4, 2010
There are many monikers for online brand management: social media monitoring, brand tracking, product trending. Whatever term you prefer, the goal is the same: observe and quantify buzz on brands or products. While there are many tools to do this, there are few applications that extract time-based data from within online content to annotate and organize events over days, months or years.
Recorded Future’s temporal analytic tools add the dimension of time to Web brand analysis, drastically decreasing time spent culling through clippings or aggregating data.
Brand managers, for a variety of strategic purposes, should be able to quickly visualize the online momentum and sentiment surrounding a particular event. Consider a product launch, patent expiration or speech made at a conference. Online discussion can take place before, during and after these occurrences, but each commenter refers to the same time-specific event. Of course one could look at all brand-related commentary in aggregate, but it would be far more valuable to tie that commentary to an event and further refine the analysis.
In this post we’ll show you five ways to use Recorded Future’s temporal data extraction and news analytics for brand management. For purposes of demonstration we’ll use Zipcar, which announced its filing for an IPO earlier this week, as an example.
Important note: there’s no corporate relationship here; we just think Zipcar is a cool company and it serves as a real world brand example.
Temporal data, when organized well, can be used for predictive analysis and planning for forthcoming events. In the wake of their recent IPO media coverage, we can use Recorded Future to identify some of the Zipcar’s plans for 2012.
Below, we query for the entity “Zipcar” in our “Who/What” search field and limit the “When” field to 2012. Viewed in the Timeline visualization, we discover the company intends to grow its hybrid and electric EV Pod car fleet to some 400 vehicles by 2012.
Instead of specifying a particular year, we can also visualize events related to Zipcar occuring “Anytime in the Future”. Results from this query show events extending into 2016 related to the expected growth of plug-in vehicles in car sharing fleets. The highlighted event below extracts the year “2011” related to uncertainty over continuing revenue losses in the future.
Recorded Future provides the option of receiving e-mail alerts based on such data, so customers, brand managers or investors can receive as-it-happens notification on new mentions of its EV Pod expansion in 2012 or on related issues anytime in the future!).
Recognize Game Changers
Staying on your toes in the rapidly changing online environment is important, but visualizing how your product fits into the market several years (or decades) down the line may be just as vital.
What might lead more consumers to choose car sharing with Zipcar over owning their own vehicle? Maybe increasing car costs and gas prices?
Using a free text query for the entity “oil dependence” we find references that future government efficiency standards will likely increase car prices. This early awareness may provide the impetus to plan for such regulations.
It is possible that we can better identify a timeline for regulatory measures by refining our search query. Combining all three search fields – a “Quotation” mentioning “emissions”, a free text search for “vehicle” and “Anytime in the Future” – we discover some valuable temporal data.
The most noticeable shift in momentum can be seen around 2020, which is the year many countries are hoping to achieve a targeted reduction in emissions. More immediately, we find a quote from the CEO of the American Trucking Association stating his expectation of new fuel economy regulations in place by 2011 to go into effect by 2014.
Since we touched on the possibility above, we’ll shift our interest to leveraging Recorded Future’s temporal data for competitive research.
In this case, we can use a free text query for “car sharing” in the “Who/Where” search field, we find a variety of results mentioning similar services other than Zipcar including Hertz’s Connect, U Car Share and Bay Area non-profit service City Carshare.
Also visible in the timeline is an “event” in 2012, which is a quote from startup Ener1’s CEO that suggests that the future holds growth for the electric vehicle industry through car sharing.
Recorded Future can quickly drill into specific time periods, down to the day, or take a look at industry trends over the span of years.
Below, we search for the entity “Zipcar” in the Who/Where field while restricting the date of mentions to the “Last 12 Months.” Bringing our cursor over one of the event points depicting in our timeline, we can see a report from Top Tech News on Zipcar’s iPhone application.
Next we can investigate buzz about their iPhone App looking at Recorded Future “Product” events related to “Zipcar” over the “Last 12 months.” This timeline shows how momentum changes for the Zipcar App over time. We find events dating back to June 2009, when the app was first demonstrated at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference. Then we see that there was quite a bit of criticism regarding the of the application’s techincal failings in October, roughly a month after its launch.
As we see in the above screenshot, one publication may refer to events occurring at several points in time. In the screen capture above, the long gray bar (eg “developer conference…in June”) is derived from the same document as the highlighted dot (eg “release…September 29th”). This is because we are not only looking at the date of publication, but at the identifiable temporal references within content that can often mention an array of different dates, months and years.
Visualize References and Affiliations
In addition to viewing trends, Recorded Future enables the visualization of links between entities across events. Users can quickly identify the sources of recent online coverage and investigate business relations, personal relationship, competitors or geographic data.
Below we can see the sources referencing Zipcar over the past 30 days as well as overlap with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which is one of the underwriters of the recently announced IPO offering.
Recorded Future news and media analytics provide a rich temporal look at the momentum of brand trends, the timing of competitor campaigns, and an early indicator of changes to a market. These are just a few examples.
See any other possible uses? What aspects do you think are most valuable? As always, your comments are welcome below.