SAS is a current leader in business analytics software and services. They are the largest independent business intelligence vendor. In the case study reading, they set and achieved goals while facing some great challenges along the way.
Question 1: The challenges SAS faced as they worked towards their goals were how they will accurately reflect and report on their results in order to provide data on which to make better decisions for the company. Another challenge they faced was questioning whether metrics have the ability to be utilized as a better understanding for what works/doesn’t work around the SAS social media analytics launch at the SAS user conference.
Question 2: Goals are so important for all companies, organizations, groups and individuals. It gives a direction and purpose for accomplishing work. The fundamental goal for SAS was to create a reliable, accurate, and useful metrics set. This set of metrics would need to help the marketing committee, PR and communications professionals make better decisions. In order to accomplish this fundamental goal, a few underlying requirements were also needed: accuracy of data, timeliness of data, and context and clarity.
Question 3: In any endeavor there will be many obstacles to overcome. SAS had to deal with this as well. By understanding and defining new terms for each type of social media, as well as developing coding categories for tracking, they established consistent collection methods that are useable overtime and deliver relevant findings. Through constant research, developing, and testing definitions, categories, and coding results, SAS was able to overcome the obstacle of recognizing, defining, and grouping the various metrics and terminology. The final large obstacle that SAS had to overcome was the handling of large amounts of media mentions found for each company. Due to recent increases in the social media tracking and population, the number of mentions has also increased dramatically. SAS worked to overcome this obstacle by using hybrid coding methods to organize large amounts of data and analysis across all the variables involved.
Question 4: In this case study, SAS was able to achieve their goals shown through some great results. Testing showed SAS the comparison between itself and its competitors. The comparison showed that SAS was superior in terms of overall volume and positive media mentions. SAS now has a dashboard that can be accessed as any time on any day to very easily generate reports. They can also now demonstrate a link between online activity data and media volume, as well as total opportunities that will display SAS. This will also work for other specific programs or products. SAS also consulted with KDPaine’s team for important feedback which will continually improve their strategies and allow them to easily recognize success or failures. The final result was that SAS established many benchmarks for judgement against future programs and competitors. These benchmarks were set up through continually monitoring and measuring the company for a long period of time over many years.
Some of the recent trends for 2014 in monitoring social media are:
- Most companies have established their OWN social media team
- Social media marketing is being integrated into the core business structure – this is a practical and very strategic move as business owners sometimes can’t afford to separate this marketing tool from their other marketing strategies
- Social media marketing and monitoring teams will receive a larger budget
- Social media will continue to “go mobile” – currently we are in a very mobile world so it makes sense for all social media platforms to add mobile viewing and real-time data specifically for mobile users
- Social media will become more visual – effective social media will become more than just text; it will integrate visual elements (graphics, pictures, etc.) which will be more effective in attracting the target audience’s attention
- Social media platforms will connect with other media communities (Google+, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Social media will offer more contests and promotions – this will attract more traffic, gaining more brand exposure, and increasing monitoring market
The business marketplace has evolved from a static, traditional channel to a booming, popular network. Businesses wanting to compete in this highly evolved social media marketplace need to learn to monitor and track their powerful social media, which will pave the way for them in 2014 and beyond.