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How To Use Unstructured Data to Understand Customer Language

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Glenn Gow

According to Gartner, 80% of the world’s data is unstructured. That presents a real challenge to those trying to use available information to understand what customers are saying about a brand’s products and services. Language—whether it is in social media postings, email or verbal form—offers a treasure trove of potential insight to marketers. It takes a unique mix of technology and technique to make sense of such unstructured data. Cary Fulbright, Chief Strategy Officer at natural language processing software company Attensity, joins Moneyball for Marketing to give us a peek into the developing world of natural language analytics for such unstructured data, and how it can improve customer relations, reduce churn rate and help achieve other marketing objectives. The following are a few of the learnings Cary shared:

Think Different: Cary says that tracking positive and negative sentiment patterns is not always the best way to understand public reaction to your products and services. Finding anomalies in the expected language patterns can also be key. Cary uses the example of the Apple iPhone 6 “Bendgate” to illustrate this phenomenon.

Thought, word, deed: Attention to direct buyer engagement is not enough. Companies must get data from other places, including quantitative data, text, voice, intent and actual behavior. People “lie all the time,” says Cary, using the common example of customers complaining about their phone company but not actually switching providers, “If you just rely… on voice of customer… you might get a lot of false negatives.” Cary explains how companies can manage churn rate with programs based on an array of customer data.

A rose by any other name: Words are being invented at the most profound level since perhaps the time of Shakespeare. For natural language analysis to keep up, machine learning needs to race to keep up. Cary explains how natural language processing does this using generalized and industry specific library domains and suggests how this can help you meet marketing objectives.

Cary Fulbright is the Chief Strategy Officer of Attensity, a leading provider of business intelligence, text analytics, and natural language processing solutions. Cary directs the product management and marketing teams to develop and execute the product strategy and go-to-market plans and programs as well as lead the company’s strategic planning efforts.
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Glenn Gow

Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing performance, Coach, Board Advisor, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host and Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Follow me on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+. To get a free copy of Crimson’s One-Page Marketing Metrics Funnel, visit here.

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