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Social Media By The Numbers

I had the opportunity to meet with David Johnson this weekend to discuss the direction of the business intelligence industry, and we agreed that all indications are that we are heading towards a model that is based on converged data streams for insight generation, with online content (especially social media) being a major channel of data. David writes about this topic on his blog, and recently posted this pretty amazing graphic:

Did you click on the menu at the top right and look at the numbers for mobile and social gaming as well? Even if these numbers are not completely valid, my gut is that they are certainly in the ballpark and they are just stunning.

David titled his post “This is why you need to pay attention!“, and I couldn’t agree more. With the explosion of new communication channels occurring at this pace, are we as researchers paying attention to the revolutionary opportunities to gain immense amounts of data that can be translated into insights for our clients?

To add a bit more emphasis to my certainty that the future lies with multi-source data, Josh Mendelsohn of Chadwick Martin Bailey recently posted an article on why Multi-method, multi-source market research is more important than ever. In his post, Josh describes the hunger of clients within the shopper insights space for new and innovative ways to understand consumer behavior and he lays out all of the myriad tools that are now available to help get them what they need.

And just a bit more evidence for your consideration: WARC has a story this morning about the growing importance of digital media for food and beverage brands.

Innovation, e-commerce and the mobile web are set to be among the main growth drivers of the US food and beverage industry, a study has found.

KPMG, the consultancy, partnered with Clarion Research, the survey firm, to interview 61 ceos and senior executives representing manufacturers headquartered in America.

…More broadly, 39% of the panel forecast that the heightened uptake of the mobile internet by shoppers was likely to aid this process, with the rise of online retail on 34%.

It’s time for the MR industry to embrace these channels and create innovative tools to harness their power to meet the data-driven insights needs of our clients. If we’re not paying attention and don’t move forward quickly, the trend of losing market share to new entrants from outside the MR space will not just continue, but accelerate.

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