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SXSW: How NetBase Knows What Women Want

10 Cool Social Media Monitoring Tools
Slideshow: 10 Cool Social Media Monitoring Tools

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NetBase is updating its social media analytics platform and positioning itself as a pioneer in C2B (consumer to business), as opposed to B2C or B2B, operations.

The social analytics firm was also one of the most prominent brands over the weekend at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, where SXSW staff members were sporting T-shirts with the slogan "NetBase Knows What Women Want" (see #NetBaseKnows). The #1 thing women want turns out to be ice cream, according to NetBase, with Dairy Queen as the one most frequently mentioned, and Starbucks ice cream the one loved with the most passion. Men also like ice cream, but it comes in after cars and pizza as an item of desire.

Monday, NetBase announced the addition of an analytics dashboard builder, the NetBase Social Insight Composer, as a way of broadening access to its platform, which previously emphasized tools for professional analysts. "It's the exact same engine, just new ways to visualize it, new ways to compose it," chief marketing officer Lisa Joy Rosner said.

NetBase's Enterprise Social Intelligence platform includes a natural language processing engine designed to tease the meaning out of social media posts, identifying positive or negative sentiment toward a brand or product and the intensity of those sentiments. The platform now processes content in English, Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese. Applications include campaign and product launch tracking (detecting response from consumers), issue tracking (an early warning system for complaints and unexpected problems), brand analysis, and competitive intelligence.

[ Half measures won't work--your enterprise must adopt social/mobile, cloud, and big data technologies. See Embrace Enterprise 2.0 Trifecta. ]

At the SXSW conference this week, NetBase will be showcasing some of what the platform can do, with a promotion based on an analysis it says has solved the mystery of what women want.

Rosner said NetBase is capitalizing on a dramatic increase in business stemming from a worldwide reseller agreement with SAP. "Every single SAP sales rep is carrying this in their bag, which is great and has supercharged a lot of innovation," she said.

In particular, the SAP relationship is helping NetBase make a case for businesses choosing a single social analytics platform that can support multiple parts of a business, rather than marketing, public relations, and operational groups making independent technology decisions.

"Everyone wants to be running off one unified view," Rosner said, comparing that to the business intelligence goal of "a single source of truth." Where BI provides the "rearview mirror" to what has happened, "social intelligence is what's happening right now." The difference between the two can also be informative. As an example, she shared a story about a company that sells Greek yogurt, which showed a difference between the best-selling flavor (vanilla) and the one people were talking about most (pineapple). This proved to be evidence of a supply chain problem: there was not enough of the product people really wanted in stores.

"We call this running your business C2B, where the customer is telling the business what they want," Rosner said. "If you pay attention, you can operationalize this information and fix your supply chain--this is what you can do with us and SAP."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. It happens March 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. Find out more.