“We’re all on a journey” – Synthesio’s Customer Advisory Council

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“We’re all on a journey” – Synthesio’s Customer Advisory Council


On Thursday 5th July, around 20 senior decision makers from brands of various industries gathered at Janssen Pharmaceutical’s HQ in High Wycombe for Synthesio’s inaugural Customer Advisory Council.

The aim? To discuss the challenges, best practices and business cases of social media listening, and explore the question: How can brands participate in an increasingly C2C world, and use social intelligence to make tangible changes to their products and services? One key feeling that emerged amongst the group was that in this space, we are all on a journey, and are constantly learning through trial and improvement; brands shouldn’t worry about ‘getting it wrong’, as no organisation has mastered it yet.

The morning was spent focused on real life examples of insights obtained by global brands through social media monitoring, and featured a walkthrough of Microsoft’s own monitoring programme.

The afternoon looked at how to get the most out of social data and turn it into business-influencing insights, segueing into mixed discussion of the challenges and thoughts around why social media monitoring should be an important part of a brand’s marketing and research mix.

The day was a resounding success, with a broad range of senior people getting actively engaged in debate and discussions about how social media monitoring has worked for them and how to tackle the common challenge of scepticism from board level.

Key points of discussion from the day
1. Depending on the type of brand in question, there can be vital insights out there available via social alone, that wouldn’t be accessible through standard research.
2. Social is live and unprompted, rather than structured, regulated and open to bias.
3. You can’t ‘toss out’ online comments from social media like you can with survey data – it makes the customer voice the driver.
4. Social listening should be integrated into a brand’s marketing mix, rather than seen as a standalone solution.
5. Whilst social listening requires some change management to achieve buy-in, even small interest from management through well placed case study examples can start to inspire change culturally. The responsibility for managing this depends on what the brand’s objectives are for monitoring.

Customer Advisory Council

The Customer Advisory Council, including Hal Kimber, CPD Digital Director for L’Oreal; Warren Buckley, Managing Director of Customer Service at BT; Maria Jones, Director International Consumer Affairs for L’Oreal; Michel Baes, VP EMEA Customer Orientation & Innovation for Janssen Pharmaceutical; Vaqar Khamisani, Customer & Partner Experience Lead for Microsoft; and Irina Osovskaya, eBusiness Manager at Janssen Pharmaceutical

Vaqar Khamisani

Vaqar Khamisani, Customer & Partner Experience Lead at Microsoft, talks through Microsoft’s ‘Pulse’ monitoring project

Warren Buckley

Warren Buckley, Managing Director Customer Service, BT; and Maria Jones, Director International Consumer Affairs, L’Oreal

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