Two Years Later: How Ipsos and Synthesio Are Helping Brands Make Sense of an Ever-Changing World
As markets and consumers continue to evolve at an increasing rate, brands struggle to keep pace. Social Intelligence technology and market analysis services, when combined, offer a solution, helping brands rationalize ever-changing markets and consumers and make fast decisions they can trust.
This unique combination is essential to get valuable insights into shifts in an industry, competitors, ongoing market trends, demographics, and changing consumer expectations. Based on this premise, Synthesio became a part of Ipsos to help clients get a complete understanding of their markets. We decided to interview Andrea Hiranaka from Ipsos SIA to know more about the progress we made together.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Two years ago, Ipsos’ legacy Social Intelligence team blended with Synthesio’s legacy team. How have you been working with Synthesio technology and colleagues for the last two years?
I have been working with Synthesio a bit longer than that! Before Synthesio became part of Ipsos, I was responsible for assessing all major social intelligence platform suppliers in the market and selecting the one that would best meet our needs. We were looking for one easy-to-use platform with global and extensive coverage of sources (beyond the big four social media platforms), and with robust historical data. Synthesio was the best solution for us.
Ipsos acquired Synthesio in 2018, which helped us break down vendor-client walls and truly collaborate. Since then, we were able to build knowledge together, develop a singular offer, and release new features in the platform that combines the best of both worlds: the rigor and reliability that comes with market research analysis and the speed that comes with social intelligence.
A recent example of our joint expertise in the series of webinars we started in June around the COVID-19 crisis impact on consumers and brands. My colleague Payal from Singapore presented the last one, you can watch it on-demand here!
Synthesio is part of Ipsos’ Social Intelligence Analytics team. How does this team deliver unique insights to its customers?
After the acquisition, Synthesio merged with Ipsos’ legacy Social Intelligence business unit (where I’ve been working) to become the Social Intelligence Analytics service line. The mission of our team is to combine the best social listening technology, the latest advancements in data science, and dedicated analytical frameworks to provide actionable digital consumer insights from vast amounts of unstructured data.
It is delivered through 3 service pillars:
- Synthesio technology, offering a market-leading intelligence suite that goes beyond social in its comprehensive data coverage, and beyond basic KPI reporting
- Insight Services, with teams worldwide providing in-depth global expertise across categories, local context and cultural nuance
- Advanced Analytics, with a dedicated data science team leveraging cutting-edge AI-powered data-mining algorithms and advanced analytical frameworks.
With this combination, we are now able to provide a unique balance of human intelligence and artificial intelligence to ensure one single path to insights for our clients.
What difference did it make on the social intelligence market?
The social intelligence market has been through a lot of change in the past couple of years. Indeed, we’ve seen many companies merging, competitors merging.
But also more recently, we’ve observed some social intelligence platforms entering the market research segment, renaming themselves as Digital Consumer Intelligence (DCI) platforms. Rather than solely analyzing what consumers say on social media, DCI platforms will combine social data with 1st party data and other forms of non-social data to help brands rationalize and understand who that consumer is and what motivates him or her. Uniquely, Synthesio’s offering captures what consumers say, do, and think online – while again applying market research rigor and processes – to offer the most complete picture of that digital consumer.
This movement towards market analysis gives us an essential competitive advantage: we’re already well established – in both Social Intelligence and Market Research – with proven methodologies and technologies to move quickly. That leaves us the opportunity to work on critical advancements, notably in AI and Data Science. In that pursuit of the DCI promise, what we offer uniquely to our clients is a marriage of speed (what you expect from social intelligence) with the rigor, trustworthiness, and confidence that comes with market research methodology and experience.
How can current Synthesio customers benefit from Ipsos offerings?
First and foremost, they already are! In 2019, we proudly released Signals, a state-of-the-art trend detection & insights module. Signals leverages decades of data science and statistics experience from Ipsos and offers the widest range of automated insights on the market. Rather than merely surfacing volume spikes, Signals incorporates market research analytical frameworks to automatically identify statistically relevant and abnormal shifts in the consumer conversation. It surfaces insights like co-mention and correlation insights, weekly posting patterns, and semantic associations.
The insights surfaced by Signals are a result of the significant investment Synthesio & Ipsos have recently allocated to Data Science. One year after, Signals has become crucial for a lot of our clients, and we keep working on joint innovations within the platform, combining our complementary expertise.
Outside the platform, our Insight Services teams across the globe have many years of experience in building insights and actionable recommendations from social data to clients, so we know very well the challenges of working with unsolicited and unstructured data. We are also market researchers, and at the heart of everything we do is provide strategic value that activates new opportunities for our clients. Data remains data until we turn it into insights to generate impactful business outcomes.
Another significant benefit is that Ipsos is a full-service research provider that works with many companies across the globe in several categories. With that, we can combine the right research approaches to get to the correct answers at the right time. In many cases, we combine learnings from social data with learnings from other traditional methods to provide holistic insights.
You can find out more about our joint offer here.
What type of results did you get from leveraging Synthesio in-house? How did your customers’ social intelligence programs shift?
With the combination of SIA service pillars, we can help our clients keep their finger on the pulse on consumers and go to the next level. Because humans are impossibly complex, there will always be a need for one set of humans (researchers) to analyze the behaviors of another set of humans (consumers). The more complex the question, the greater the need for human analysis and intelligence. Technology alone cannot answer all the questions. But, when possible, Synthesio’s technology helps our customers conduct in-platform analysis by combining Ipsos market research frameworks with market-leading data collection. In summary, this is how SIA has helped our customer’s shift or improve their social intelligence programs:
- Our customers benefit from the best data sourcing coverage in the market, which helps them put together a more complete picture of the consumer
- Because our software incorporates market research frameworks, our customers can conduct their own research when possible, which helps them make faster and more confident decisions
- For those complex questions, our customers can turn to the expertise of our Insight Services and Advanced Analytics reports for in-depth analysis of the data focused on specific business questions, recommendations, and actions to be taken
What kind of progress did you make on AI-based features?
It was always very challenging to sort through thousands of mentions, interactions, and impressions to get to actionable insights manually, so in the past, we used to export mentions from social media monitoring platforms and have Data Scientists help us make sense of the data.
As part of the same company, we can leverage all of this data science and statistics knowledge from Ipsos into the Synthesio platform, which makes our path to insights much faster and easier. The first step was the release of Signals, a trend detection & insights tool powered by data science algorithms. And new features are being released frequently that make our lives as researchers much more straightforward, such as the noise reduction tool, text analytics features, and more.
Given COVID-19, how are Synthesio and Ipsos well equipped to help brands and how are we currently helping our customers?
In the turbulent and disrupting Coronavirus times, our clients need to make critical decisions very fast. Social Intelligence has shown to be an excellent approach for consumer and market understanding in times of uncertainty and social distancing.
To support them in this critical time, we are collecting content since the hour zero of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and helping our clients with analytical reports and up-to-the-minute intelligence about the million conversations surrounding their brands and categories and to stay close to your consumers.
Together with Synthesio, we followed social conversations every day to better understand the crisis’s impact on our society and on the way we consume. You can find all of our work here.
Ipsos just won the award for the most innovative market research firm, what kind of innovations/new technologies can be expected in the upcoming months/years?
We are very proud to be named the #1 Most Innovative Market Research Company by Greenbook’s GRIT report for the second year running! Talking about the Social Intelligence Analytics Service Line specifically, we are still in the early stages of innovation with much more to come. Synthesio clients can expect more AI-powered features for text and image analytics, and the integration of crucial Ipsos analytical frameworks used to answer critical business questions available soon in the platform. Our long-term goal is to combine our three solution pillars (Synthesio, Insight Services, and Advanced Analytics) more and more and lead the next generation of social intelligence products and services in the coming years.
Would you like to know more about Synthesio & Ipsos offerings? Get in touch with our team!