• Frequently Asked Questions

What is Conversation Research?

Conversation Research is, simply, researching online conversations – those found in social media, or any other online mechanism that enables user-to-user discussion – with the purpose of discovering insight. While different from focus groups, surveys and other traditional methods of market research, Conversation Research provides real-time and historical data compiled from millions of conversations conducted daily online.

I’m using social listening software. How is this different?

Social listening software is often the mechanism that fuels conversation research. But most applications of social listening only scratch the surface of the possibilities the technology provides. Conversation Research is the output when the technology meets strategic analysis provided by experienced, qualified researchers. CRI provides a proven framework and process for not just using applications that listen to the social web, but turns that listening into more than customer service and engagement opportunities.

What tools and methods do you use?

CRI begins with a tool and platform agnostic approach to conversation research. We leverage a number of popular social analytics and listening platforms, as well as custom analysis and research methodologies to not just mine available data, but synthesize, process and analyze that data in context with the client need.

Why can’t I just do this using the software I already have?

Theoretically, you can. CRI provides experienced analysts and strategists whose specialty is producing consumer insights from online conversations. If your organization has the software, as well as researchers with the talent, experience and time to perform advanced research techniques using online conversation data, by all means, go for it. We’re here to help if needed.

For those that may not have each of those, we’re here to serve.

What makes CRI a credible resource for this?

CRI’s team of analysts and strategists have over 40 years of combined experience in the digital space, leading and touching social media strategies, campaigns and conversation analysis for some of the world’s top brands, including Humana, GM, Jim Beam, Rawlings, SAP, AT&T, Maker’s Mark, GE and more. It’s co-founder, Jason Falls, published the first-ever syndicated research report based solely on analysis of online conversations in 2012. His understanding and immersion in the social analytics tool space dates back over a decade to the nascent days of social technologies. His product feedback and consulting helped build a number of social technologies considered must-have products in today’s digital marketing space. CRI is also actively involved in unifying the academic study of conversation analysis and ethnomethodology and online conversation research to further the field and use and innovation of technology around conversation analysis.

No one is talking about my brand online. Why would I need this?

For many businesses, that is true. No one is talking about them. But plenty of their target audiences are talking about a lot of things – sometimes their industry or category, sometimes their competitors, sometimes the simple needs and demands they have for products and services they use. It is CRI’s position that knowing as much about your target audiences as possible arms you to be a more successful business. Limiting yourself to caring only about what they say about you eliminates a vast world of insight you could be leveraging.

What’s the difference in conversation research and surveys or focus groups?

The key difference is that online conversations are unstructured, unprompted and organic. They are free of many of the biases that must be tolerated by traditional research. Typically in Conversation Research, no one is asking a question or leading a discussion. You are simply finding and analyzing natural, unprompted discussions from consumers. While this information is unstructured, CRI’s arsenal of tools and methodologies organize conversation data to facilitate deeper understanding of everything from overarching themes to granular feedback. We synthesize the data and ponder its meaning to produce insights you can use.

Is this “research” as cost-prohibitive as traditional methods?

Generally, no. As with any research query, the answer of scope and costs is always, “it depends.” You can get a one-time report for a fraction of the cost of a focus group or nationally representative survey. You can get ongoing research, real-time updates and alerts and flexibility in inquiries over time for similar costs to those traditional methods. Conversation Research can provide cost savings, but also incredible added value to make your research and consumer insights dollars work harder and stretch farther.

How much of the web can you research?

In most cases, Conversation Research covers all publicly available, index-able websites and conversations online. This includes news sites, social networks, blogs and micro blogs, ratings and review sites, forums and message boards, image and video sharing sites and more. If a particular site is coded to not be public or indexed, or is behind a password-protected firewall, it cannot be analyzed unless special access is granted by the site in question. Facebook is a unique exception. Conversations there can be analyzed from a high level using Facebook Topic Data, a data set CRI access via a cost-per-conversation sampling model dictated by Facebook’s data partners. While post-level data is typically not provided or available for Facebook analysis, CRI’s analysis can still produce directional insights for the channel many clients find valuable.

Still have questions? Contact us today!

Interested in learning more?
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get a free style advice every week. We will also notify You about new offers and discounts. Check it!