Sentiment analysis refers to the processes, methods, techniques, and approaches that retrieve information about consumer attitude toward a product, service, or brand. Along with gathering data about consumer brand attitude, sentiment analysis attempts to appraise the emotional state of the consumer as they expressed their opinions or made their observations.
Sentiment analysis tends to be dependent on technology to a degree that other market research approaches are not. On the one hand, technological innovations provide opportunities to reduce market research costs, generate efficiencies, and make robust tools accessible to firms and organizations across the spectrum. On the other hand, over-reliance on technology can result in disintermediation, commoditization, and less regard for human expertise. Increasingly, it is important for market researchers to demonstrate that delivering smart business insights requires the skillful melding of research expertise and prudent use of advanced technology.
Sentiment Analysis and Tracking Methods
A variety of research methods are used to track sentiment analysis. For market research clients, the choice of a research method to analyze sentiment on social media networking platforms is largely driven by timeliness, effectiveness/accuracy, and cost. These are all top box ratings in recent surveys conducted by Greenbook Research Industry Trend (GRIT) Report for 2012. Top box ratings are the decision variables that consumers identify as being the most important considerations or attributes.
Some dramatic and perhaps not very surprising differences in the ratings for these decision variables have been identified for market research providers (suppliers) and market research buyers (clients). For example, the ease of use and simplicity of a given market research approach ranked very high (at 90 percent) for market research buyers (clients), while market research providers were much less concerned with this factor (at 42 percent).
Moreover, in their choices of market research techniques as indicated by the GRIT findings, providers (suppliers) ranked the following considerations highly:
- Quality of data to be obtained.
- Overall familiarity with the approach, method, or technique.
- The main product deliverable.
- The traditional specialty of the market research provider firm.
- Client requests for the market research approach.
Do you want your data fast or good?
The primary tradeoff between categories of market research methods can be characterized as the tension between quality and speed. With regard to choices in market research approaches, the GRIT research solidly places market research providers (suppliers) and market research buyers (clients) in two opposing camps. At least 40 percent of the market research providers (suppliers) surveyed by GRIT claim that if they have to choose, market research clients will choose market research methods that are expected to provide speedy results over market research methods that are designed to provide positive results. The 46 percent of the market research clients surveyed by GRIT agree that this is true.
An interesting consensus has been reached between market research providers (suppliers) and market research buyers (clients) that the timelines that clients demand have become so short that market researchers cannot deliver on quality to the degree that they would like to and to the degree that they became accustomed to in earlier times. There is negligible disagreement in the GRIT report about this issue, with 56 percent of the market research buyers (clients) agreeing that this is a concern, and 55 percent of the market research providers identifying this as a substantive issue.
Even though there is agreement across the market about the speed versus quality problem, this primary driver of market research buyers (clients) choices of market research approaches and choices about market research provider firms as business partners. The GRIT analysis reports that 55 percent of the market research providers (suppliers) believe that quality of work has become less important than speed of deliverables – and 45 percent of the buyers of market research products and services concur.