Introducing Social Intelligence – where AI meets Qualitative Research

Written by

The Hook Team

Published on

October 25, 2017
Time to read: 4 minutes

At Hook Research we’ve been working with data science company Signify to produce Social Intelligence – an exciting new process that is sure to change the way you think about consumer research…

Social Intelligence – overcoming the limits of social listening

The best research and strategy is grounded in meticulous and open-minded analysis, using diverse techniques and taking into account a range of voices and opinions.

Social Listening is a wonderful tool in this regard – giving researchers access to a panoply of individuals, and their commentary on the brands, products, and content that they love. When done well, social listening gives us access to a massive amount of data that can illuminate resonant themes and associations in a rapid and cost-effective manner.

Yet there are innate limitations to an approach that works with social media (or, indeed, any online data) in isolation.

As any researcher with experience in social listening/harvesting will tell you, the accuracy of online data can be questionable: demographics are self-determined by the users who, let’s admit it, might not always be telling the truth; age-limits on platforms mean that *officially* younger consumers can’t use the platforms (though our own research into young people has shown this is certainly untrue); and there can be a disconnect between the way people talk about a subject online, and how they act in their real lives.

Hook’s partnership with Signify allows research to overcome the limitations of the medium, while still utilizing the immense power and scope of online commentary through a process we call ‘Social Intelligence’ – combining the power of Artificial Intelligence with the nuance of Qualitative Research to produce game-changing insights.

First, AI interrogates massive datasets to amplify the scope of any research project and highlight topics that get audiences excited. We couple this with qualitative research which not only verifies the discoveries unearthed by the AI, but also adds empathy, intuition and deep understanding of context to each piece of work. As a result, our Social Intelligence process allows us to unlock the internet for our clients, while ensuring that each insight we uncover is grounded in real-world actions and behaviours.

Social Intelligence - Hook ResearchBringing together experts in qualitative research & artificial intelligence

Our Social Intelligence process works because it combines two sets of expertise to create a powerful holistic product.

Signify is comprised of skilled data scientists, mathematicians and analysts who write bespoke scripts to gather information from the most relevant public data sets online. The results are powered up by applied AI, showcasing the volume of posts around a topic and the intensity of feeling – the ‘Passion’ – that users exhibit in their commentary. Adding to this, Signify can also map out audience networks – shedding light on the relationships between the consumers at the heart of your brand and how they interconnect.

Passion Index - Social Intelligence

This impressive tech expertise is powered up by our own extensive experience in research: from the BBC and Channel 4, to the Guardian and Just Eat – Hook’s senior team has over 50 years experience advising the world’s biggest brands on the development of award-winning content and services.

To do this, we deploy a powerful mixture of refined qualitative techniques and innovative tech solutions to deliver authentic, actionable insights. Our unique 4D Methodology enables us to produce debriefs that offer both a comprehensive and nuanced examination of our clients’ research queries, while our Talking Human ethos helps ensure that each insight is grounded in real consumer behavior.

A dual track process keeps Social Intelligence agile and responsive

Signify and Hook have combined to offer a dual track methodology that weaves together the scope of AI and the nuance and granularity of qualitative research. This layered approach to insight is one of the reasons that we feel confident in the accuracy of our predictions (in areas where other more lauded commentators have predicted wrongly). You can see an example of the Social Intelligence workflow in action below:

Social Intelligence Workflow - Hook ResearchFrom brand strategy to programme research, our team has already used Social Intelligence on a number of successful multi-market projects for media and tech clients around the world. If you’re ready to take your research to the next level, get in touch. We’d love to have a chat about how our Social Intelligence methodology could power up your next piece of research – if you’d like to learn more, please get in touch and let us take you out for a coffee and a conversation!


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