Relative Insight, a UK-based company, has been working with brands and the marketing industry in order to encourage the use of brand language analysis to further marketing efforts. The CMO of Relative Insight, Rich Wilson, has been keenly involved in the project which looks at turning language into data in order to gauge better what marketing strategies would be most effective in any given campaign, depending on the target audience.
This type of language data retrieval for use in marketing is not a new phenomenon; it is what attracted a vast number of early consumers to the Microsoft brand and products. However, Relative Insight are looking to take research a step further.
The working theory is that by using this language analysis service, marketers will be able to review and compare how well their own advertising materials measure up against those of their closest competitors. An example of this in action, highlighted by Wilson, includes looking at how banks use brand language to appeal to customer needs. Virgin appears to use this type of strategy in a keen consumer-focused way, giving them an advantage over other companies whose marketing strategies are somewhat less focused on the thoughts, feelings, ambitions and needs of the consumer.
Using numerous sources of information, Relative Insight compares key language points. Examples of the information used might be a piece of advertising text for a product or service, and online forum or social media posts by the group at whom the product would be targeted. The analysis would enable marketers to identify appropriate language types used by different groups to tailor their campaigns more successfully.
One example highlighting the way in which this language analysis works well for marketing has been the comparison of two key parenting forums: Netmums and Mumsnet. Netmums’ members typically post and discuss topics involving family, children, budgets and the home, whereas the analysis of over a million words taken from each forum showed that Mumsnetters posted most frequently about visiting country homes, going on holidays, and enjoying activities such as garden wigwams, for example. Using this information and the language comparisons, marketers could easily identify what language and what marketing strategies would most likely be best received by either group.
Relative Insight’s language analysis tools have been created using information gleaned from a decade-long research project pioneered by Lancaster University. The research has mostly been focused on the language formats used by criminals in order to apply language data collected to support efforts by the police force.
One such application, which was spear-headed by the company in its early days, was to focus on and expose adults using online forums and social media, pretending to be minors in order to make contact and “groom” potential abuse victims. Relative Insight continues this all-important work; however, it has also branched out to use the marketing techniques across a number of sectors, including brand language analysis.