Qriously: Real-Time Sentiment Analysis & Social Tracking
Sentiment analysis is important in a digital world, but what added value would it offer if brands were able to identify not only what people were thinking about, but also when they are thinking about it and where? Imagine a group of consumers gathered in New York City’s Times Square, all reacting to the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’s enormous billboard featuring Irina Shayk. What if those users were prompted to react immediately to the billboard via their mobile device whether they “liked it” or “hated it”?
That, in essence, is the goal of Qriously, a unique mobile application that will allow agencies, marketers and researchers to pose questions to users (instead of static advertisements) based on GPS and in a real-time setting. Today, the service officially launches with an announcement of funding from venture capital firm Accel Partners (who have also funded companies like Playfish, Groupon, Facebook and Etsy), joining existing backers Amalfi Capital and Pacific Tiger Group.
According to a recent article by Rachael King from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “automated sentiment analysis is an emerging field that overlaps with many others such as business intelligence, customer service, and brand reputation management, and the market has become increasingly difficult to measure. Many types of sentiment software use a technology known as text analytics, which extracts insight from text, such as in social media, news articles, or internal documents and databases. The market for text analytics alone may rise to $978 million in 2014 from $499 million in 2011, according to an October 2009 report by Forrester Research.”
The technology makes it possible for nearly anyone to analyze consumer feelings without having any inside knowledge of the company.
“Location is so important to sentiment analysis,” notes Christopher Kahler, the London-based CEO and co-founder. “If you’re an agency, you can ask users within a proximity of your CocaCola billboard if they’ve seen it and whether they like it or not. For brands, there is the ability here to change your messaging based on the geography of the user. And if you’re a small business, let’s say a bakery, you can ask people within 1,000 feet of your store whether they prefer bagels or baguettes.”
According to Kahler, the inherent goal of this service is to “democratize consumer insight” by making it available and affordable for most all brands. Rather than spending thousands on market research, focus groups and more, a simple “excuse me” to consumers as they explore a specific area to see what they’re thinking could revolutionize the way sentiment analysis is used. And the steady and continuous rise of smart phone technology means more users will be able to provide instant feedback. 2011 has affectionately been called “the year of mobile” by many industry analysts, and according to Gartner, the U.S. mobile advertising market is expected to grow at a 3-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of nearly 50%. By 2013, this sector should be approaching $2.5B in revenue.
“The idea for Qriously came about while I was wondering ‘why is everything free on the web and mobile monetized with static ads?” asks Kahler. “That’s when we realized that user’s voices have significant value and we fell in love with the idea of using that as a way to keep web and mobile services free. In many ways, it’s a big power reversal—instead of making someone buy something, we’re asking what they think ahead of time.”
So what do you think? Could real-time, location-based sentiment analysis be a game-changer? Please comment below.
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