How much do people hate you? Would you know?
Let’s face it, in today’s globalized business environment the multitude of factors that need to be monitored, measured, managed, and calculated for ongoing success seems to be endless. Successful companies and sustainable operations are evolving, moving beyond the usual set of financial and operational metrics to embrace a new form of data—that associated with the measurement of public sentiment.
However, before delving too deep into sentiment data, we must first look at the reasoning behind why a company would create an environment to measure something as complex as public sentiment. The answer is shockingly simple: in a highly connected age where information is instantly transmitted globally through a variety of social platforms, companies are forced to live and die by how their brands are perceived. Therefore, proactively managing brand perception becomes absolutely paramount—critical to overall success. But it also goes far deeper.
This new world of constant connectivity leads us to insight into public sentiment: what it is, how it forms and changes over time, and how it can be effectively measured and managed. However, many companies see the elements associated with sentiment as something that either can’t be measured, or difficult to capture. And to be honest, they’re not entirely wrong as sentiment tracking can be highly complex … to put it mildly.
But all complexity aside, the need to know how people feel about an operation is critical. After all, in real-world terms what begins with awareness turns to knowledge, which in turn creates attitudes and opinions. Ultimately, these factors can and will shape behavior—good or bad. In essence, the perceptions people have of you determine the actions they’ll take—perceptions that will either empower or hinder your company’s success.
So what’s the solution? It comes down to implementing the right data collection and analysis platform—one that provides information essential to decision-making, risk management, and long-term planning around sustainable operations.
Such a platform creates a type of social license index, a representation of how likely communities are to support or oppose what a company is doing in a particular region. Imagine being able to measure how an operation is perceived by local communities to better understand how those communities will behave.
The ability to capture what communities think, how they feel, and what they are likely to do as a result can propel a company to success, all while avoiding the significant costs of conflict, delayed production, and other related challenges.
In our increasingly transparent and overly connected world, community reaction can and will happen quickly, making such data more important than ever before. Therefore, it’s not about knowing whether or not people hate your company now—it’s more about managing actions to ensure they never get a chance to hate you in the first place.