How much do people want to know their conversations are being monitored?


Here’s an interesting promotional video from Gatorade, which extols their ability to monitor social conversations, apparently using Radian6 and IBM technologies.

There are a number of basic messages in here, most obviously that anything you say about Gatorade will be heard and acted on, though also that your response to their promotions and campaigns will be monitored.

Anyone in marketing is keen on monitoring conversations. How keen are people to be aware that they are being monitored in everything that they say about brands?

Personally I expect brand references I make to be tracked so I reference brands accordingly, sometimes hoping for a response, though only occasionally getting one.

While people are generally aware that anything they do in an open space (and sometimes in closed spaces) is visible and being monitored, it is a different thing to shove it in their face, tell them that ‘we are listening’.

What do you think? Do people want to know that their conversations are being monitored?

Here is the text in the video:

How do you actively engage millions of athletes and influencers?

How do you monitor the pulse of the Gatorade brand?

Introducing Mission Control

Wherever people are Talking, Clicking, Typing about our brand

Mission Control is there to listen

To create a dialogue

Track analytics of campaigns

Track analytics of websites

and Social Media

Through these conversations we gather the insights

That influence

Our communications

Our product

Our brand

Setting the stage for digital leadership

  • Ross,
    One of the key considerations when looking at how social media monitoring services are used is that the information monitored is provided by people in a public forum, which is one of the reasons why they are using social media. The fact that companies are tapping into these public conversations reflects how the communications landscape has quickly evolved. At the same time, it’s another indication that companies are looking to have conversations with consumers as opposed to simply talking to them.
    cheers, Mark
    Mark Evans
    Director of Communications
    Sysomos INc.

  • trevow

    Ross, this is a very valid point that I believe reflects the quandary of reality tv. How real is reality tv? Participants in these shows are generally aware that they are being watched and listened to and, therefore, are likely to present their own version of ‘reality’.
    With social media, it depends on what companies want to hear in conversations. If they are happy to rely on only commentary made with the full intention of being heard by the brand, then there is unlikely to be an issue.
    However, if companies want to hear consumers’ real likes and dislikes within genuine conversations, I believe they’d be better served by sitting back, listening more and not reminding people that they are ‘before the cameras’.

  • Very interesting point Trewow.
    How differently will we behave when we have a constant feeling of being watched?
    It harks back to the Truman Show…

  • trevow

    …and it would serve no-one well if large numbers started saying “… good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”