Blab Upgrades Its Predictive Social Intelligence Platform

RealTime Daily

Blab, a Seattle-based analytics startup, announced an upgrade to its predictive social intelligence platform Monday: econometric modeling (get a quick definition here).

The upgraded service starts with data intersected with specified Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) advertising categories. Then, the platform analyzes conversations as they occur, delivering a “strategic playbook” so brands can come up with content around predicted drivers or keywords. And it all happens in real time.

Scott Saunders, VP-sales and business development, Blab, said there are two pieces to the business: the real-time media play (programmatic) and behavioral economics (understanding the drivers around a brand and category). The platform, which Saunders called a “custom strategic play deployed on specific client requirements,” has been in pilot mode for a while. Now, it’s going to market.

We followed up with a Q&A (condensed and edited):

Real-Time Daily: What gave you the idea for this product?

Last year, we were meeting with Pam Cohen (a behavioral economist and social psychologist). We approached her about a partnership… We went out and hit the road. We got feedback about what’s been going on in the marketplace and the challenges brands are having. When we talked to PR/Comms, strategy, creative or any of those folks, it was clear they were lacking a measurement tool.

The timeframe of traditional planning wasn’t responsive enough. It took too long. By the time you got the results, it was outdated.

RTD: What type of data do you use?

 Quantitative and qualitative. It could be social, attitudinal (from a survey or focus group), website or from the customer journey that drives people to a website… If they already have survey data or focus group data, we could combine it [with ours]. The more robust model is what we typically see.

RTD: Where do you start with a client?

 The first thing we ask a client is, what do you want to measure? Using a quick-serve restaurant as an example, the new CEO might be saying, ‘I have menu challenges;’ ‘Am I paying employees enough;’ or ‘Are we environmentally sustainable?’…We collect social and attitudinal data and ask, what are the drivers that link to what the client wants to measure (in this case, revenue)… After we identify drivers, we look at, for each driver, what is upside opportunity and what is downside risk. With that, we basically give the marketer a successful data-driven approach to identify the outcome they want to measure.

RTD: What has the feedback been like for the update?

Phenomenal. In the past, an agency takes money from a client, and a marketer or SVP says, ‘I’m held accountable for success, yet my team is using an old approach. I know half my spend isn’t working but I don’t know which half.’ We help them dial that in. We literally give them a road map and measure how performance is ongoing.