These Are the Marketing Experts Who Made the Pollsters Look Stupid

Who made the big pollsters look stupid on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election? Check out what I learned about the marketing experts who predicted the outcome of both Brexit and the recent, incredibly contentious, U.S. Presidential election.

No matter who you wanted to win Brexit or the U.S. election, the evidence is clear; both elections were contentious. And very few of us trust big media or the pollsters who pretend to call the shots.

How wrong were the big pollsters when it came to predicting the outcome of this year’s election? “Humiliatingly wrong,” according to this article in the Daily Wire. Early on election day Real Clear Politics’ reported a national poll with Clinton holding a 3.3% national lead over Trump. Yet Clinton suffered a “humiliating” electoral college loss of 232 to 306. (Not my words, of course. This is not about politics, please!)

Who got it right?

One company got it right. And they’re located far away from the chaos of the U.S. election. This team of people took a unique, algorithmic approach to predicting the outcome of the election. And they made the big pollsters look stupid. The name of the company is BrandsEye.

When I read about this company the day after the election, the marketing expert in me had to learn more. So I quickly found their website, made an inquiry, got a reply, scheduled a meeting and watched a demo.

What I discovered is BrandsEye created and sells a marketing solution that provides “accurate, sentiment-driven media analytics.”

Great. So what the heck does this mean? And how could you use what the marketing experts at BrandsEye know?

I met earlier this week with Jamie Louw, director of business development for BrandsEye. BrandsEye is headquartered in Capetown, South Africa, with additional offices located in Dubai and Johannesburg. They have employees located throughout the world, as I’ll explain more about next.

Via the magic of Skype, Jamie provided a brief history of the company, and what makes it different. Its unique approach is going to make it one of the more famous marketing experts on the planet. Then we dove into a demonstration of the software. I could see for myself why the BrandsEye solution is such a powerful predictor.

Even better, I instantly recognized how it could help our customers get what they want: better sales and marketing results.

Here’s How It Works

The BrandsEye software is a natural learning algorithm developed by the brain trust of the company. These guys have figured out a way to use their amazing tool to “listen” to the entire online world. They have figured out how to analyze internet conversations so they can truly know what people think about virtually any topic.

When I connected with Jamie and got my first look, my impression is that these guys are real professionals. They mean business and they deliver a marketing solution like I’ve never seen before. Jamie had my full attention and was exceptional at listening to my questions and helping me understand the power of their solution. I don’t need to win any elections soon. But we’re always on the lookout for breakthrough technologies and solutions to help our customers grow.

The BrandsEye algorithm scours 18 million or more sources for data. Picture their systems scanning the Internet 24/7/365 … “listening” and “watching” to everything that human beings are saying, writing and posting online.

As you see in the image below, they “hunt” mentions that get distributed to a local “crowd.” The algorithm does it’s magic at the same time smart people do theirs. Finally, you, the marketing expert or customer, get to “see” the information you can use to make more informed decisions about your brand, people, sales and marketing.

No wonder they can predict elections.


Who Uses This Software And What Do They See?

The primary customers for BrandsEye include massive, global brands, middle market companies with dedicated marketing teams, marketing agencies, consultants and other marketing expert firms, (like ours.) I don’t see this as software just anybody could use. Plus, it’s a price point starting out at middle market. (Ask Jamie about pricing. I am respectful of their request to not share their pricing with you until we have established a partnership of any sort. A partnership is our next goal.)

At first glance of the demo, BrandsEye offers a clean user interface that presents a powerful dashboard for the customer to see. The dashboard and various reporting views aggregate the most useful data for marketing professionals to see. This then gets packaged and sent up the food chain, most often the C Suite.

For privacy reasons, no real data was revealed to me during the demo. This is normal, so expect the same if you request to see this software yourself. If your experience is like mine, you’ll get a quick, friendly reply from the company. They are eager to show you how they do what they do, without giving the secret sauce away. They have no qualms about their pricing model and it seems extremely affordable for any company with the people and other resources to really use it well.

My opinion is this software is to be used by serious marketing professionals; not small business owners and wing nut part timers who are out for a quick-fix ninja-internet marketing gimmick. This is for people who are true marketing experts because there’s a massive amount of data available. The key is to make the data make sense to the executives running the company. And the key to this is learning how to set up and manage the software every day of the year. Imagine the power in this.

What’s The Secret Sauce?

Jamie explained their software is built on a natural learning algorithm. It’s basically a form of artificial intelligence mining massive amounts of data. Artificial intelligence is a booming, emerging field of computer scientists programming machines to be “flexible, rational agents.” Wow. That’s big!

The BrandsEye software and humans work together to measure “sentiment” and “topic.” The software is setup for your brand and target market. The process for setting up the software seems straightforward, although again, only for true marketing experts who will invest a lot of time to manage and optimize it daily. I suspect really sharp, internal marketing teams are getting the most out of this software. Agency people and consultants who take a “data-driven” approach to marketing strategy will definitely appreciate the power of the BrandsEye solution. So will the people in the boardroom, assuming they “get it.”

Once the software is setup for your brand’s specifications and target market, it scours the Internet gathering data about what people are writing, saying and posting online. The algorithm filters this data. Then it’s sourced to human beings known as “Crowd Members.” These are the people who see what the software sees and who interpret every piece of content for “relevance” and “sentiment.” Impressive, indeed.

After crowd members add their touch, “Crowd Ranglers” do their magic. This is another layer of highly intelligent human beings located all around the world. They speak virtually every language and are embedded within every culture on Earth. It’s a giant network of smart analysts and even smarter analysts. These are people with real life experience and knowledge. (I envision walls likely layered with advanced university degrees, patents, and liberal arts doctorates.)

Together, they watch, listen and help interpret billions of bits of data. Then they serve it up for the marketing experts who must prepare this into simple reports that give the C Suite execs what they want; information they can use to make effective business, sales, marketing, human capital and technology investments; not data.

The BrandsEye team offers an extremely powerful layer of human intelligence that has yet to be replicated by software. This may be the case for many years to come. The marketing experts at BrandsEye have a very unique and compelling competitive advantage over other marketing experts, agencies and consultants. Almost no one else has the same level of insight yet.

It’s one thing to use software. It’s another to empower humans to understand what this massive amount of data actually means. Especially since these are the people paying for the solution – and signing the paychecks – in the first place.

Making Sense of It All

My first impression of BrandsEye is encouraging for me as a business owner, contract chief marketing officer and consultant. My work and reputation is most often pegged to your bottom line.

The last layer of complexity lies in what Jamie described to me as “topic discovery.” This is where an additional layer of research is added to the mix, where the true marketing insights are found. This is where they can deliver massive value for the executives making marketing and business development investments.

In the end, the BrandsEye marketing experts who are located all over the world work as a very-well integrated team. What I’ve seen so far boggles the mind. First, these guys crushed the big pollsters and made them look stupid. I know this sounds harsh, but I don’t feel so bad writing it because these big firms charge a lot of money to their clients. Pollsters and the mainstream media influence opinions, human emotions and finally, desired behaviors. They influence how nations, states, cities and towns get governed.  Tough for them. They got their butts handed to them by BrandsEye. Survival of the fittest.

The media has not made many friends lately. It’s the alt media that is taking the world by storm online. What most of us see is big media pumping nonsense at us. We don’t believe it any more. Same with politicians. We just witnessed something of a middle class revolution by virtue of the Brexit and U.S. Presidential election outcomes. These elections reveal the power, voice and reach of humans who know how to use social media, blogs, and videos found on YouTube.

Can computers know what all this data online means? Yes.

Google knows I’m gunning for the keywords “marketing expert” in this post. But Google’s algorithm knows only as much as it’s program to find, gather, crunch and know. (I am transparent about this because we teach it as part of what we do as marketing experts ourselves.)

And I’m telling you this because human beings – like the people at BrandsEye and their growing list of customers and partners – make all the difference in the world. These guys are closing the gap between what computers can collect for data and what business owners, marketing consultants, CEO’s, marketing, sales and customer service executives can know and learn.

This is about learning and adapting ahead of your competition.

Knowing is one thing when it comes to being successful. Learning is another. Because we think we know – but we don’t know what we don’t know. And this means there’s a gap.

This gap of knowing can be filled with opinion and ego. Or it can be filled with data that is collected by software, then interpreted by very intelligent, diverse people located through the world. The software listens, the human beings watch and interpret, and the insights are passed along to the people who ultimately write the checks. Because it is precisely those people whose butts are tied to the bottom line. They want sales and business results that count.

Want to know more about BrandsEye and other intelligent sales and marketing solutions that can help you and your people get better sales and marketing results?

Reach out and contact us here for a free, ROI strategy session and preview of our action planning system.

And we always appreciate your questions, comments and suggestions here on the CME blog.

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