June 17, 2008

Voice of the Customer/Market is indeed where the action is

I was at the Text Analytics Summit yesterday. After the sessions and theoretically* before the drinks, there was a group of subject- or industry-specific “roundtables.” The three best-attended roundtables by far — each with at least 20% of the total roundtable attendees — were on “Voice of the Market”, “Competitive Intelligence”, and “Sentiment Analysis”. (Yes, those are in practice pretty close to being the same thing.) Thus, over half of the show attendees who voted with their feet on a particular subject area of interest picked one in the customer/marketing area.

*In reality, the bar opened early, and I took a Sam Adams into the roundtable room.

Now, it’s possible this reflected a certain vendor bias. Most of the show’s attendees are either vendors or users whose attendance the vendors pay for, and many of the rest are prospects the vendors encourage to come. The show’s program is also heavily influenced by what the vendors think is important. Still, this is confirming evidence that the text mining industry’s center of gravity has shifted emphatically to the CRM area.


6 Responses to “Voice of the Customer/Market is indeed where the action is”

  1. Seth Grimes on June 18th, 2008 4:28 pm

    Curt, regarding summit attendance, don’t take the following as definitive, but it is correct as best I can make out or estimate:

    Out of 180 or so attendance, 110 were directly paid, maybe 50 were paid by established vendor (vendor reps or customers), 10 were analysts or press who got in free (including you), and 10 were others who got a free pass.

    So less than a third, by my estimate, were vendors or users whose attendance the vendors pay for.

    Of the 110 who paid, I believe there were several dozen folks from start-ups who were doing on-site competitive intelligence and prospecting. I’m glad I got to speak to many of them. I kept getting button-holed, which was fine by me.


    P.S. Although I’m conference chair, I’m not privy to the finances and don’t get a share of the profits or anything like that.

  2. Curt Monash on June 18th, 2008 6:47 pm


    Thanks for those figures!

    By “on-site” do you mean hosted/SaaS/out-sourced? It certainly was my sense that that was the big technology-user play at the conference, as opposed to Fortune 2000 types, who were not well-represented.

  3. Seth Grimes on June 19th, 2008 8:43 pm

    No, no. By “on site,” I meant “in person.” That is, they were doing their CI at the summit rather than only by reviewing Web sites etc.

  4. Curt Monash on June 19th, 2008 11:46 pm

    Ahh. So you’re saying there were lots of small vendors checking the other vendors out?


  5. Seth Grimes on June 20th, 2008 9:03 am

    Yes, but note that many of these start-ups are text analytics customers in that they’re looking for technologies they can license for inclusion in solutions they would create. I believe that’s how Clarabridge got started. Claraview is a services firm, since sold to Teradata, that licensed text analytics from Attensity (and maybe others?). Then the principals decided to create their own product, Clarabridge.

    So all these folks are users even if not end users.

  6. Are denial-of-insight attacks a threat to search logs and/or VOTC/VOTM apps? | Text Technologies on November 12th, 2008 3:57 am

    […] favorable automated comments about their own products or unfavorable about the competition’s, Voice of the Customer/Market applications will naturally be confused. And if automated reputation-checkers get more prominent, […]

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