Why social listening is vital for understanding local markets

James Lovell

Understanding local markets is challenging for marketers

Social listening is an integral tool for market research and advances in digital technology are driving cross-border marketing activities between countries around the world. This is great for consumers as they are given more choice when purchasing. But with more choice brings more challenges for the marketer. With these developments, the localisation of digital campaigns is now a necessity for brands looking to engage their audience and succeed in finding customers.


But this is easier said than done. Familiarity with the local market and culture combined with the need to know the language system itself is no easy challenge. Many languages have unique writing systems with different symbols and a completely different grammatical structure. Failing to overcome these lexicon challenges coupled with a cultural difference could lead to error. In order to eliminate such risks, it is key to apply a method of “transcreation” rather than simply translation. But if you have no knowledge of the chosen country then how are you supposed to know how to transcreate in the right way?


What is social listening?

Social media research, or social listening, allows you to tap into the billions of conversations occurring across social media every day, understanding exactly how people are engaging with topics, brands, keywords and content online. You can then categorise, filter and visualise this information in the following ways:

  • Subtopics – e.g. Across social media what topics do people care about when they talk about hair care?
  • Time-line – how does the conversation change week by week, month by month and year by year?
  • Time of day – when do people talk about different topics?
  • Channels Identification – which social media channels or domains is the conversation living on?
  • Audience understanding – does the conversation change by gender, age, interest, etc?
  • Media – which images are people more likely to share?
  • Locations – where is the conversation taking place and in which languages?
  • Brand Reputation – what did people think about the most recent campaign or brand?
  • Influencer Identification – which influencers match your chosen topic or brand?


Why is social listening vital for understanding local markets?

What’s so amazing for marketers is that social listening can be done in every country and language across the world. So if you are a marketer selling your product or service in a country where you have no knowledge of the language, grammar or culture then social listening can help you to find this out. Even more amazing is that it can be entirely customised for your chosen research area. This framework will save you from making mistakes when launching new campaigns and communications.

If you need help with social listening or marketing to a new market, we can help. Feel free to contact us to find out more.


James Lovell

UK (Managing) Director


Don’t hesitate
to get in touch.