Webtrends Offers Social Media Monitoring, Unlocks Customer Data

There's been a lot of talk about social networking. It's big, getting bigger and there's no telling what it will grow up to be.

As a result, Webtrends (news, site) wants to make sure we monitor our status against it. In addition, the company unlocks access to customer data through no-fee API access. Enter Webtrends Open Exchange

As it Happens Technology

By using a social media monitoring solution supported by Radian6, companies can listen, share, learn and engage their customers across the entire social web. And by "entire social web" Webtrends means all aspects of customer engagement -- what they look for, what they buy and what they say about it.

Because now more than ever marketing departments need to prove ROI, Webtrends Social Measurement included an "As-It-Happens" tool that alerts marketers about their workflow management capabilities. This tool is essentially helping companies help their customers to better collect, manage and respond to the conversations happening about their brand online.

From Twitter to Facebook to online advertising, companies need to track how their customers and prospective consumers react. By monitoring conversations, businesses can facilitate better dialogue and ultimately tweak their brand to meet consumer needs.

Unlocking Customer Data

Recognizing the customers' needs to access their information without cost, Open Exchange also offers API access with user-managed data collection and delivery capabilities. By putting their customers in full control of their managed data Webtrends is trying to give businesses more opportunity to leverage data and derive meaning from the numbers, instead of having to negotiate with a vendor to access the data.

In addition, customers can integrate digital data with offline data for enhanced views of prospects and customers, tag and track data more efficiently (thanks to their Tag Builder Project). Starting this summer, Webtrends plans to offer a formal Data Collection API

Following the Long Tail or Wagging the Dog?

All of this creates an interesting power struggle, however. By creating such a system, Webtrends may claim that they are empowering its customers to be more in control of their brand, but in essence it puts the consumer in the driver's seat.

Now that the enterprise can witness the direct response of their product among the "entire social web" and change their objectives accordingly, the marketers are wagging the dog.

That's probably not what they meant when they said follow the Long Tail.