Martech Challenges – Interview with Netbase

Martech Challenges – Interview with Netbase

July 29, 2019

At Saas Advisor, we aim to clarify the complex and constantly evolving MarTech market. That’s why we created the Martech Challenges. The Martech Challenge is a contest which compare the best Marketing Technologies under actual conditions of use. This competition will be judged by a panel of experts from global brands and agencies and the results are expected at the beginning of october. For more information about the Martech Challenges, click here
On this 1st Edition we address the Social Listening segment. We interviewed each software company participating in the contest. For Netbase, 
Paige R Leidig Chief Marketing Officer answered our questions.

Martech Challenges – Netbase: Company Background and Particularities

Can you tell us about your organisation?
NetBase is the next generation artificial intelligence powered social analytics platform that global companies use to run brands, build businesses, and connect with consumers every second. Its platform processes hundreds of millions of social media and other data sources daily for actionable business insights for marketing, research, customer service, sales, PR and product innovation.
NetBase is recognized by industry analysts and customers as the leader in Social Analytics. NetBase was ranked ted a category leader by Forrester in the “Forrester Wave: Enterprise Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018” report. NetBase was also named a top-rated social media management platform by software users on TrustRadius and a market leader by G2 Crowd.

What’s your role inside the Netbase Team?
I am the Chief Marketing Officer at NetBase. I lead a high-performing global team including corporate marketing, public relations, customer marketing, solutions marketing, partner marketing, digital marketing, demand generation, field marketing, marketing operations, and content marketing.

Can you tell us about the history of your company?
2004, NetBase was founded. Our original focus was document analysis, scientific research and in providing our solution through white label partnerships to other businesses. NetBase invested in developing a platform that delivered state of the art deep linguistics of unstructured data through its artificial intelligence technologies.
2011, NetBase introduced first generation social listening solution. The solution as focused on providing insights for marketing and public relations, with a heavy emphasis on market research, use case ideation and netnography. NetBase innovated rapidly in developing deep market insights through artificial intelligence while most other vendors focused on buzz and trends.
2012-2015, NetBase introduced and rapidly developed and brought to market its second-generation social listening platform. The artificial intelligence enabled platform extended support for multiple uses case and business units across the enterprise, delivered services to both brands and agencies and included extensive flexibility and configurability to support the growing needs and sophistication of companies large and small.

A summarized list of the innovation during this period

  • Richness of social media: text, emojis, media
  • NLP on attributes, emotions, behaviors, things
  • Lexical analysis on terms, hashtags, emojis, brands, people, things, products
  • Global language coverage (40+ languages)
  • Geo at all levels (geo fencing, global map hierarchy, DMA)
  • Converged media (owned, partnered, earned)
  • Custom presentation and pre-built best practice templates
  • Push reporting (i.e., PDF) and live reports (real-time, interactive HTML)
  • Social web best of breed: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram YouTube, Tumblr, Blogs, Forums, Commenting, News
  • Messages (posts, comments, replies)
  • Authors, influencers
  • Normalized engagement metrics across likes, shares, comments (owned channels and earned)
  • Alerting (any metric, any mention, dynamic patterns)
  • Channel analyses
  • Demographics
  • Audiences (tailored (psychographic), followers, custom lists)
  • Command center use-cases and large screen visuals
  • Manual annotation (ad hoc and bulk edit by patterns)
  • API and integration
  • Mixed media model support (complex metrics)


2016-2017, NetBase extended its platform into broad customer listening, voice of the customer, with its third generation. This innovation enabled the support and deep analysis of any source of data including social, surveys, focus groups, CRM data, chat logs, support forums and more. As result NetBase has been able to provide customer experience data-driven insights into CX programs, leading to highly measurable improvements in purchase rates, recommendations, and loyalty across the customer base. As well as delivering even greater alignment and sharper insights for our customer CX stakeholders including Marketing, Sales, Customer Care, Operations, and Product Development.
2018, NetBase continued its innovation with investment in industry specific voice of the customer use cases including restaurants, consumer products, and retail and increased its depth and sophistication of its artificial intelligence.
2019, NetBase launched its next generation artificial intelligence solution with AI Studio offering the most accurate understanding of conversations, with the ability to precisely understand sentiment driven insights including emotions, behaviors, attributes, hashtags, people, brands and trending products or “things”. This next generation artificial intelligence assisted analytics are driven by three core technologies: Expert Systems, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, that power classification, discovery and learning within our platform.

What is your positioning? What business problems do you solve with your tool?
NetBase delivers fast, accurate and deep consumer insights that inform every aspect of a business, empowering a data driven, customer-first organization. Powered by next generation artificial intelligence NetBase aggregates all types of social media data as well as all other sources of data including surveys, star ratings, net promoter scores, customer service comments and much more to deliver a holistic understanding of your business. Accurate, fast data driven insights are the key to customer retention, increased sales, competitive differentiation and campaigns that connect and deliver maximum impact with your consumers.

Netbase: Features and product roadmap

Can you tell us about your different products and services?
NetBase empowers users of all sophistication levels and use cases with our product suite. NetBase offers the broadest suite of tools in the industry, sophisticated analytics for all experience levels, integration options for maximum flexibility, and unlimited scalability for businesses of all sizes.
NetBase Enterprise: NetBase delivers the ability to build topics, analyze and plug into dashboards while adding your own proprietary data for analysis. NetBase also offers audience creation and analysis for a better understanding of demographics and psychographics to inform messaging, media buys and ad placements.
NetBase Pro: Search bar simplicity for social insights—NetBase Pro runs in companion mode with NetBase Enterprise and gives users the ability to quickly search any topic with no configuration needed. Pro logins are great to give access to other departments and users that need quick social insights. Live Pulses: Live Pulses, a trending in real-time dashboard, can be configured with social insights and data inputs such as Google analytics to build a command center.
Live Reports: Live Reports are dynamic, interactive real-time reports that can be shared via a password protected link. Great for sharing real-time insights with executive stakeholder than need real-time data for agile decision-making.
Voice of the Customer: (VOC) NetBase clients can also upload their own data to be analyzed by our tool with filters for analyzing data such as surveys, star reviews and more.
Integrations: NetBase has direct integrations with other best in breed platforms who are also industry leaders in their space, such as Hootsuite, Khoros (Spredfast/Lithium) and Domo for an integrated workflow.
API: NetBase’s API can be used to input our data into your own interface or visualization tools.

Which are Netbase main functionalities’?
NetBase delivers the following main functionalities:

  • Next Generation AI Technology – The industry’s most sophisticated Artificial Intelligence built on expert systems, deep learning and machine learning to deliver insights in real-time.
  • Sentiment Analysis – The most accurate, nuanced understanding of language with the ability to dig into sentiment driven insights such as behaviors, emotions, and attributes to quickly spot emerging themes and insights.
  • Single Source of Truth – Eliminate data silos by ingesting and analyzing all types of data including surveys, reviews or customer care logs for a holistic understanding of your brand.
  • Solutions for Every Experience Level – Empower data-driven decision making by enabling insights across the organization. Integrated suite of analytics and reporting solutions is designed to support users of all levels of experience.
  • Most Comprehensive Data – Access to every Tweet as well as 51 months of history across 300+ million social data sources to better understand brand, industry and competitive trends.
  • Transparent and Auditable Results – Make decisions with confidence. All results and analyses are fully transparent and auditable, giving you trust in the data for your most strategic initiatives.
  • Powerful Reporting – Comprehensive library of industry and use case dashboards are easily customized and branded. Flexible and real-time delivery options keep stake holders informed.


What is your killer feature?
NetBase is built on next generation artificial intelligence (AI) that is transparent and verifiable by the end user. NetBase uses the guiding principles of accuracy, control, transparency and speed to empower its AI. It is built on 3 core technologies: Expert Systems, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Expert Systems, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning drive classification, discovery and learning within the NetBase Platform, fueling insights out the box with the ability to dig deep, fine tune, discover and learn.

What are your onboarding processes? How do you measure the onboarding success? Can you tell us about your success stories?
Our Account Managers, Customer Success team, and comprehensive NetBase-360 learning portal get customers on-boarded and successful from day one. Our on-boarding success leads the market in customer success and customer renewals.
NetBase have over 180+ success stories on its website – organized by industry and use case. Since 2017 we have added 50 new customer success stories to our website every year. See link.

How do you support your customers?
NetBase supports it customers through a knowledgeable account management, customer success, professional teams.
NetBase customers are supported by a team of dedicated global customer success team located across the globe in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia. The support is provided in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.
Our dedicated Account Managers may support 30-50 accounts, while Senior Account Managers assigned to our largest strategic global, multi-national accounts may support 10-20 accounts depending on the nature of the accounts needs. Through regularly scheduled strategy calls, the NetBase Account Management team reviews each customer’s business objectives, monitors and tracks progress towards those business goals, and recommends additional resources as needed to ensure program success and value of the NetBase solution. Customer success is measured by the number of active users, # of monitored topics, as well as a diversity of user cases distributed across functional units within the organization.

How do you help your clients about their data exploitation?
NetBase has a very experienced global professional services team that delivers business organization services including consulting services and strategy workshops, implementation and reporting services including:

  • Analyst coverage for Enterprise & Strategic accounts
  • Reporting coverage for in-depth, multi day analysis
  • Analyst coverage for minor to major onboarding initiatives
  • Analyst coverage for ad hoc analysis requests
  • Strategic advice for large scale implementations (including VoC)


Can you tell us about your roadmap? What will your next features be?
NetBase continues to innovate rapidly in the following focus areas:

  • Social Web – Ongoing commitment to best of breed social listening – focus on increasing usecases covered for more business functions – i.e., solve more business problems and enable listening in two modes as a tool supporting advanced analytics for power users serving themselves and their stakeholders and a platform for hub-and-spoke global deployment
  • Ease of Use and Extension to the Organization – Our continued extension of functionality to non-analyst users in two modes with easy self-service for quick searches and intuitive analyses and companion mode where NetBase Pro users work in conjunction with social web power users who set up analysis for them, with ‘guard rails’ established by the power user to narrow focus where necessary
  • Voice of the Customer – Our broadening from Social Listening to Customer Listening, including varied sources data including custom surveys, with scores and verbatims, NPS, star ratings & reviews across industries, customer care data, engagement & publishing private messages, employee surveys, HR chatter, market research, and internal systems – with the ability analyze scores and business data along with text.
  • Platform – Rapid innovation of next generation artificial intelligence technology and its integration on a single unified platform.

How do you integrate new feature inside your tool? Every weeks, every months, quarters? How do you integrate customer feedback into your features?
NetBase’s AGILE development process enables us to release new product updates every 3 weeks and in 2018 we delivered over 200+ new features NetBase loves its customers and takes their feedback and use cases very seriously, so much so that 80% of our product roadmap is driven by customer input.

For the Martech Challenges, can you precisely describe your versioning policy? How do you inform your clients?
NetBase’s AGILE development process enables us to release new product updates every 3 weeks. We inform our customers through email, login and our product help system about each new release.

For the Martech Challenges, can you precisely describe your back data offer? What are the real opportunities?
NetBase enables access to every Tweet as well as 51 months of history across 300+ million social data sources to better understand brand, industry and competitive trends. As a result, customers have a myriad of ways to understand and research the areas that are most important to them.

Martech Challenges – Netbase: Data and Vision of the future of Social Listening

Following the shutting down of the Instagram API, how to reassure your customers about the collect and the exploitation of the data from social medias?
NetBase provided a detailed documentation, education webinars, and account management support to reassure customers about the collection and exploitation of data.

For the Martech Challenges, what is your vision about the customer voice?
NetBase believes the power of the customer voice will continue to grow. As a result, NetBase continues to innovate its solutions rapidly to deliver best of breed social media analytics, extend access and information to all parts of a customer’s organization including: Marketing, Sales, Customer Care, Operations, and Product Development, deliver on industry focused voice of the customers solutions and ensure that our next generation artificial intelligence technology drives ever more insight.

With which other tools can NetBase be plugged? Can you tell us about your API management policy?
NetBase can integrate virtually with any other tool through our insights API. Out of the box integrations include – Khoros, Hootsuite, and Domo.

The NetBase Insight API enables your application to:

  • Search the NetBase index, which contains hundreds of billions of insight-rich sound bites (sentences), based on the focus of your analysis.
  • Retrieve data to use as input for visualizations in your websites and applications. The Insight API returns metric values, sentiment classifications, emotions, behaviors, and attributes for objects, named entities, and more. The Insight API accesses the NetBase index in the same way that NetBase applications do—by making calls. You submit method calls that reference topics and themes created in the NetBase application, along with required and optional filters, which can narrow results by source, date/time range, domains of origin, author, or other criteria.


The Insight API returns JSON that contains one of the following, depending on the method you call: All documents or sentences that match the topic.

  • The number of matching sound bites.
  • The number of matching sound bites containing sentiment (not all sound bites contain sentiment). You can request the number of sound bites containing a sentiment type, such as the number of likes/dislikes or emotions associated with a topic.
  • Metric values, such as net sentiment or passion intensity. Authentication Insight API supports three authentication methods for requests.
  • Basic Authentication (user name and password), appropriate for developers making API calls with no third party involved.
  • OAuth 2.0 Three-Way Handshake, appropriate for third-party application developers who need various NetBase users to grant your app access to their NetBase topics and themes.
  • User-Issued Access Tokens, appropriate for NetBase users who want to grant API access to a third party to access your NetBase topics and themes. How Insight API Output Differs from the NetBase Application: Note the following differences between the data you can retrieve using the Insight API versus the NetBase application:


The Insight API can retrieve a much richer data set than the NetBase application. The API returns every object found in sentences, indicates the type of emotion and behavior associated with each object, and identifies which of objects apply to topic keywords.

  • Tweets returned by the Insight API do not include post text or author details. Excel exports from the NetBase application include Tweet text and author details; however, Twitter’s Developer Policy prohibits NetBase and other social analytics vendors from exposing Tweet text and author details through their APIs. Insight API developers with use cases that require the analysis of Tweet text and author details can obtain Tweet IDs using the Insight API’s sentence and document retrieval methods and pass them back to Twitter to retrieve and “rehydrate” the omitted data.


For the Martech Challenges, what is your vision about visual listening?
NetBase believes the importance of visual listening will continue to grow in importance and as result NetBase is rapidly innovating with the expansion of its pre-trained logo library to include 2000+ logos of global brand across CPG, Luxury, Retail, Food and Bev, Travel and Hospitality, Media and Entertainment, Sport, Financial Services and Technology. This is the largest library of pre-trained logos in the social listening market today. This enables NetBase customers the ability to use out of the box logo recognition, eliminating both time and cost associated with training logos that other social listening platforms require.

  • NetBase delivers the highest precision logo recognition that detects partial, hidden, rotated, and even modified logos to measure brand awareness, drive content ideation, track sponsorship impact.
  • NetBase enables user users the flexibility to adjust the precision of our logo recognition to return images that aren’t an exact match, which is good for identifying trademark infringement and modified or defaced brand logos on social media. Other systems are less flexible and will deliver fewer logo matches which makes finding logo infringement much more difficult if not impossible in other platforms.
  • NetBase photo concepts analyze and provide rich context into all images including logos, objects, memes, scenes, faces, and emotions and adds greater depth and context to your keyword and audience analysis with image insights altogether.
  • NetBase uses 100% in-house developed Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence with Deep Learning to provide the most accurate and deep image analytics.


For the Martech Challenges, what is your vision about review ratings?
NetBase believes the importance of review ratings will continue to grow in importance and as result NetBase is rapidly innovating and extending it support for all sources of unstructured data as well as investment in end to end industry vertical solutions including retail, consumer products, restaurants and electronics to enable uses cases including location insights, product insights and quality assurance.

For the Martech Challenges, what is your vision about stories and ephemeral web?
NetBase believes the importance of stories and ephemeral web will continue to grow in importance and as result NetBase is rapidly innovating and extending its support for.

How often are your software used through data consulting companies (from Accenture to 55, Sutter mills and co…)?
NetBase is consistently used by large and small data consulting companies to support the business needs of their customers.

How did you integrate the new legislation related to GDPR? How do you manage the privacy protection?
NetBase conducts business throughout the world and we may process your information somewhere in the world other than where you entered the information (“Original Country”). NetBase may send your information to countries other than the Original Country solely as permitted in this Privacy Policy. Other countries may have different data protection laws than the Original Country and you expressly agree to such processing and transfer. With regard to transfers governed by GDPR, NetBase complies with regard to such transfers as further set forth in our GDPR Statement.

Besides winning the Martech Challenges 😉 Which are your objectives for 2019/2020?
NetBase objectives for 2019/2020 is to continue to lead the market in innovative social media analytics and voice of the customer solutions enabled through next generation artificial intelligence.

For the Martech Challenges, How do you see your market’s future?
NetBase believes the future is bright. NetBase continues to innovate rapidly to meet the needs of the growing market and customers and deliver on its best of breed leadership.

Thank you Paige for answering our questions for the Martech Challenges. 


Jonathan Charbit

Jonathan Charbit
Fondateur de Saas-Advisor

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