Martech Challenges

Martech Challenges – Interview with Talkwalker

At Saas Advisor, we aim to clarify the complex and constantly evolving MarTech market. That’s why we created the Martech Challenges. The Martech Challenges are a contest in order to compare the best Marketing Technologies based on real briefs and under actual conditions of use. This competition will be judged by a panel of experts from global brands and agencies. 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 publisher participating in the contest. For Talkwalker, Charlotte Clemens Managing Director France and Pierre Detry VP Product answered our questions.

Martech Challenges – Talkwalker background and particularities


Can you tell us about your organisation?

Talkwalker is a social listening and analytics company that empowers global brands and agencies to optimize the impact of their digital communication. With over 2,000 global clients including Barneys New York, BASF, Merck & Duracell, and agencies such as Olgivy, Publicis & Peppercomm. Additionally, we’ve been recognized by both Gartner and Forrester.

Can you tell us about the history of your company?
We were founded in 2009, by Christophe Folshette and Thibaut Britz, who recognized the importance of data in the business world. They began by providing raw news and blog data through APIs, before realizing that marketers and PR professionals needed easier and faster access to not only data, but actionable insights from analytics. This instigated the birth of the Talkwalker platform, that evolved into the Talkwalker products that we know today.

What is your positioning? What business problems do you solve with your tool?
At Talkwalker, we really want to help customers solve challenges based on our proven methodologies. We are a listening and analytics company that empowers over 2,000 brands and agencies to optimize the impact of their communication.
We provide companies with an easy-to-use platform, powered by AI,  to protect, measure and promote their brands worldwide across all communication channels (tracking text, images and videos across 150 million websites, blogs, forums, and over 20 plus social networks).
By leveraging the most complete data through customizable analytics, customers can extract insights that are impactful for their business across three main categories: brand protection, brand measurement, and brand promotion.

Martech Challenges – Talkwalker Features and product roadmap

Can you tell us about your different products and services? Which are Talkwalker’s main functionalities? (Editor Part)
We offer a suite of solutions, with cutting-edge technology, that help our clients protect, measure and promote their brands worldwide, across all channels. These include:

  • Talkwalker Analytics – The number 1 social listening and analytics platform, that gives users a deep overall view of their brand’s social positioning, revealing actionable insights. Recognized as a strong performer by Forrester in its Forrester WaveTM Report: Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018. Up against a 40-strong criteria and the 10 leading social listening tools in the world, we received the highest score in current offering, data quality, reporting and customer growth.
  • Quick Search – An easy to use platform that anyone can use instantly to view brand analytics from the last 13 months.
  • Talkwalker Alerts – An alert service that follows your digital footprint across the Internet and Twitter.
  • Free Social Search – A free example of Quick Search, providing trend and brand insights for the last 7 days.

What is your killer feature?
Our AI Engine. It’s based on entirely proprietary technology, meaning there is nothing else like it on the market. It powers –

  • Video and image recognition. To detecting visual brand mentions (and the scenes they’re in) in images and videos, to provide insights into how people engage with your brand. We analyze over 150 million images and videos everyday, to detects 300% more brand mentions than text monitoring alone.
  • Sentiment Analysis. That detects the emotions behind mentions, including the nuances of sarcasm and irony, to identify whether a brand mention is positive or negative. Helping brands understand their consumer positioning.
  • Custom Models. Giving clients the ability to engage AI for faster, more accurate brand insights by creating custom category analysis based on machine learning

What are your onboarding processes? (Services part)
We offer customized onboarding and training services by our Customer Success team. These onboarding and training services are offered in 15+ languages by our highly-skilled team members, either by web demos or onsite. Our onboarding program typically ranges from 2-3 months, although that can vary, as it’s entirely dependent on the client’s needs.
It’s split into 3 sections:

  • Information gathering. Where the main users work with the CSM to define the project scope and determine objectives and deliverables.
  • Design & test phase. The CSM pre-configures a dashboard based on the defined requirements. It will be determined if the reports, alerts, newsletters, dashboards, media types etc. are in line with expectations.
  • Training.The CSM trains users to enable them to utilize the platform through setting up queries, creating reports, sending out newsletters, understanding reports and dashboards etc.
  • Review and further training. There will be a final review of the initial implementation efforts, and the CSM will schedule ongoing workshops and support.

How do you measure the onboarding success?
Talkwalker looks at several different points of criteria to assess a successful on-boarding including project audit, design & customize, validate and optimize. This approach allows us to onboarding efficiently and then after the project is set up we work on KPIs such as adoption, usability, and actions taken.
Our most successful working relationships consist of clients’ following our proven onboarding and implementation schedules. Clients who do this are up and running faster than others. Important steps in this process include outlining power users and roles within the team, confirming business goals, attending all training sessions, product adoption (tracking regular usage of the platform across all users), listing initiatives that need to be completed before moving on to growth and ROI stages.

The Talkwalker platform is meant to be organized at client implementations as a Hub and Spoke model. Through a centralized data and analytics framework, different prebuilt applications can instantly be used. Customers can configure dashboards themselves or together with our managed services. This enables customers to provide the right data to the right people at the right time and in the right format, thereby saving various departments within your organization valuable time, resources, and money. Talkwalker will streamline all of customers  efforts to consolidate data and analytics strategy and allow for real-time insights and reaction time

For the Martech Challenges, can you tell us about your success stories?
Recently, we implemented Talkwalker solutions within the Orange group. The cross-department collaboration in Talkwalker (CSM, Solutions, Support) and Orange (Marketing Group, FR, Com Group, FR) allowed us to guarantee a rapid transition and ensure a migration in a very short time. This process allowed us to challenge the use cases and create synergies between the departments and their business cases. The CSMs team dedicated to Orange also trained nearly 700 users in the first months of collaboration, which created a real emulation around the solution.
Thanks to this tailor-made support, Talkwalker is able to respond to the Group’s business challenges in France and abroad, and, more generally, to democratize social listening within the group.

How do you support your customers?
We have a team of marketing and social listening experts that works closely together to support our customers across the entire spectrum of digital maturity.
Our proven frameworks enable our customers to easily deploy Talkwalker, but also are flexible enough to be customized to our clients bespoke needs. In addition, we’ve created a comprehensive and easy to use online resource hub, our Digital Excellence Center, that provides quick an easy insights on utilizing the Talkwalker platform and on social listening best practices. In addition to our Digital Excellence Center we support our customers with our Mountain Climber Certification Program, Educational Workshops, and regular information sharing.

All of our customers data is completely protected in the Talkwalker platform.

As part of the Martech Challenges, can you tell us about your roadmap? What will your next features be?
Talkwalker’s roadmap is based on our Protect, Measure and Promote developing products based on these specific use cases. In addition to more easy to use application, we are looking to enhance our data offering.

How do you integrate new feature inside your tool? Every week, every month, quarter? How do you integrate customer feedback into your features?
We have 3 to 4 release updates throughout the year, that incorporate both break-through features for the industry, as well as smaller new improvements.
We invite all feedback from all users (clients, prospects, employees, influencers), and follow a process to ensure this is incorporated into our roadmap. We want a platform that every user finds valuable, and feedback is an essential aspect of this.

Can you precisely describe your versioning policy? How do you inform your clients?
Clients will receive a full update following every release. We then offer supplementary material such as, DEC updates, guides,“Tip of the Week” and blogs, to give more practical information regarding new elements. And of course, the CSM team are on hand to offer one to one guidance as well.

As part of the Martech Challenges, can you precisely describe your back data offer? What are the real opportunities?
Thanks to our own crawling capabilities, we have the biggest data coverage in the field, offering access to 2 years of the complete Talkwalker data archive. This is because we have seen that 2 years is more than enough for 99% of use cases, and what customers appreciate is to have a complete view of their topics for the last 2 years and not a partial view of many months. Our main benefits:

  • Unlimited: Available for all media types on any topic.
  • Complete: Access to our full data library, not based on samples or biased by client queries.
  • Relevant: Includes full Talkwalker metadata and annotations.
  • Economical: cost effective method to get good value in return to the budget.

Talkwalker Data and Vision of the future of Social Listening

Following the shutting down of the Instagram API, how are you reassuring your customers about the collection and exploitation of the data from social media?
The Instagram API was not shut down: Instagram has developed a new version of the API, released in December 2018, in which their reviewed which data can be accessed, and how.

Talkwalker always had a transparent approach with its clients regarding the availability of data: social networks are in control of data that they make available, and they have good reasons to do so. Talkwalker (and as a matter of fact all industry actors, including clients) need to understand that rules need to be respected in the way data is used, in order to have a chance to continue to have access to such data in the future.

From there, we analyze what data is available, and how it can be best used, and for which use cases. We also strive to remain reactive and flexible when changes come, in order to reduce the impact on our clients.

What is your vision of the customer voice?
Social is the bridge to understand the customer voice in real-time.
Utilize social listening to understand the consumer. Our vision includes analyzing:

  1. Trends – Understand what consumers care about and how that impacts your strategy
  2. Category Insights – Take a deep look into a category to look emerging preferences, challenges and applications.
  3. Brand Strategy & Sentiment – Analyze brand positioning and setup industry benchmarks. Observe & Orient consumers sentiment about your brand and competitors to track known & unknown issues.

With which other tools can Talkwalker be plugged? Can you tell us about your API management policy?
Talkwalker Command Center, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, Tableau, LexisNexis, ReviewTrackers, TVEyes. With regard to our API management policy, we offer three types – stream, search, and histogram.

What is your vision of visual listening?
As the channels of communication have evolved, visual listening and conversational data provide unique insights not available anywhere else. Talkwalker remains on the edge of innovation. That’s why we are the first social listening company to offer video analytics, following our revolutionary launch of image recognition in 2016. With video predicted to make up 80% of all online traffic by 2021, brands recognizing this trend are exploiting video marketing to drive more engagement. 83% of digital marketers that use video marketing believe it brings them good ROI, with 91% saying it’s a key part of their marketing strategy. This growing trend is what prompted our IT experts towards developing our AI-powered visual analytics. We’re now analyzing 150M+ images and videos every day. Using our Talkwalker’s Analytics platform, including image and video analytics, means that brands will now find 100% of mentions in text, images, and video.

What is your vision of review ratings?
Our integration with ReviewTrackers in 2018, means that brands can monitor reviews from 100+ sites, including Google Reviews, Facebook, Yelp, Glassdoor, Foursquare, Amazon Appstore, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and more. The content that consumers publish on review sites is gold dust, with 90% of consumers saying that user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions. UGC is recognized as an indicator of brand quality. The purest form of marketing, UGC is seen to be credible and authentic. Consumers trust it more than brand-speak. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? One of the most effective examples of a user-generated content campaign. Promoting awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), over 17 million people shared videos online and raised more than $115 million for the ALS Association. And it didn’t cost a thing!

What is your vision of stories and ephemeral web?
Ephemeral content on Snapchat and Instagram stories are valuable sources of lead generation and conversion. The content shared might not last forever, but it’s human, authentic, spontaneous. FOMO also plays a part, leading to users to check the app regularly – on average, 18 times per day. Our clients use Talkwalker to monitor all relevant metrics related to their Instagram Stories. This includes reach, impressions, replies, completion rates, and exits. This gives the most comprehensive understanding of how people are engaging with a brand’s content. Why is this important? It means that brands can identify what’s working. What’s bringing engagement and conversion. And, replicate.

How often is your software used through data consulting companies (from Accenture to 55, Sutter Mills and co…) ?
We have a strong relationship with global data consulting companies, many working with our software on a daily basis.  

How did you integrate the new legislation related to GDPR? How do you manage the privacy protection?
We have a dedicated cross-functional task force made up of legal, information security, product, marketing, and IT experts, that guarantees current and future compliance with GDPR. Talkwalker only crawls and indexes publicly available information on the Internet. This data is analyzed and stored in our database, allowing us to provide public brand-related posts, trends, and statistics to our clients. This allows them to manage brand awareness and reputation, and analyze related communications and topics. At any time, our clients can request access to their data. To update, revise, or delete.  

Besides the Martech Challenges 😉 what are your objectives for 2019/2020?
It is our ongoing mission to design innovative features for the Talkwalker platform, constantly improving and pioneering new products. Our global growth and success has recently been enhanced with the opening of an office in the French capital, Paris.

For the Martech Challenges 😉 Are you planning an IPO?
As I’m sure you appreciate, that’s a subject that I’m unable to comment on. Suffice to say that we intend to remain industry leaders, expanding into new areas of social listening, while increasing our global reach.

How do you see your market’s future?
The future is now. And it’s exciting. People are natural and historic storytellers. As technology and media evolve to give us more formats and channels to communicate, video and images have taken over social media. Whether it’s photos or video, many contain brands’ products and logos. But, more than 85% don’t include any text reference to the brand. For a brand to remain at the forefront of their industry. For them to understand fully, consumer conversation. Image and video analysis is essential. Talkwalker’s AI-powered platform provides full analysis – in real-time – in 187 languages across social channels, blogs, forums, review sites, broadcast, and more. Our database of 30,000+ logos, plus objects and scenes – the largest in the industry – means brands always see the full picture.

Charlotte, Pierre, thank you very much for kindly answering our questions for the Martech Challenges.

Jonathan Charbit

Jonathan Charbit

Diplomé de l’Inseec, Jonathan Charbit co-fonde en 2010 Zen-reputation, l’un des pionniers de l’e-réputation en France. En 2012, il rejoint Linkfluence pour participer au lancement de la solution Radarly. En 2017, il accompagne la startup itsAlive dans le lancement de sa solution de chatbot Messenger Facebook. Fort de ses différentes expériences dans le Saas, il lance Saas Advisor en 2018.

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