The social media monitoring space just got more cluttered. Or perhaps not so.
Visible Technologies, originally a search marketing firm that expanded into the social media monitoring realm about three years ago, today launched an expanded suite of monitoring and measurement tools to up the ante in the chase for market lead.
VT’s flagship product, TruCast, has been rebranded “truVoice” and is essentially a nice marriage of real-time social media monitoring solution and full blown CRM platform for workflow and issue tracking. A dashboard product with a fair amount of start-up customization and enterprise-level functionality, it’s not cheap, which has prevented Visible Technologies from competing with the Radian6/Techrigy/Scout Labs set.
That obstacle changes today with the launch of truPulse, an on-demand social media listening tool much in the mold of the aforementioned competitors. It offers the dashboard snapshot of what’s going on in online conversations around your brand, industry or competitors, allows you to assign sentiment and tone, make quick tag indications of actions taken to respond and allows you to produce pretty charts and graphs on the fly. It doesn’t offer automated sentiment and tone or full workflow or contact management functionality like truVoice, but is entirely useful. At a starting point of $500 monthly for 20,000 conversation points, it’s competitively priced as well.
Two other products the company has been offering versions of that are now full product offerings are their truInsights and truReputation products. truInsights is essentially the big, thick reports full of insights and analysis the Visible Technologies researchers prepare based on your need. They tell me theirs are full of actual analysis and insights. I sure hope so. The ones I’ve seen from several media research companies leave a lot to be desired.
truReputation is actually a pretty kick-ass add-on. It appears as an additional tab in your dashboard and displays the top 20 search engine results from the 4-5 major engines and illustrates the link’s sentiment and tone relative to your brand. You can’t get the dashboard, however, without also using Visible Technologies for your Search Engine Optimization work, but it’s a nifty feature to visualize what work you have to do there.
As you would expect, VT strongly encourages clients to integrate all of these products since the technology behind each compliments the other well. You can start out with the truPulse for the same money you’ll spend on other market-leading monitoring tools, then add-on or step up from there depending upon your need.
Honestly, I’m impressed with the new VT features. They’ve offered up a suite of products that makes them the perfect blend between the dashboard-driven monitoring tools that are driving the market right now and the report-driven research companies that were driving the market 10 years ago. I don’t know that I would put them in the same category as the social media monitoring firms we normally talk about here because they do offer the litany of research and analysis services the “measurement” firms offer. They fall into the Nielsen, Cymfony, Collective Intellect, J.D. Power/Umbria category more appropriately and seem to have an outstanding offering when looking at that set.
I wish their entry-level product was a bit more robust and I think they’ll have a hard time stealing the $500 monthly budget crowd because, frankly, there’s better out there for the money. It is pretty easy to figure out and use, however, unlike some on the market.
But the truVoice platform is absolutely as good as anything on the market and better than most. It’s going to run you about $7,000 per month to start, but with full work flow, customer relationship management and even internal approval features, it’s awfully appealing.
Cheap? Not really. Good? Yes.
And not a bad splash to lower the entry point for prospective clients.
As always, we’re very interested in anyone who has used or is using VT products. The more experienced users will be helpful in assessing the value of their offerings. If you’re a client and have seen the new tools in action, let us know how they perform. If you’re a client and are just getting a crack at them, let us know how you like them now and then in a few weeks when you’ve had more time to play.
And if you’re a competitor. Play nice. Heh. The comments are yours.
By the way – all those “tru….” names are trademarks. In case you need to know.
Other Social Media Monitoring Reviews & Articles From Social Media Explorer
- Sprial16 Adds Unique Layers To Social Media Monitoring – August 12, 2009
- PR Newswire Enters Social Media Monitoring Space – July 6, 2009
- VoxTrot Sheds Different Light On Social Media Monitoring – May 19, 2009
- Social Media Monitoring Grudge Match: Radian6 vs. Scout Labs – April 13, 2009
- Scout Labs Launches Powerful Social Media Monitoring Tool – February 18, 2009