Q&A With Marcel Lebrun – Part One: Radian6’s New Features

Earlier this week I posted an analysis of new features that Radian6, a social media monitoring company, released over the last weekend. That same day Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6, left a very lengthy but equally helpful comment on my post.

As a follow-up to that post, I had a chance to ask Marcel a few questions about the new features about Radian6 in general and about their plans on the future. The interview was quite long, so I’m splitting it into two posts.

Today: looking at Radian6’s new features.

Q: You released a lot of new features last weekend. They affect a lot of different areas of Radian6; which ones are you most excited about?

A: All of it!!  There are so many new things we can do with this platform now.   I am most excited about the power of these new features when used in combination to help companies (and their agencies) collaborate & scale their listening & engagement.   It really enables a company to effectively setup their “listening grid” in a way that can engage many parts of the company and facilitate easy collaboration amongst employees (and their consultants, agency partners, etc.). 

A lot of practical testing went into how we integrated workflow (conversation sidebar) into as-it-happens emails & IM and then how we enable this data to be sliced & diced in the dashboard.    

Even for a small company like us, we have become so dependent on this tool to coordinate & manage our own listening & engagement that we know it will be a hit.  Without it we would likely need 2-3 more headcount and I know we would have coordination issues (multiple people responding, stuff falling through the cracks, wasted/duplicated effort, lack of measurement, etc.).

Q: Your new “conversation sidebar” significantly enhances the workflow functionality within Radian6. Do you have any plans to enhance that further?

A: Yes, the conversation sidebar enhances workflow, and it also significantly enhances the ability to have internal conversations & collaboration around listening & engagement.  It enables what I like to call a “purpose driven” social network inside your company or between agency/client (the purpose being listening & engaging with customers). 

In terms of further enhancements, we are really looking to see what feedback we get from our customers on the sidebar and we will keep making it better.

Q: Any plans to extend IM functionality to Live Messenger?

A: Yes, we are looking into adding Live Messenger support as well.

Q: How do you see people using source tagging [a new feature] most effectively?

A: Source tagging is extremely powerful.  I like to think of it like the “calling line ID” of the social web.  Let’s say you see a mention of your brand, and one employee tags this person with “national account” and “customer ID#1234”.  In the future, every time this customer talks about you online, the content will carry these tags so that the information is available to everyone in your organization.  This saves effort and provides for smarter engagement.  Not only that, but you can setup different listening alerts tied to the tags. 

In this example, someone in the company could setup an alert to listen only to conversations/mentions from “national accounts”.   In the future we will be adding rules based on source tags (and we have the start of that today with tag based alerting).

Another powerful use of source tags is segmentation & measurement.  Imagine being able to understand the conversation pattern of only the particular customers who bought your new product?  How many of these existing customers first asked their network about your product prior to buying?  How long before the purchase and which ones did you engage with directly (versus others)?  

Use source tags in combination with our new segmenting features and you can segment by tag, then sub-segment by engagement type and quickly get answers to these questions.  

We have a post up (yesterday) which talks a bit more about source tags: http://www.radian6.com/blog/141/source-tagging-the-caller-id-of-the-social-web

As an example, I added the tag “Thornley Fallis” for you [Dave: Marcel added this tag to his search for posts mentioning Radian6].  So here is a chart I generated where I picked March 2, filtered for your tag only and then segmenting by media type.  I can quickly see that you had 1 post, 2 tweets and 11 comments on topic (we count both comments and trackbacks since they appear on your blog). 

Overall we had 125 Radian6 mentions on March 2 and you generated 11% of that.  I also know that about 32% of the mentions came from current customers and 52% from people who are not yet customers – interesting.  I can now easily analyze the conversations from customers vs non customers to see patterns.

Thanks to Marcel for taking the time to share his thoughts. 

Check back in tomorrow for the second half of the interview, in which Marcel speaks about trends in social media monitoring, tells us where he sees Radian6 in the marketplace, and gives us a sneak preview of an upcoming feature.

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  • Thanks! (See, I can leave short comments, too)

  • I’m sure that Radian is an interesting technology, but it will become even better when their people will reply to email in a reasonable timeframe, which today is less than 24 hours. Still waiting an answer since Monday afternoon CET… Opportunity is gone.

  • Hi Italo,
    I just checked our system and I do see that someone sent you an email Monday morning shortly after 8AM EST (2PM CET). Perhaps we have the wrong contact info for you? I will reach out directly and see if we can connect. My apologies for any inconvenience.
    Regards,
    Marcel

  • Dear Marcel,

    I replied immediately to the second email, explaining that I had a very urgent need because on Tuesday – March 3, 2009 – I had a presentation to a prospect and I wanted to show at least a screenshot of the dashboard (or whatever you call it). Then I would be happy to go through the demo, because I want to know about your monitoring solution, understand the pricing, etcetera.

    I am sure that you already have a screenshot of your dashboard, because I have seen thumbnails of it scattered on the net. How much does it take to send a screenshot by email? Let’s say 30 seconds if it is already on your hard disk, one minute if you have to search it on your intranet, two minutes if you have to make it on purpose?

    As you know, 2009 is not a great year, and opportunities do not come very often (at least in Italy). I understand that you have many, and you can even turn down one of them for not sending a simple screenshot (Andy has received my email, because he has just replied to it… without the screenshot).

    Sorry, the opportunity it’s gone, and I had to find a different way to present a measurement solution to my prospect. Of course, I’m going with that solution now.

    Always open to receive the screenshot, or a presentation, or whatever I can use to present your product my way, not your way. Sorry, in this case I am the prospect, and you have to fulfil my need.

    Your solution might be the best in the universe, and it probably is, but if your client service sucks it’s going to be darn difficult to convince clients outside the States to use it. Perhaps is your choice… Perhaps you don’t know and understand Europe… Always open to discuss, after I’ve got my screenshot (or presentation, or whatever).

    Ciao, Italo

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  • My apologies, Italo. Your request was a reasonable one. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have sent you a screenshot.
    Regards,
    Marcel

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  • Salim M

    Anybody knows if it is possible to use Radian6 in Brazil? Do they scan the Brazilian sites and sources?

    • Hi Salim,
      Yes, you can. We cover Brazilian sites and support the Portuguese language.
      Cheers,
      Marcel