Over the past decade, a plethora of social listening and media monitoring tools have permeated every corner of the marketing organization. As CMOs and Heads of Corporate Communications retool their organizations to become more customer centric and data-driven, the existing patchwork and silos of passive listening tools create a sub-optimal environment to effectively counter a crisis, launch a product or manage a major promotional campaign.

Why? A large enterprise brand is capable of generating millions of data points across the media spectrum — spanning traditional print and broadcast to digital and social media. At the same time, a modern news cycle and story will spread faster than the speed of light. As such, how should today’s marketing, communications, PR and digital organizations realign themselves to address these new realities? What media intelligence solutions are capable of handling the massive data tsunami generated by today’s fast-moving digital marketplace?

Media intelligence platforms are not created equal. Some claim to capture more data than they really do, while others don’t provide the actionable insights required to make the investment worthwhile. Media intelligence tools should be able to collect data from all traditional and digital media sources so that the platform can be used cross departmentally. What’s more, data should be processed in realtime so that alerts can be generated, and data should be presented using clear visualizations that elicit clear actionable insights.

All Traditional and Digital Media

Traditionally, companies have collected different media types separately. Often a company would have one tool for traditional media coverage, a different one for digital media and another one for social. These different locations mean multiple tools have to be observed simultaneously in order to make a judgement based on all of the available data. For example, many national stories begin as small mentions in social media and then expand to local media. Brand or organizations that monitor these activities separately through siloed tools and workflows are ill-equipped to drive the narrative once the story hits national stature.


Even still, these hyper-specific tools may not be collecting all the data needed. There is no point having a media intelligence tool if it doesn’t collect data from every medium. Media intelligence tools should be able to collect data from all traditional and digital media and should also be able to present these different data sources together in one central location.


The majority of media intelligence platforms are holdovers from the days when each department would have a different tool. The PR department would have a clipping service for news coverage, the marketing department would have a digital tool to monitor any online news coverage, and the social team a tool to monitor the brand across social media channels. These fragmented data silos leave information isolated, giving each department a different incomplete view of the same situation. When departments are using one centralized tool, they can can draw up a cohesive plan that has its foundations in the same data and work together in unison to monitor a crisis or track the success of a marketing campaign.


News now spreads in a matter of seconds thanks to social media. Whether the news is positive or negative, brands have to be able to react almost instantaneously with as much information as they can possibly assemble when their brand is mentioned. When a response is late, it can seem outdated or unnecessary. To avoid this, data from all media sources must be collected in realtime. This way companies have the ability to assess when they need to respond to inflated media exposure as quickly as humanly possible and can send out a timely message when they do.

Take the right action

Media Intelligence platforms will comb through billions of datapoints daily. It’s impossible for a human to physically sift through all of this information, draw accurate conclusions and know where to take action. After all, what’s the point in collecting all of this media data if the platform can’t pinpoint where and how to take action? Ultimately, the media intelligence data must be presented in ways that are easy to digest and integrate with existing workflows. The fastest way for humans to understand data is to show it through innovative data visualizations.

Media intelligence has changed. Data must now be visualized in one centralized location in a way that is easy to digest and take action upon. Workers are only as good as what they work with; it’s time companies provided their employees with true media intelligence tools.

If you would like to learn more about how Zignal Labs takes a centralized approach to media intelligence, download our whitepaper “Establishing a Mission Control Mindset for Media Intelligence