As you’d expect from a Forrester analyst, this is Peter O'Neill by the way, I travel a lot— about 40% of my working days. But it is also amazing how a full week spent in the home office can still feel so busy! These days, social media keeps you in the discussion mainstream – perhaps even more so than if you are on the road because you have more time to engage. Bob Apollo, at the UK-based consultancy Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners, even tweeted me privately this week with the message, “And you a VP at Forrester, reading my stuff, an 'umble blogger… I'm not worthy...” after I told him that I enjoyed his tweets and found them useful. Well, even as a fully fledged analyst for tech marketers, I continue to be eager to learn from anybody else. And I do this without any fear of appearing to copy others — here in Germany, a popular government minister has now resigned because he plagiarized the majority of his doctorate dissertation years ago; bad enough itself, but he initially denied it when discovered.

But I did get quite nervous when I read this new B2BBloggers output in my inbox yesterday. Laura Patterson, president of VisionEdge Marketing, kicks off with the statement, “As products become more commoditized and companies try to outperform their competitors, a better customer experience is becoming an increasingly important way to differentiate.” Oh no! I thought, that is exactly the theme of my next report to be published by Forrester, probably in parallel with the upcoming Forrester’s Marketing Forum in San Francisco on April fourth.

But then I realized that Laura was actually writing about sentiment analysis, not my report theme. And I also noted that while her statement may allude to the fact that everybody in B2B marketing knows about that customer experience differentiation challenge; I should continue to remain confident that marketers in high-tech are not there yet. We had a discussion recently in our own tech marketing community on, which demonstrates this, and my frequent inquiries also confirm that tech marketers are still much more obsessed with product marketing (not brand) and/or sales lead generation(not management). Plus, I notice that most of my POST social media advisories have been limited to proposing the “listening” objective and discussing the tools that can be employed to do that.

So, I suppose one conclusion from this thread would be that tech marketing is not yet ready for sentiment analysis. Many tech marketers would even claim that this doesn’t apply in their world. I suppose the closest they get to sentiment analysis is their push toward account or relationship marketing.  The current language of tech marketing is much more about finding and winning sales deals than taking notice of what buyers, users or even prospects are thinking about their company or brand.

What do you think? Have I provoked you? Do you, tech marketer, already do sentiment analysis? I’d love to hear from your experience.

Always keeping you informed! Peter