The business challenge

Organizations of all types—corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, communications agencies, trade associations, political campaigns, and advocacy groups—face the challenge of managing reputation, brand, issues, stakeholder relationships, risk, and crises in near-real time. 

Today, information spreads to stakeholders—citizens, consumers, community residents, employees, activists, government officials, regulators, and others—from traditional media and new communications channels in near real-time.  

So, how does this information shape behaviors, perceptions, opinions, attitudes and awareness? How can corporations understand stakeholders at the speed of the Internet and make better business decisions?

Geddes Analytics delivers the leading-edge analytics to organizations competing in this dynamics, fast-moving information environment.

If Napoleon had better predictive models, things might have gone differently for his army.

Our approach

We provide research and consulting in predictive models and advanced analytics to help firms understand, predict, and forecast what messages and issues and what media – new and traditional media alike – drive changes in awareness and perceptions of their brands, corporate reputation, and key issues. 

And then how do these attitudes and perceptions lead to behaviors and business outcomes such as  market share, sales, loyalty, and advocacy. 

Our analyses provide action-oriented insights allowing organizations to respond at the speed of the marketplace and the information cycle.

 Our sophisticated approach – rooted in cognitive psychology, communications theory, statistics, and mathematical modeling – delivers powerful insights yet can be described in two diagrams.

We can use mass media in the advanced mathematical model of ideodynamics to create a map that predicts outcomes such as public opinion, brand image, corporate reputation over time. 

The benefits of our approach are straightforward:

  • We can identify precisely those messages, issues, and topics in the media that drive attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and desired business outcomes.
  • We can forecast and plan population outcomes given anticipated scenarios.
  • We can perform retrospective analysis of the public, unlike surveys.

How it works

The ideodynamic component of our methodology is that of an automobile GPS navigational device.  

The device is programmed with an initial location followed by instructions for moving from one position to the next.  Thus the trajectory has two key inputs, the initial condition and the instructions for changes that the automobile should make over time.

Our modeling uses differential equations to implement the same strategy to predict opinions through time. The initial conditions are given by constant values equivalent to the GPS starting point. 

The equations of the model are like the rest of the GPS instructions in only specifying changes from one time interval to the next.

The starting point can be survey-based opinions, behaviors, market share, Web site visits, or any other business data. 

Given a starting point, our modeling can predict and forecast movements in outcomes, and can quantify the relative impact of media sentiment, messages, and communications channels on changes in outcome variables. 

The model predicts the impact of persuasive information that moves people from one attitude “position” or behavior to another. Organizations can use the results for scenario planning, forecasting, and decision-making.

How has our modeling been applied?

The Infotrend model has been used successfully by Professor David Fan of the University of Minnesota to understand and predict awareness, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors in:

  • Corporate reputation
  • Brand tracking and evaluation
  • Consumer sentiment index and attitudes to the economy
  • Elections in the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands
  • Healthcare attitudes and behaviors toward smoking, cocaine usage, and the spread of HIV-AIDS

Quite simply, our methods can be applied to almost any measurable business outcome and can use many forms of data input.

How is the Infotrend approach different?

This is model has the advantage of using media inputs alone to predict specified outcomes in public opinions and behaviors using a rigorous statistical approach grounded in widely accepted communications and cognitive psychological theory. 

The model is truly predictive and not just a correlation because this week’s media results can be used to predict reliably next week’s corporate brand reputation (or other attitudinal outcome). 

Marketing mix models require many additional data streams that may not be available and may entail significant time delays.

Our approach is action-oriented, useful for public relations research, planning, and evaluation, not just useful for academic knowledge. 

The model can be directly applied in areas that include corporate reputation, brand reputation, marketing communications, media relations, issues management, public affairs, crisis communications, and investor relations.

This is not a black box model. The underlying model has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and patented.

Implementation of the system is cost effective for several reasons. The model can be developed based upon data corporations usually have already: media analysis data and some survey-based data.

Once the model is developed, the forecasts of corporate brand reputation can be conducted less frequently. This method is not intended to replace survey research. Rather, the model, once developed, can be used for routine tracking at minimal cost. Survey research can then be used for additional understanding.