Risk mitigation – the process of identifying, evaluating, and prioritising risks – keeps many business leaders up at night. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With access to the right information, your organisation can easily spot threats (as well as opportunities) without a wink of sleep missed!

Rest Easy with Outside Insight

Answers to the questions swimming around your head 3 am can’t always be answered by yourself or your wider team. It’s often information found from outside your organisation – information about your customers, your competitors and your industry – that hold the answers that make the biggest difference to risk mitigation processes.

Internal data is still very important, but solely relying on it is like looking in your car’s rear view mirror. Of course you need to look behind you to manoeuvre effectively, but you must also look ahead at what’s coming in order to eliminate all risks.

“Data found from outside of your company’s four walls is rich with information needed to reduce business threats. At Meltwater, we call this information outside insight.”

No industry is immune to the fact that they’re currently at the centre of a very chaotic conversation, rooted in unstructured data. Finding your bearings requires both a high-level overview, as well as the ability to zoom in on key issues as they develop. Historically, companies spent a lot of effort mining internal data, but found it hard to utilise the wealth of business insights available on the internet. Thankfully, advances in data science have paved the way for a new class of business intelligence, one that plays a critical role in risk mitigation – outside insight.

During this article we name 6 key outside insight considerations that will reduce the chance of threats by ensuring you’re well equipped with the information needed to remain agile and competitive.

6 Risk Mitigation Tips for Business Leaders

1. Monitor industry developments

Time is the most precious resource a company has. Whether you’re scanning the horizon for regulatory announcements or political upheaval, it’s vital that you spot industry changes before they become challenges.

Media intelligence solutions like Meltwater take the manual work out of monitoring. By keeping tabs of online news around political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal developments (PESTEL), business leaders can quickly spot trends affecting their organisation.

Meltwater’s capabilities not only help find such insights, but we can structure and distribute them across your organisation in a way that makes them actionable for all employees.

2. Spot potential crises

Risk mitigation is a critical aspect of leadership. Whether there’s a disgruntled customer stirring up a Twitterstorm, or an employee going rogue and sharing things that they shouldn’t… on social media, bad news travels fast. Brand reputation can be made or slayed in the time it takes to send a tweet. We’ve moved away from the era of ‘today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper’ to a forever online world where the effects of a crisis can be drawn out if it’s not handled quickly and appropriately.

By using a social listening tool that has the capabilities to monitor millions of online conversations surrounding your business and your sector, you can take control of difficult situations before they get out of hand. For instance, if Meltwater’s solution spots something that’s potentially damaging to your business, we trigger an instant alert explaining when and where you need to respond.

“Outside insight easily detects crises by utilising advance artificial intelligence to spot anomalies, flagging them to business leaders in a simple to understand format.”

There are a number of crisis signals that media intelligence analyses to flag such threats. Examples include:

  • A shift from positive to negative brand sentiment
  • An sudden spike in social media followers
  • An increase in media exposure (online news and social media mentions)
  • Negative topics appearing in trending theme clouds

To keep all bases covered; don’t forget to also monitor your competitor’s activity. Their crisis can easily become yours. Moreover, during 2018 we saw a number of crises that were anything but isolated to one industry. For example, the financial sector came under fire regarding the lack of females present in leadership roles. This caused other businesses, outside of the financial remit, to think about how this could impact them. If you believe a crisis elsewhere could potentially spill into your industry, Meltwater is here to act as a risk mitigation partner, ensuring you spot the threat before it reaches you.

3. Truly get in the mind of your consumer

Business leaders can’t afford to neglect the importance of brand loyalty, so it’s surprising that this factor often takes back seat when risk mitigation is discussed. In an age where savvy consumers are willing to switch suppliers at the drop of a hat, loyalty becomes a major protector of the brand.

The only way to earn loyalty is by truly understanding your audience. We’ve seen an increase in leading businesses creating buyer personas and using social media data to understand what those potential customers are talking about – what they like, what they don’t, and what they want from brands like yours. Use such insights to make a real connection with your audience. For example, understand whether your teams are creating and sharing enough content that’s resonating, rather than adding to the noise. Meltwater data allows you to go as high level or granular with customer insights as you like since our solutions are customised to your needs.

4. Track your competition

We mentioned the importance of monitoring your competitor’s activities above, but since this is a critical component of risk mitigation, competitive analysis also deserves its own section.

“Deeper analysis into your competitor’s advertising strategy will give you clues about their business development. You’ll be able to secure a true competitive advantage if you pay just as much attention to your competitors as your own company.”

With Meltwater, you can easily cut through the noise and detect only the most important positive and negative trends impacting your competitors. Use outside insight to take inspiration from the high performing parts of their strategy – like the influencers interested in them, or quickly detect when there is an important event surrounding new products, campaign launches, acquisitions, redundancies and more.

Here are a handful of competitor insights that we’d recommend tracking. Results can be fascinating leading indicators of a company’s overall strategy performance or shifts in their direction.

  • Peaks and troughs in mentions
  • Engagement with thought leaders/ influencers
  • Who are their brand advocates?
  • Key topics of conversation surrounding their brand
  • Location differences of the spread of conversations
  • The community’s perception of your competitor compared to you

5. Standardise reporting

Large companies know too well that when there are several departments working across an organisation, they can easily fall into fragmented working processes. Some teams might use legacy reporting systems, perhaps because adoption of new systems haven’t yet been standardised. Other teams might be devoted to vanity measurements that aren’t aligned with your business goals. Sometimes it can feel impossible to compare one department with another or understand how each region is contributing to your bottom line since they’re working so differently!

“Business leaders need to compare apples with apples.”

If you feel this frustration, don’t worry, you’re not alone. At Meltwater we’ve heard it time and time again, which is why we prioritised spotting the activities that really add value. Standardised reporting significantly supports risk mitigation since business leaders are better placed to set the right KPIs and use the metrics that matter to report on them. We do this by gathering data from across your organisation in a consistent format and analysing it to see what’s working. What’s more, we send weekly, monthly or bi-monthly reports showcasing the link between your regional activities and your ROI so you can easily connect the dots.

Want to learn more about using external data to mitigate risks for your company? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!