Relative Insight’s comparative text analysis software surfaces differences and similarities in topics, phrases, words, emotion and grammar. To understand grammar, Relative Insight analyses the context and word endings in order to classify each word into pre-defined categories.

While topical, phrase and word analysis helps you understand what is being said, putting in the effort to understand emotions and grammar can provide additional insight into how people are saying it. This can reveal crucial details about how people think and feel about a particular topic or brand.

But even if you have an English degree, grammatical analysis can be intimidating. This article explores how grammar analysis can be helpful and the best way to approach it in the platform.

Understanding grammar categories

Grammar insights are easiest to understand once you are already familiar with the comparison you are analysing. Before diving into grammar, make sure you have examined the other categories of linguistic features (topics, words, phrases, emotion) and have a strong sense of the key insights.

Read our detailed descriptions for an explanation of the various grammar categories analysed in the platform.

While the importance of a particular word, phrase or topic might be obvious, fully comprehending grammar insights often requires an openness to thinking abstractly. Here are a few of our top tips for making the most of grammar analysis:

  • Have an idea of what you are trying to get out of the grammar insights before you start (e.g. improving brand tone of voice)

  • Expand the grammar categories (by clicking on the name) to reveal the words that fall into that category. This can help overcome the challenge of complicated-sounding categories like ‘singular determiner’

  • Understand both sides of the comparison - for example, you might be hard-pressed to derive insight from knowing that one audience group uses a lot of first-person pronouns, but if another group is more likely to use collective pronouns that helps contextualise the discovery

  • Reflect on the possible reasons why the group of words might be used more or less frequently – there are no wrong answers!

Grammar analysis example use cases

Tone of voice analysis

Content writing is an integral part of any marketing function and ensuring a consistent tone of voice is foundational to establishing a coherent brand voice. Do you address your customers as you or we? Do you use superlative or fact-based language to describe your product? These questions may seem trivial, but they are essential to creating a consistent voice. Comparing new pieces of content against a collection of previous pieces can help to ensure consistency across all touchpoints of your brand.

How people experience your brand

Understanding the use of pronouns in voice of the customer data sources such as reviews, social mentions and surveys can help brands understand how people experience their products. For example, high usage of collective pronouns such as we and us may indicate that people consume your products in a group setting. This could inform brand messaging, focusing on the experience of sharing the product. Conversely, high usage of personal pronouns such as my and I could indicate that people consume your product privately.

Distinguishing facts from opinions

Grammar analysis can also provide insight into whether a body of text is rooted in fact or opinion. Heavy use of maximisers (totally, virtually, completely etc.) can be an indicator of highly persuasive language being used to make a point. On the other hand, a high prevalence of the ‘Unit of measurement’ category can indicate that a particular message is well researched and supported with stats.

This kind of analysis can be useful for both assessing how competitors position their products and understanding how to appeal to your audiences. For example, if a competitor relies heavily on maximisers, perhaps there is an opportunity to respond to that with fact-based messaging. Similarly, analysing reviews may reveal that older customers cite hard facts while younger people are more prone to sensationalised comments – this can inform how to target advertising to each segment.

Comparative vocabulary

The use of comparative language (more, less, better, worse etc.) by consumers can serve as an indicator that an audience has a high degree of familiarity with other options available to them. This can also be an indicator that the data is a good source of competitor intelligence. Equipped with this information, marketers may decide to incorporate explicit comparative elements in their marketing communications.

These are just some of the most common uses of grammar. Get in touch with your account team to explore other ways you can leverage grammar analysis.

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