brands and social media

A Formula for Better Insights on Consumers & Their Emotions

TheSocializers

THE PROBLEM & QUESTION: The Head of Insight at a major CPG brand is trying to figure out why brand equity is falling. A CEO is wondering why sales are dropping. A Senior Analyst is assigned by the Head of Insight with answering these questions.

THE FORMULA FOR ANSWERING THE QUESTION: The Senior Analyst decides to work with social data to discover the reason for falling brand equity. She comes up with the following formula:

A focus group of individual consumers (with a full dossier on each one) + these consumers’ emotions (at the individual level) about a brand or category topic (machine classifies millions of conversation snippets by emotion) + macro insights on each “Emotion Group”, based on offline purchase data AND all known interests of individuals in that group.

THE RESULT: When Heads of Insight/Brand Managers/C-Suite execs can zoom from macro insights about consumers INTO individual level dossiers making up an “Emotion Group” (a group of people expressing a specific emotion about a product/service), they will gain a clearer understanding of the intent and actions of these consumers. They will see when a consumer says, “I hate this product because…” or “I love this product because…”. They will see what characteristics entire groups of consumers who love or hate a specific product share.

THE IDEAL FINAL SCENARIO: Head of Insight to C-Suite execs, “I can see groups of consumers who are excited/disgusted with our product, the statement each consumer made about our product, and dossier-level insight into each individual making up these groups. I can then compare these groups with groups of consumers who are excited/disgusted with our competitor’s product in a nice neat single screen. Now I know why our brand equity is falling and I can make evidence-backed recommendations about our next move.”

Relationship and Experience Marketing Plan

SUMMARY: The central themes of this document are relationship and experience. It is the express opinion of the author that SEO and advertising are broken models in need of transformation. The way to create awareness in today’s world is through relationships and experiences. Enterprises should consider focusing solely on creating the right relationships and creating experiences in the context of these relationships.

HOW TO DO THIS: The sequence of steps related to this method of going to market are as follows. Note that this is a summary document related to a master document filled with actual personas, suggested content and suggested experiences.

1. Identify the ideal willing prospect as related to your brand. This means that you write out on paper who this person is. Ideally, these people are micro-influencers, with regional popularity and super-engaged networks. Action: write out and refine over time this profile. As your community grows, you will notice the various strata of your desired types, from beginner to elite. Be inclusive to this spectrum and become THE experts in how one traverses from beginner to expert.

2. Use social network analysis tools, such as Brandwatch, PeoplePattern, Musefind and Audiense to aggregate large groups of these prospects. Understand more about these prospects using psychological technologies similar to CrystalKnows and Watson (IBM). Such solutions will give you lists of people (along with detailed bio info) exactly similar to your ideal willing prospect. You will also discover the content these people are posting, the events they are attending and the experiences they are having. Absorb this on a daily basis. The value of this intelligence is that you will have inspiration for content, for events to attend, and for experiences to participate in (and feature). Your community is found using these tools.

3. Employ humans (flesh and blood) to reach out to these prospects and meet with them in person. Invest your dollars in outgoing, intelligent flesh, who love connecting online and offline. Ideally, these humans you pay are also your ideal types themselves. Again, invest your dollars in charismatic, intelligent humans vs. outdated SEO and advertising approaches. The former is a love affair and gains you access to real dynamic community. The latter is a shotgun shot into the dark and is temporary, requiring increased investment for less reliable results.

4. Plan on a 12 month program (at minimum) of getting to know the community you found using the network analysis tools.

5. Plan on investing in content that follows the Content Grid approach from Jess3 and Eloqua. http://thesocializers.com/the-content-grid/

6. Create content pieces for every stage along the consumer journey described in the Content Grid. Invest in research where you discover the best contexts for placing and socializing this content. Increasingly involve your community in creating this content with you, through their stories, quotes and experiences. http://thesocializers.com/the-content-grid/

7. Plan on running campaigns that award specific, meaningful items from strategic partners, such as plane tickets for two to anywhere, to members of your community. Show your growing community that you understand them through what you award them. Be a giving brand. Plan on becoming known as THE place to make one’s adventure happen.Through your brand, consumers realized their adventure.

Forming a relationship with the customer is number one

I really agree with Ted Rubin that being real is more effective & potent than being perfect.

Here’s one reason why I agree with Ted:

Within a large corporation, there are often moments when chaos and fear collide to create real mis-understandings. The chaos results from so many initiatives happening at once. The fear results from a very simple reality – people hanging on to their jobs. When a very large corporation enters social networks for the first time, it is usually via several silos, and even separate regions. This can produce chaos, this can produce fear. And those who enter this chaos and fear, and attempt to coalesce the efforts of the corporation in social networks…well, the only hope for such people is to embody the authentic, the real, the humble, the calm and balanced. This effort in social networks is not about a military strike or the creation of a ruling robot…it is about how we as a brand will form a relationship with our customer.

Enterprise level planning and campaign execution

Earlier this morning, I tweeted a series of actions a large enterprise could weave together for superior planning and campaign execution. The following sequence is an expansion of those tweets into a powerful method for market research and execution of digital campaigns/building of social communities online:

1. Achieve superior market intel by pairing newly minted predictive data solution at @Fliptop with the truly massive product index at @Indix

Fliptop is providing predictive lead scoring using internal and external data. Connects with CRM and Marketing Automation to deliver immediate impact to increase revenue. Indix is offering software for product aware apps, product intelligence, price intelligence, competitive intelligence. Indix has produced what they claim is THE ultimate map of all products on the planet. When one pairs scored leads relative to specific products, one has assembled pools of ideal customers. Pairing Fliptop with Indix is a method for assembling pools of ideal customers for products.

2. Continue the project mentioned in last tweet using @Fliptop & @Indix by appending deep social media resources via @FullContactAPI.

Full Contact offers a mechanism for appending social data to emails in the context of a spreadsheet. When an organization takes the “pools of ideal customers” from the previous step and then appends social data to each customer in its CRM, the result is a way into the deep conversations occurring around specific products. An analyst can also extract other meaningful connections through studying what specific pools of customers are talking about and what trends are developing in those pools. More on how to find those trends in the next step.

3. Bring further depth to aforementioned @Fliptop @Indix @FullContactAPI project by processing entities thru @RecordedFuture temporal analytics.

Recorded Future scans hundreds of thousands of quality public web sources, including news publications, high-caliber blogs, social media platforms, financial databases, government websites, and much more. From these open sources, RF identifies text references to entities and events. Then RF detects time periods: when the events are predicted or reported to occur. Each reference links back to the original source. RF can explore the past, present, and predicted future of almost anything in a matter of seconds. RF’s analysis tools facilitate deep investigation to better understand complex relationships, resulting in actionable insights.

When an analyst takes entities from the previous step in this process and performs analysis on these entities, he has the opportunity to find specific times in the future when a product might be better received. In addition, there may be an opportunity through using the specificity of Recorded Future to literally change a future event simply through when a product is launched. RF offers an analyst myriad signals from web intelligence that can inform a smarter strategic positioning for product launch, product recall and customer acquisition. By knowing what is happening with prospects and competitors through the RF panel, a product dev team can more accurately create a unique selling proposition in the marketplace.

Watch this video for more on how Recorded Future uses web intelligence to produce foresight in markets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a62XTMufWQI

4. After using @RecordedFuture (step 3 in this tweeted process), apply @Brandwatch to extract meaningful mentions from resulting data set

Brandwatch is offering a superior listening & data visualization solution that will bring precise conversation analysis into this process. In addition, one may assemble a scale of influence relative to a product, market segment and/or pool of customers. Finally, Brandwatch has just launched a powerful data visualization format called Vizia that is helpful for C-Suite decision makers to quickly digest complex analysis on a real-time basis. The solution rivals previous set-ups by rivals and will inform the next generation of social media control centers globally. See this sample of Brandwatch Vizia in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvx_yNn_McQ

5. As the penultimate step to ultimate customer intel, deposit nice neat sheet from previous 4 steps into @SpotRight machine for laser insights.

We can further refine insights derived through the Brandwatch methodology by placing data into the Spotright.com process, where truly massive amounts of customer intelligence have already been segmented, tagged and defined. No entity on the planet has assembled such an expansive and deep set of intelligence on individuals as Spotright.com. The principals at Spotright bring a rich diversity of backgrounds and have assembled the ultimate catalog of individuals who buy products. A team choosing to use Spotright at this stage will find verification of previous findings AND, importantly, matches to its internal CRM of customers. Spotright is how to find customers just like your existing regulars.

6. For awareness-bulding actions based upon previously tweeted research sequence, execute campaigns using @JiveSoftware for maximum reach.

To bring an enterprise portfolio of products to market, use Jive Software. Now that the full market research has been completed in the previous 5 steps, it is time to take action. A powerful solution for taking action is Jive, which blends internal facing and external facing capabilities, making team-work across the silos far more efficient. In addition, Jive offers a suite of solutions for building awareness on a massive scale in the social fabric of the Internet. Watch this video for more understanding of how this works on the inside of a large FMCG group: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ISa0VBkyOM

To run this six step process is a means to unlocking powerful potential in online communities for community engagement and sales growth.

Applying smart marketing tactics to B2B prospect lists

CONTEXT & PROBLEM:
Recently, I sold a list of 500 prospects to a mid-sized trading company based in Europe. The executives at the trading company were puzzled by the individuals I had selected from our internal data set of roughly 65,000 GCC-based business people. Expecting lower income-level individuals, the executives at first reacted with dismay, as though possibility and opportunity would be limited.

My email in response to the executives was simple:

“Yes, in my experience, forming relationships with such individuals is extremely lucrative. I am happy to show you what I mean. Typically, the traders you refer to are temporary quick revenue at a small level, whereas relationship marketing and content marketing aimed at peers results in much higher, long term revenue. Again, I am happy to send you very specific, step-by-step methods for doing this type of marketing.”

CONCEPT RELATED TO THE PROBLEM:
The concept of B2B relationship marketing to peers within one’s own industry remains foreign to numerous executives. The notion of collaboration in B2B settings, even with one’s previous top competitors is very difficult to unpack in more conventional settings. But today, this is where the real value and wealth of networks resides. The Network Archetype is critical to understand here.

HISTORY OF THE NETWORK ARCHETYPE:
Although networking seems like a modern action linked to career growth in the media age, its roots go back to the ancient world. Networkers expand influence by forging alliances and making connections among vastly different groups of people, and can be traced back to the intrigues of the Middle Ages, Greece, Rome, and ancient China. Networking would also have been an integral part of any military alliance as well as all social and clan confederations in prehistory. In its positive aspect, this archetype helps one develop social flexibility and empathy. This flexibility and empathy enables the archetype to find commonality with others who might not at first seem to be potential friends or allies.

SOLUTION FOR THE EXECUTIVES:
The executives referred to above asked me to send the proposed strategies and tactics, along with email/phone scripts and actual examples of how I had effectively run B2B marketing campaigns. Below are the exact steps I sent to the executives:

METHODOLOGY – STEP 1 – THE PRIMARY PROSPECT:
1. We discovered his (the Primary Prospect’s) social links through our social business intelligence tools.
2. We discovered his contact info by exploring the WHOIS database (using his registered URLs).
3. We listened to him and researched the companies he helped start.
4. We studied his resume at LinkedIn.
5. We studied his personal life at Facebook.
6. We studied his specific interests on Twitter.
7. We condensed our findings into a singular goal – a strategy weaving his goals and our goals
into a collaboration.
8. We wrote a personalized, targeted email that can be sent to the prospect.

METHODOLOGY – STEP 2 – THE PRIMARY PROSPECT’S NETWORK:
1. We downloaded every one of his followers using Simply Measured Pro or SocialBro Pro level account.
2. We sorted these followers in Excel by “Listed”, by “Klout Score” or “Kred Score“, and by “Time Zone”.
3. We Filtered these followers’ bios with specific keywords to narrow the scope.
4. We discovered more of these followers’ social links via Klout and FlipTop.
5. We discovered common keywords amongst these followers and researched other influencers surrounding
those keywords within Brandwatch. In this way, we built series of segmented leads lists based upon interest.
6. We then spent significant time listening to the current and ongoing conversations PLUS we studied the conversations in the past. We also made intelligent guesses about conversations from the Future via Recorded Future.
7. We created tweets to “test” the different lists via non-branded Twitter accounts, to see what types of content gains momentum and “purchase”.
8. We created every form of content at the Content Grid 2 to “test” the different lists via numerous communication channels, to see what types of content gains momentum and “purchase”.

SPECIFIC CAMPAIGN IDEAS BASED UPON THIS METHODOLOGY (crafted for the CURRENCY TRADING industry):

1. LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE – MAKE IT A COMMUNITY (PRO CONNECTIONS): We would like to build out THE COMPANY LinkedIn company page. The idea is to target your updates, services and products on LinkedIn to specific market segments (decide on this from looking at the included spreadsheet of “Types”). We want to craft a message and a presence specific to agreed-upon audiences (“Types). If someone comes to your Company Page from the financial, legal, medical or marketing industry, we can customize the message to speak directly to him or her. We would need to set up a specific type of LinkedIn account to do this. Not only that, but we can create “click-through” banners at your LinkedIn page to entice the chosen target markets over to your website, sales page, commerce site or other social media sites. The goals is to make the COMPANY LinkedIn company page THE most interesting page about forex in LinkedIn. Bulk it out. Follow prospects in LinkedIn. Post regularly in LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a growing and HOT network. Be in the industry groups in LinkedIn and in the conversations in those groups. Start new groups around specific topics and invite prospects with large networks into those groups.

2. BECOME THE WIKIPEDIA OF FOREX & TRADING (EDUCATIONAL APPROACH): Let’s make you guys THE Wikipedia of the forex and trading Industry. When people feel a website is a true “go-to source” for information and answers, they’ll keep coming back—again and again and again. Think: BabyPips, TradingFloor, DailyFX. Become a true teacher (Wikipedia) within the forex industry. The golden rule of marketing is this: They ask, you answer. In other words, if a consumer has ever asked a question about forex, you should be answering it on the COMPANY website. And considering most industries have literally thousands of potential consumer questions, content should always be growing, evolving and added to. MahiFX is doing this very well on Quora, for example.

3. IN-THE-FLESH (PROSPECTING IN PERSON): Identify people in THE COMPANY to become “champions” around specific topics. Then assign them the task to spend 12 months simply meeting up with industry influencers in person. Some of the strongest online connections and relationships have developed because such “champions” took the time to connect in person. Either by organizing a “meetup” or “Tweetup” with a group, going to a conference (such as the recent http://ifxexpo.com/ ) where they knew the people they wanted to meet would be or even just connecting one-on-one through Skype. We highly recommend taking some of these online connections offline to make a deeper connection. As an example, the SVP of a leading social media monitoring solution personally emailed me when he was in NYC and asked to meet up, simply to shake hands and show what his company was doing. I started using his solution regularly after that. Be the first forex entity to actually meet its customers and prospects in person regularly and make the social marketing department a leader in this “in-the-flesh” personal revolution.

4. LIKE & FOLLOW YOUR CUSTOMERS AND PROSPECTS (SOCIAL MARKETING APPROACH): Instead of asking our consumers to like COMPANY on Facebook or to follow us on Twitter/LinkedIn, why don’t we start liking/following them? Most brands use Facebook as an extension of their traditional and mass-marketing initiatives. But what about following/liking and getting to know your customers/prospects personally. The social media department is the “human” side of the business and not just a reactive PR silo. Go out and forge relationship by following/liking/subscribing to your prospects. Then start answering their questions and participating in their discussions.

5. SPEND ON HOUR A DAY SIMPLY LISTENING (ON-GOING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE WORK): Spend one hour every day simply listening to your customers/prospects AND these prospects will empower your business with knowledge about what your markets really want. Use BrandWatch to do this — it is THE best social media-monitoring tool. Also look into SocialBro, an up and coming Twitter service for discovering specific communities and individuals. This is crucial for your business to grow and achieve high customer satisfaction. Customers like businesses that listen and respond to them. Sun Chips, for example, returned to their old packaging after customers complained widely on the Internet that the new biodegradable packaging was too noisy. Be THE forex entity that is tapped into the latest trends in conversation AND THEN lead those conversations.