Three takeaways from Brandwatch’s social data briefing

20 June 2018

I had the pleasure of attending Brandwatch's social data briefing in London yesterday, joining a panel to discuss the role social data can play in improving marketing campaigns – along with Hitachi Rail's Sam Fisk and ESI Media's Bosola Ajenifuja.

Here are three key takeaways from the discussion.

1. The rise of data and technology has changed the game for marketers.

From an agency perspective, a 'good' design ten years ago was one the client liked. Nowadays we have sufficient data within 24 hours to prove whether a design is serving its purpose – for example persuading social media users to download a piece of gated content.

This has increased the pressure on marketers and creatives, but it is driving up standards. It forces form to follow function, and means that projects should never completely fail. Even if your business objectives aren't met, data should be available to understand why – and to inform your future business and marketing strategy.

2. Emotion is the forgotten link in B2B decision making.

Talk to any sales person worth their salt and they'll tell you the importance of emotion in the sales process. But as marketers we often forget this and base our marketing campaigns purely on rational, logical thinking.

Understanding the subconscious triggers that build an emotional connection between your brand and your customers is key to persuading them to buy. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the reactions and preferences exposed by your audience’s relationship to different forms of visual content – and social media can be a key source for this data.

Successful brands then address these triggers throughout the customer journey – in every marketing, sales, and customer service touchpoint.

3. Planning is key to successful measurement.

The wealth of data available through digital channels can be overwhelming. While it's best practice to collect all available data, your analysis should focus on business outcomes. Keep things simple, with a selection of lag measures to demonstrate your intended business impact (e.g. opportunities, revenue) and a selection of lead measures to indicate progress towards those goals (e.g. clicks, website visits, form conversions).

Avoid proprietary metrics if you don't understand how they are calculated and – where possible – validate your data against other sources.

Agreeing your framework up front will make the reporting phase of your project much easier, and remove ambiguity around what equals success.

Get in touch.

If you're curious to learn more about these topics please get in touch. We have a host of case studies that illustrate these points, and I'd love to talk you through them.