Guest View: Social data — the great enabler

Julian Quinn

For many businesses, there is less money to spend on marketing in 2014 but CIOs expect to have increased budgets to play with in the year ahead, so extracting value is paramount. Business Insights and Social Intelligence is an area where investment is gaining traction, paid for by the CIO, not the CMO. Using the aggregated, multi-lingual social data set to focus on the target audience that matters unlocks scalable BI value. The meta-data of social media affords the opportunity to identify persona types and the nature of the online conversations they are having will also help to self-identify those on which a brand should focus.

From demographic data, transactional data, to purchase history - through to adding texture with social intelligence - measuring what matters becomes critical when marketing to personas. It is easier and cost-effective to market to groups of like-minded consumers based on common signals than it is to try to deliver an individual customer experience.

When the Commonwealth Bank of Australia wanted to focus on a subset of existing customers that they felt they could craft a targeted campaign for - offering a specific financial product - they used social data to identify six mind-states and approaches to consumer banking. For example; 'Fire-fighting', 'Liberated', 'Prioritizing'. 

Using existing transactional and demographic data sets mapped to the social data conversations, Commonwealth Bank of Australia identified the 'Liberated' persona profile with the following traits: availability of disposable income, Mid to late 40s age range, a typical income of $AUD75k+ and their attitudes to credit indicate they clear their balance every month. Financial security is a priority and so campaign copy should play to this factor to resonate better. The social data also highlighted within this group the appreciation for tools - like mortgage calculators - to help inform decision making when choosing financial products.

In December's global launch of the new Sony PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, it was possible to measure social data relating to the two products for some time before the launch event itself. Microsoft listened to the feedback after the initial announcement of what their product would offer and received  negative press and gamer reaction around a key issue - in this instance, the fact that the new console was not going to be backwards compatible with previous Xbox games. Microsoft took this onboard and dropped the restrictions with time to launch at their disposal.

Factors relating to the different approaches to messaging and differing price points meant the social data - when mapped to a customer journey of intent to purchase - indicated Sony would, in sales terms, win the launch battle; and they did.

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