Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide have begun to map the Wild West.A s social media platforms multiply and consumers’ connections increasinglyinfluence their purchase decisions, it’s harderto know which social media to use. It’s not just State of the Industry: State of Chaos Marketers spent $2.494 billion on social media marketing in 2011. That’s projected to jump 37%Facebook and Twitter out there, and it’s getting to $3.417 billion in 2012 and up to $6.227 billionmore crowded every day. Marketers need a road by 2014, according to ZenithOptimedia.map so they can evaluate strategically and spend The explosion of social media has givenwisely. marketers many new tools to converse with Arc and Burnett studied the specific ways shoppers – maybe too many. Decision-making onthat social media engagement affects the process choosing and activating social media platforms isof shopping, then drew up a framework that scattershot, fed by marketers’ anxiety that theymaps out the best social media platforms to might miss an important new platform or channel.engage people based on their shopping needs. Facebook, Groupon, Twitter – marketers jump inAlready, the framework has helped sell more simply because they feel like they should be there.McDonald’s French Fries, boosted fountain sales Social media planning is reactive, not strategic; itand goodwill for Coca-Cola and 7-Eleven, and is random, not systematic.remodeled the way Whirlpool collaborates with “There are a lot of unknowns and Wild Westhome center retailers. behavior in the social media space, let alone Arc Worldwide’s SocialShop Framework the social shopping space,” says Masha Sajdeh,makes social media a strategic choice in shopper Senior Vice President of Insights and Strategy atmarketing rather than a reactive execution. The Leo Burnett.framework overlays three blueprints, starting with Of course, 50 years ago, the ad industry facedcategory mindsets, which determine the shopper the same dilemma, figuring out the role of TVneeds, which in turn define the appropriate alongside radio, newspapers, magazines, andsocial media vehicles. The framework, grounded billboards. “Look at the structure we have todayin Arc’s proprietary research, enables marketers to analyze, plan, and target these media,” saysto set a process to choose and activate the right Nick Jones, Executive Vice President and Retailsocial media for each brand. Practice Lead at Arc. “It’s time to bring that kind This approach can also improve traditional of rigor to social media.”shopper marketing as path-to-purchase strategies Consumer habits set the pace. Fully 96% ofevolve. Marketers who apply Arc’s framework to Americans use social media, and 42% of adultstraditional tactics can better integrate all elements 18-49 who are online have woven social mediaof shopper marketing and better connect with into their shopping, according to Arc’s research –shoppers at all touch points. roughly 48 million people.2 SocialShop
The goal, of course, is to set an effective social your friends, the people you trust,” Sajdeh says. marketing strategy based on the combination of “In that crunch time of purchase, people call two needs and appropriate platforms relevant to your or three friends they trust and ask their advice on shopper. what to buy. What if that information could be “Who you’re targeting and what role your aggregated in one place onto a short list of what brand plays in their day and in their lifestyle your friends think? Connecting Whirlpool’s anchors which social media you should information page with Facebook and the user’s choose, and how you activate,” Sajdeh explains. own social network becomes important.”“Depending on the Shopper Needs you want “One obvious question about Arc’s framework to focus on, you should pick the platforms best is, ‘Does the model mean I shouldn’t be putting suited to meeting those needs. For example, coupons on Facebook, because it doesn’t fill a high-impulse shopping – where timely offers utilitarian need?’” Jones posits. “We’re not saying and spontaneity affect purchase – is better served the framework dictates black-and-white solutions. by Groupon and location-based offers than by What it shows is that if your brand fits shopper Facebook.” needs that aren’t filled by Facebook, you should For informational Shopper Needs, choose at least be looking at other venues that fill those channels that can deliver on the need for needs, even if you still plan to use Facebook. Are validation and can supply shoppers with in-depth there other venues where coupons have more content – a good blogging platform, for example, validity? Don’t ignore those.” or YouTube videos that show how the product works. In fact, consumers are creating their own product comparisons, posting YouTube videos Synchronizing with the comparing vacuum cleaners or pruning saws – a Shopping Mindset sort of poor man’s Consumer Reports, by the hand Once Arc clarified different shopper needs and of consumers themselves. “Shoppers rely on other the ability of social platforms to fulfill certain people’s opinions and experiences, but marketers needs better than others, the question turned to aren’t capitalizing on this yet,” Sajdeh says. strategy: Which needs and platforms should a Whirlpool has started, with Leo Burnett’s brand focus on for its category? help. When an appliance breaks down, shoppers In its next phase of research, Arc analyzed four don’t have the luxury to browse while dirty laundry category mindsets: categories where shopping piles up. They need a lot of information in a short feels like Burden, Routine, Entertainment, or time, from different sources – manufacturer sites driven by Passion. Knowing your category for product specifications, retailer sites for pricing. mindset helps clarify how best to activate the It’s a big-ticket purchase with a short decision social media platforms you’ve chosen to meet window, and the brand that can provide one-stop their shopping needs. Categories are plotted information has an advantage. So Whirlpool and along one axis of risk, and one of reward. Arc created “storefronts” on key retailer websites. The agency mapped out 60-plus product/ These dedicated Whirlpool and Maytag brand service categories in each of these four sectors: pages on Homedepot.com and Lowes.com provided product specs and price information in Burden: High risk, low reward. one place. This approach led to the largest sales Categories are complicated to the point of month ever for Whirlpool. mystifying. Brands are multifaceted and a great Once consumers have product and price deal of knowledge is necessary to make a choice. information in one place, the only other thing “Consumers suspect differences but have to they need to help make and reinforce their search and do research to find them. It can be a decision would be recommendations and long and painful purchase funnel,” Jones says. opinions from people that matter to them. Brands can mitigate that by making the Brands such as Whirlpool could use social media shopping process less agonizing. As curators to build out their information pages, adding of information, they can help shoppers better consumer reviews and comments. “The next step understand the category and navigate the could be to aggregate the news and reviews of concerns of making a big-purchase decision. SocialShop 7
message. Coke sales at 7-Eleven jumped 20% forpackaged soda and 10% for fountain drinks. Rewriting the Book onRoutine: Low risk, low reward.Categories are typically mundane but essential. Social ConscienceThere is limited differentiation between brands Social media can harness consumerand often expansive variety within a category. passion outside the marketplace, too.Picturing your grocery list? Routine categories – The city of Troy, MI, and Leo Burnettincluding most packaged goods – should use tapped social media to harness resi-social media to help shoppers source deals and dents’ passion for books. Budget cutsdo easy, on-the-spot comparisons. Groupon has forced Troy to close its library; whensuccessfully partnered with both retailers and the city proposed a small tax increasemanufacturers to drive trial and purchase with to reopen it, Tea Party supportersnew customers in routine purchase categories. shouted down the idea, turning the It’s important to remember that “mindset” conversation from books and readingidentifies the shopping experience itself – not to taxes. Library advocates turned thehow consumers feel when they’re using the brand. tables with a grassroots campaign: Some products are fun to consume but not so “Vote to Close the Troy Library on Aug.fun to purchase, Sajdeh explains. “Look at board 2. Book Burning Party on Aug. 5.”games: fun to use, but tedious to buy. How can Lawn signs drove people to facebook.we make the shopping process fun, too? How can com/bookburningparty. There werewe bring some of the pleasure of usage into the videos, tweets, Foursquare check-ins,shopping occasion? branded items on eBay – even Face- “Insights on how people consume in the book posts with plans to hire a bandcategory can influence how they shop the category,” for the book burning event.Sajdeh continues. “Ice cream and candy shops Incensed residents responded:bring some of the pleasure of consumption to the “You people are sick.” “This is dis-experience of shopping, but the supermarket aisle gusting.” “Idiots.” They debated theis devoid of that. It’s a challenge we wrestle with: merits of libraries, and the conver-How can we bring the fun of a brand into the sation spread from Facebook to theshopping experience?” city council, to newspapers and TV, Arc used the SocialShop Framework to home becoming national and even interna-in on the message and media while brainstorming tional news. That’s when Troy revealedfor McDonald’s (see “You Want McDonald’s its true message: “A vote against theFries with That?”). The agency also tapped the library is like a vote to burn books.”framework to help Canadian brand James Ready And people started the sharing andBeer leverage its popular under-the-cap messages. reporting all over again. On ElectionPub crawlers collect the caps because they like Day, votes in favor of passing the taxthe cheeky messages. Arc brainstormed the idea were 342% higher than projected, andof caps for captions, then fielded a Facebook the library stayed open. contest inviting fans to use the caps from theirbottles of James Ready Beer to complete a fill-in-the-blank caption with the words inside the cap. “In such a low-involvement category, social helps us manage information that’s importantmedia can play a high-engagement role,” Sajdeh to the client. Consumer and shopper behaviorsays. “It reinforces ‘delight after purchase,’ is one of the biggest factors for any brand. Thekeeping consumers engaged. It shows a brand SocialShop framework helps us map out everyone,is paying attention to the path through purchase, and helps us target some folks more than others,not just the path to purchase.” if desired. The eight Shopper Types ring true. “Creatives work better with frameworks,” says “The framework is good, as long as yourJim Carlton, Executive Vice President-Creative interpretation skills are good,” Carlton says.Director at Arc. “We want some guidance that SocialShop 9
You Want McDonald’sFries with That?The creative team at Leo Burnett Group agencyArc Worldwide turned to the SocialShopFramework after getting an unusual brief fromlongtime client McDonald’s. “The assignment was ‘Do something fun,’”recalls Jim Carlton, Executive Vice President-Creative Director at Arc. “They didn’t have alot of money or resources, but the brief waswide open and we saw an amazing opportunityto do something great. Something that peoplewill love – and participate in.” The framework helped Arc shape a small-budget initiative that delivered strong ROI.“SocialShop helps us edit down the informationwe have to stay on target,” Carlton says. The team gravitated toward French Friesbecause they are iconic and people universallylove them. Plus, Fries are mobile and shareable amplify word of mouth using emotional drive,”– a gustatory parallel to social media. Packaging Carlton explains. The combination of Facebookis a cost-efficient venue that reaches a big and mobile platforms fit the bill.audience, so Arc paired McDonald’s iconic Each week, Arc tracked the number ofFries box with a pop-culture catchphrase, then people engaged online and via mobile, andlet social media spread the word organically. what they were saying. Participation increased Arc’s idea was to elevate the McDonald’s over time with their comments staying veryFries brand by taking ownership of the pop positive throughout the program. Overall,culture phrase “You want fries with that?” and positive brand sentiment on Twitter was higherusing it to associate McDonald’s Fries with than benchmark.celebratory moments in life. Arc turned it into a “It wasn’t just about winning money. Thestatement – “You want McDonald’s Fries with contest leveraged the emotional connectionthat.” – and then into a call to action: Tell us people have with McDonald’s Fries,” Carltonwhat you want McDonald’s Fries with, and you says. “People were associating McDonald’scould win $25,000 to make it happen. It could Fries with all their favorite things in life.”be anything from world peace to a new pair of The framework helped the team understandshoes. the combination of Shopper Needs at play, and The contest was an interactive experience validated their creative hunches. “We wantedthat turned each entry into a personalized something fun and spontaneous. We weredeclaration about the brand that people could addressing indulgent and impulsive needs,share on Facebook and Twitter. And by using with some in-the-know elements,” Carltonsocial media, each shared entry inspired explains. “We wanted the sharing aspect ofother people to share their own connection Facebook because we wanted more thanwith McDonald’s Fries, resulting in more than a one-way vehicle: We had a hunch people270,000 entries. would want to share this with their friends.” Arc wanted word-of-mouth vehicles to cater Overall, the promotion garnered more thanto customers’ in-the-know impulses when they 240 million media impressions and kicked off adiscovered the message on Fries boxes. “We period of strong year-over-year unit growth forchose social media platforms based on two- McDonald’s Fries.way communication and sharing. We chose “But this is the beginning. We want to ‘2.0platforms that fit the budget and could really it’ and keep it growing,” Carlton says. 10 SocialShop
To get people here. We go through here.Cross-channel activation experts that know how to connect shoppers to yourbrands. In the places that matter to you and the places that matter to them. Looking for an expert? Let’s talk. Nick Jones • email@example.com • 312.220.4533 Arc Worldwide is part of Leo Burnett Group.