Using Social Analytics to Identify New Markets


Published on

Read this case study to see how American research firm The Social Studies Group used Brandwatch to identify a new, socially active market segment for an ethnic-branded food product.

Published in: Social Media, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Using Social Analytics to Identify New Markets

  1. 1. Case Study/ Consumer Goods Major Brand The Social Studies Group Uses Social Analytics to Understand Social Consumers
  2. 2. Case Study/ The Social Studies Group About/ The Social Studies Group The Social Studies Group Delivering valuable consumer research through social insights Company: The Social Studies Group Headquarters: Washington, DC Audience: Consumer Brands Industry: Social Media Research Website: • Identified a new, socially active market segment for ethnic-branded food products Services: • Uncovered the differences between the brand’s online and offline audiences • Mapped the brand’s competitive positioning and content in the social media realm Social Media Research, Marketing & Branding Strategy Brandwatch Services: Social Media Monitoring and Analytics Yielding a true picture of organic social discussions The Goal/ The Challenge/ Understand a Brand’s Competitive Position in the Social Space Key Results/ Parsing Big Data to Gain Valuable Insights Referring to themselves as “Nerds with Panache,” The Social Studies Group (SSG) is a social media research firm with a seasoned team that brings over five decades of marketing and branding strategy to each engagement. This enables the firm to gather the right intelligence and deliver meaningful results for companies seeking more knowledge in the area of consumer research. Three major challenges arose as SSG attempted to gain social insights on behalf of their client. First, there is a massive volume of data and conversations related to ethnic foods, because there is a long history of social conversations popping up around name-brand products. One of SSG’s clients – a global consumer goods company and household name – wanted to understand how its pre-packaged ethnic food products stacked up against the competition in the eyes of social consumers. Brand managers had three specific goals in mind for SSG as the firm began its social media data collection and analysis: 1. To quantify the brand’s share of social conversations versus its six largest competitors 2. To profile the market segments most involved in social discussions about the products in question: pre-packaged ethnic foods (i.e., mixes, spices, etc.) 3. To understand the social positioning of each of the brand’s ethnic products, individually SSG was also tasked with performing its analysis based on real, organic consumer discussions. There is a vast amount of brand-directed content about grocery items on social media (e.g., coupons and giveaways), and brand managers did not want this included in the analysis. Second, the volume of brand-directed content rivals that of organic discussions, which means that SSG would need to systematically ignore nearly half the data for some brands in order to isolate consumer-driven content. Third, people often discuss products without mentioning their names, presenting SSG with the risk of under-counting or completely missing important conversations. “When looking at brands with many extensions, it’s important to be able to flexibly query social data in all sorts of ways,” said Wendy Scherer of SSG. “Consumers usually don’t spell things out the way we would like, so we have to develop creative queries to reach those ‘ah-hah’ moments.” Since the client’s brand managers were unsure if their emerging knowledge of their online consumers was complete or representative, SSG decided that the initial search should pull data from as many social sources as possible. This would need to include the biggest social media sites with a B2C focus, as well as blogs, forums and other sites that delved into such topics as recipes, fun food, social eating, etc. However, the budget and turnaround time for this exploratory search presented an additional challenge when considering an all-out data gathering effort.
  3. 3. Case Study/ The Social Studies Group Combining Advanced Queries with Random Sampling The Solution/ The Results/ Budget-friendly Data Collection New Audience and New Market Opportunities Uncovered SSG had been using Brandwatch on behalf of other clients and enjoyed particular success when performing broad data collection combined with complex social analytics. In this case, with the budget and time constrained to a smaller search scope, SSG leveraged the automated rules and random sampling capabilities within the Brandwatch platform to shrink the data set as much as possible before applying analytics to it. When launching the search for relevant data across all social sites, SSG used Brandwatch’s automated search rules to filter out all brand-directed content – see Figure 1. At the same time, the team hand-tagged themes they had created based on their knowledge of the market. For example, they found that ethnic foods are often mentioned with such themes as Fig. 1 “group dining”, “quick and easy”, and “family night.” SSG then got a clear picture of their data in a cost-efficient manner by taking a random sampling of the Big Data results. “It’s nice that Brandwatch bakes random sampling functionality right into the platform,” said Scherer. “It enabled us to run our advanced queries against a data set that was statistically significant, yet less costly to manage and analyze.” With a reasonable sample data set across all products under investigation, the team applied Brandwatch filters to break out results by gender and age. When identifiable, SSG even tagged data for “Mom” and “Dad.” The team then micro-segmented the results for each competing brand, including breakdowns by individual product, usage variables and additional demographics. Actual search query used by SSG in their ethnic foods research [FULL BRAND AND COMPETITVE SEARCH] NOT ((promo* NEAR/10 (sale OR buy)) OR (raw:(save OR Save OR SAVE OR off OR Off OR OFF) NEAR/4 raw:("$" OR "%")) OR title:(coupon* OR voucher* OR discount* OR weekly OR ad OR deal* OR matchup* OR albertsons OR kroger OR walmart OR meijer OR freebie* OR ((promo* OR now) AND buy) OR sale OR save OR click OR "credit card" OR creditcard OR purchase OR (free AND (ship OR shipping)) OR (order AND (now OR online)) OR ((get OR save) AND (off OR "up to"))) OR "buy buy buy"~20 OR "purchase purchase purchase"~20 OR "order order order"~20 OR "credit credit credit"~20) As the team filtered data, statistically significant results began to show, yielding a true picture of the organic social discussions taking place around specific competing products and the people who care about them. This would inform the marketing content and opportunity recommendations that the SSG team would present to the brand managers at its client company. Historically, the company has focused its marketing efforts on moms in their late twenties and thirties. However, the social analytics revealed a substantial online audience segment that has not been apparent in the offline audience, with a sizable online conversation dominated by unmarried people in their twenties. “You can imagine the value that this research has had on the company’s social media marketing efforts,” said Scherer of SSG. “We’re talking about a very different set of content, messages and strategies when targeting a 22-year-old college guy versus a 38-year-old working mom.” How was SSG’s client performing against competitors in the social media space? That is client confidential, according to SSG. But one thing is certain: The client has the evidence in hand to pursue a new market opportunity that is heavily engaged and displaying a penchant for their products, thanks to the efforts of SSG and Brandwatch Analytics.
  4. 4. “You can imagine the value that this research has had on the company’s social media marketing efforts” About/ About The Social Studies Group The Social Studies Group ( is a market research firm that specializes in using social media conversations and visual content to help companies better understand their customers, competitors, markets and industries. Custom service offerings include netnography (virtual ethnography), identifying and analyzing niche communities and influencers; comparative linguistic analyses of social media used for organizational and brand messaging; creating “universes” that can be monitored and analyzed over time; and in-depth social media monitoring for knowledge accumulation and analyses. Wendy Scherer, Managing Partner, The Social Studies Group About Brandwatch Brandwatch is a leading provider of social media monitoring and analytics solutions. More than 600 global brands and agencies use Brandwatch, relying on a broad range of social coverage and highly reliable, spam-free data to monitor online conversations. As a result, organizations can glean insights around their brand interests, conduct market research, predict market trends, and more actively engage influencers, customers and prospects. A global company, Brandwatch is headquartered in Brighton, UK and has offices in the United States and Germany. For more information, please visit For more information, please visit @Brandwatch | Brandwatch Blog | Brandwatch Fan Page