Measuring Return on Investment Using Social Data

White Paper

What source or sources are you going to consult to know what audiences think? You want to be sure the source you’re using is vetted, and at a premium, accurate at capturing the unvarnished social environment.

How do you measure changes in customer motivation and intent? How can you tell if customers are intending to buy more? How do you know what they think of a client/brand in general?

Download this whitepaper to learn how using social data can help to answer these questions.

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How do you define return?

Once your agency has crafted a campaign for a client brand and it’s been put to market, you’ll ultimately want some feedback. Not only from the client and their perception of your efforts, but you’ll really want a clear picture of how the creative did with the public—that you can then show to brands in conversation with their perceptions. Understanding public perception, and better, intent to action is perhaps one of the biggest business challenges we have today. What source or sources are you going to consult to know what audiences think? You want to be sure the source you’re using is vetted, and at a premium, accurate at capturing the unvarnished social environment.

Using traditional and often singular means, it can be hard to capture these opinions. Perhaps then, one of the most difficult concepts to measure would be return on your investment for your endeavors. ROI is a concept that has been appropriated for a variety of scenarios and use cases across business decisions. How can you understand positive and negative opinions? How do you measure changes in customer motivation and intent? How can you tell if customers are intending to buy more? How do you know what they think of a client/brand in general? It can be overwhelming to say the least, but social insights can help. With the right solution, you can track, measure, categorize, and capture changes in customer behavior and reception that you can weigh against a client brand’s various goals and objectives with regard to your campaigns and endeavors. Being able to quantify the ROI within your campaigns gives you a unique edge in proving your worth, and return, to client brands—and to continuing your business in the future.

As advertising becomes more and more creative in efforts to grab the attention of increasingly taxed viewers, how can advertisers know if their attempts are working? Capitalizing on social insights and developing a strategy to understand the success of efforts and their return for brands and agencies— in changing conversation, in tracking and categorizing consumer intent, in understanding reach and reputation—only continues to grow in importance. Using the example of two major James Bond commercial partners, Belvedere & Heineken, we break down how agencies can understand the scope and return of high value campaigns, which they can take back to meetings with brands for proofing concepts and measuring success of efforts.

Measuring Campaign Effectiveness over Social: Spectre’s Release

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Belvedere & Heineken both created customized content and products in advance of the release of Spectre, the UK’s highest grossing movie of all time.

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Belvedere’s Partnership - The Official Drink of James Bond 24.

The Excellent Choice, Mr Bond advertisement starring Stephanie Sigman, the latest bondwoman, special and limited edition 007 Spectre bottles, private screenings and events hosted around the world and product placement in the film.

Belvedere president Charles Gibb hoped that the marketing deal with 007 would create a firm association for the Polish vodka and James Bond - providing the brand with its largest ever quarter of sales, increasing brand awareness, and creating an unprecedented boost in global reach that wouldn’t have been possible to achieve as easily without a collaboration.

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Heineken’s Partnership - Commercial Partner since Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997.

Heineken | The Chase ad featuring Daniel Craig as Bond, and half a billion 007 branded bottles - giving buyers the opportunity to scan a code on the packaging using a smartphone, allowing them to access exclusive behind-the-scenes Spectre footage.

1. Discover If Efforts Are Getting Traction: Monitor Discussion to Highlight if there is a Change in Conversation

While you’ll likely want to know if there was an increase in positive conversation around your client’s brand and campaign as a result of your efforts (and this is a great place to begin an ROI analyses), simply categorizing conversation as positive or negative only tells you so much.

What’s included in this conversation? What’s driving it? Deeper insights look further than volumes of posts and even further than merely distinguishing whether mentions of brand affiliations were positive or negative.

Belvedere Volume

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A clear and large increase in mentions of Belvedere Vodka on social media can be seen following the release of the “Excellent Choice, Mr Bond” ad on September 10th, 2015, with a general upward trend in conversation continuing into the weeks after the release.

But what does an increase in conversation or sentiment actually mean, not only for the brand but for the agency team who crafted the work? You need to be able to tie these changes to specifics. This leads us to our next ROI campaign measurement.

2. Correlate Conversation to Various Brand Campaign Efforts

Which aspects do audiences respond to? Where and how are they engaging with the campaign? What does this translate to? What do those talking about Belvedere vodka respond to, and how have they engaged with the James Bond partnership efforts? These questions, and more, can be clarified through an understanding of a bigger data picture, supported by social insights.

The following visualisation reveals the distribution of conversation around the Excellent Choice, Mr Bond advertisements and launch of Belvedere’s limited edition 007 bottles - gauging engagement with mentions of the advertisement, bottles, events and selling of the vodka from the ad launch date (September 9th) to a week into the movie’s release (November 2nd).

Belvedere Opinion

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This analysis shows that the top themes of conversation were mentions of Spectre Belvedere Vodka at an event or party (21%), encouraging people to drink/purchase Belvedere (18%), or general mentions of the ad (17%) - which includes news shares and encouragement to watch the advertisement. This illustrates the top elements of exposure concerning the brand and campaign, displaying which efforts were most successful in generating response from consumers. Social media then, can help agencies quantify the role various marketing efforts (and the social conversations associated with them) have played in building customer interest, even revealing the nuances of customer sentiment regarding various efforts.

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Here’s an example of a customer that was so pleased with the limited edition product, they are planning to keep it as a collectable item. Positive experiences such as these are extremely valuable for the customer brand moving forward. Additionally, the insight provides their agency with an excellent example of customer endorsement and campaign success.

3. Move Beyond Correlating Response (and Sentiment) and into Defining Customer Action - Measuring the Stages of Intent

This visualization measures conversation from the launch date of Heineken’s The Chase (21st September) to a week into the movie’s release (2nd November), with notable mentions around a desire to purchase Heineken, which account for over a quarter of conversation of the 12,530 relevant posts on social media.

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Establishing who is really buying, drinking, and purchasing are powerful metrics for agencies concerned with measuring the return on their endeavors and translating this to client brands. Agency teams can show where in the buying cycle their client’s engaged participants are.

Analyses like this not only determine the various levels of exposure experienced by the customer, but also their shift into a consideration/intent phase, tracking the desires of consumers, and finally, into capturing the actual customer.

Crucially, the Heineken analysis also illustrates how users can track why customers followed through on their purchases: for Heineken it uncovered if customers were drawn by the access to the exclusive footage or the limited edition bottles.

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Quantifying sentiment around a client brand or campaign using organic conversations over social media allows agency teams across organizations to assess consumer behavior— measuring campaign success and performance, providing insights for future strategy, and ultimately, illustrating agencies’ value in concrete and definable ways that are easily translated and communicated to brand teams. But marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so it’s important to measure your campaign success against targeted metrics like brand awareness and loyalty, as well as the qualitative and quantitative.

4. Measure Your Efforts Against Brand Awareness

Social insights can help you move from the specifics of audience and customer engagement with client brand campaigns, into understanding return on more difficult tasks such as increased brand awareness and response to brand vision or core message.

Belvedere’s 007 sponsorship was built on a platform designed to associate the brand with James Bond’s cool, stylish and refined persona - and through the large catalogue of posts captured on social media, the various levels of positive engagement relating to Spectre affiliation were revealed.

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Combining the Desire to Consume/Purchase, Belvedere at an Event/Party, Available to Buy/In Stock Here and Come Try/Treat Yourself categories amounts to 62% of conversation, highlighting a mention of Belvedere that is positive and proactive from an ROI point of view as authors state various opinions including an inclination to purchase or sell the vodka. Engagement with event/party placement as well as the “treat yourself” messaging especially tie into the brand’s association with a refined image.

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Using social insights with flexible solutions allows for categories that depict changes in both brand awareness (such as the party venue, and desire to purchase) as well as campaign effectiveness (the expensive bottles and brand spokesperson mentions). By comparing these two conversations in the same analysis you can see how the conversations shifts and grows depending on the results of the data: did the campaign enact positive reactions to new brand strategies? Or did it resonate across the brand as a whole? This is a time-saver for more complex analyses and an easy solution to under multiple conversations at the time same.

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Mentions of 007 Belvedere at an event carried the largest share of conversation, and with several parties taking place globally, this post re-emphasises Belvedere’s market strategy to reach a high-end buyer’s market. In this example we display an event by Versace, one of the world’s leading international fashion brands and a glamorous symbol of Italian luxury.

Capturing social data in this way allows us to dig deep into understanding how a brand’s advertising collaboration has been discussed and perceived, measuring ROI in a relevant and realistic way and allowing for social insights to be used to meaningfully strategize for future opportunities to increase brand awareness.

For Heineken, a desire to purchase or consume, alongside general positivity around the advertisement featuring James Bond himself, is likely to have built brand awareness and strengthened Heineken’s relationship with existing customers and James Bond fans.

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The most frequently mentioned hashtags in posts indicate that #Heineken was mentioned almost exactly as many times as #Spectre - highlighting the strong link built between the brand and film. This visual breakdown shows the share of voice between those top hashtags, a critical tool for revisiting a social campaign with the latest film or product.

Tracking associations and brand awareness through social insights is highly beneficial for agencies in understanding the impact of their strategies: it can prove or disprove the success of a brand or client’s identity in a campaign, helping users understand if consumers are internalising the brand’s core message and persona, or if they’re walking away with something else. Even better, these insights come straight from the consumers themselves, so you can feel secure in knowing that you’re getting a straightforward and accurate picture.

5. Uncovering New Audiences from Campaigns: Who are the People Engaging and Responding?

There is more to social data than just the insights that stem directly from brand and campaign conversation. By gauging an author’s surrounding activity on Twitter - including the content they post and who they follow - you can map the interests that resonate most with those engaging in a certain topic. This is crucial in knowing, and translating to client brands, which audiences your efforts have engaged.

In this visualization from the Crimson Hexagon platform, the further the interest appears to the ends of the arrows, the stronger the interest is to the relative topic of conversation - which in this case are Belvedere mentions in relation to Spectre or general mentions of Spectre/James Bond/007. The larger the circle, the larger the number of people there are connected to that particular interest. For instance, cooking as an interest is more strongly indexed to Belvedere/Spectre conversation than Fashion, but there is a larger audience segment talking about the latter.

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Affinities insights gives agencies and their clients significant insight into what factors are directly related to conversation around their set-out analysis, allowing for a deeper understanding of audiences and future target audiences. Strategically taking this analysis further and deeper allows brands to angle their social media ventures to content and material that is likely to resonate with a particular group.

For example, the interest of Wine is 9 times more prevalent in conversation around Belvedere & Spectre than general Spectre conversation, and unsurprisingly, alongside other interests such as Golf, Vogue & Haute Couture, luxury interests index strongly to the left of the diagram.

Beyond simple strategic methods such as including these interests in SEO keyword fields, delving deeper into a particular interest using Affinities insights allows users to understand more, harnessing the tool to increase reach and engagement by exploiting aspects of the interest such as major influencers and most commonly used hashtags.

Top line summary of Wine interest segment

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Further utilizing Affinities insights to highlight the shared (central) interests and interests indexed towards general Spectre conversation would allow Belvedere to tap further into an unreached target audience that would be likely to engage with the brand. The Belvedere partnership with the film was designed to associate with 007’s class, and so tapping into the general Spectre audience and their interests, strategizing social media efforts more effectively, would allow agencies to use social insights to take client partnerships beyond the advertising and film promotional campaign and tap into new audiences.

Taking this Affinities analysis even further and generating a more refined comparison, this time against two of Belvedere’s major competitors, Smirnoff (a 007 partner in 8 of the films) and Grey Goose (a Skyfall 007 partner), we are able to gain a clearer picture of the success of Belvedere’s target to promote itself as a premium product.

Belvedere / Smirnoff / Grey Goose Affinities

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In comparison to conversation around Smirnoff and Grey Goose, the interests of those engaging in Belvedere conversation in relation to Spectre are fairly consistent with the luxury-objective - revealing interest segments in luxury goods, haute couture, as well as cocktails. Once again, by going deeper within these interests a more meaningful understanding of conversation and future strategy can be defined and acted upon.

6. Understand the Brand’s Reputation

How is your client perceived in the market generally, and is this helping brand loyalty and advocacy?

When the campaign’s finished and you’ve correlated audience engagement, intent and customer position in the buying cycle, using your insights for fresh strategy, you’ll ultimately want to know the general perception of customers towards the brand. Can you see a positive perception of the brand? Are customers more inclined to advocate for the brand beyond the scope of the campaign?

As we have displayed in this analysis of Belvedere and Heineken’s advertising efforts, we have been able to understand tangible sentiment towards the campaigns and recognize the audiences.

So, perhaps the most insightful next step in this ROI assessment is to compare the marketing strategies against general mentions on social media of product placement in films - as we explore if Belvedere and Heineken have “got it right” by creating customized content, products and events - rather than merely placing their product to be ‘seen’ in the film. Both brands generated high levels of conversation related to their products and events, as well as a clear positivity towards the advertisements featuring Stephanie Sigman and Daniel Craig respectively.

What are filmgoers saying about product placement that’s worthy of benchmarking against the Belvedere and Heineken efforts?

Examining sentiment once more, we categorize opinion in the following analysis relating to a brand’s visibility in a movie, measuring mentions of product placement since 2012.

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As displayed, the majority of conversation (61%) is negative—with filmgoers displaying general discontent at a brand’s involvement in a movie, portraying that their involvement is shameful, or even going as far to say that it has ruined the film for them.

Interestingly, one of the most highly used hashtags since 2012 in relation to product placement has been #Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film, which similarly to Belvedere’s inclusion in Spectre, included Bond drinking a Heineken.

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Whereas this sentiment was mostly negative, as perhaps Heineken’s 2012 partnership was not coupled with as substantial a campaign as the Spectre collaboration, mentions of product placement and Belvedere - in relation to the brand’s involvement in Spectre itself - generated only 1% of conversation, most of which were mentions in a news sharing sense, not carrying any positive or negative opinion. This minimal conversation indicates that conversation around other partnership efforts, including customized content and exclusive products, hugely outweighed mentions of the product placement factor for Belvedere’s Spectre collaboration.

Quantifying social media conversation in this analysis and in this way has allowed us to highlight the apparent success in both brand’s partnerships, providing insights of campaigns that partnered strategically with a film outside of solely placing their brand in the movie. Using social data to understand sentiments like these in a relevant way allows agencies to measure reputational effects on client brands, while also benchmarking against previous instances of brand exposure.

Highlighting Client’s Successes Through Social Insights

When it comes down to it, you want to be able to prove that you’re bringing meaningful insights to the table from your pitches through to client projects. You want the agility to demonstrate the various ways that your campaigns and efforts return, and the speed to deliver this to clients in a way that will set you apart from the rest.

Quantifying social media conversation can be used for a variety of challenges across agency workflows, and in this guide, has allowed us to highlight the apparent success in both Belvedere and Heineken’s Spectre partnerships, measuring ROI through providing insights that were then further explored to compare against generic mentions of conventional product placement.

As the business and marketing landscape only continues to evolve, and ROI becomes even more critical, having the ability to query and customise agency analyses to any topic of inquiry will only continue to pay off. Social insights gets to these hard questions, quickly and effectively, quantifying any number of efforts across the agency team’s focus, helping give confidence in understanding the efforts and performance of a campaign - whether captured in retrospect for reporting or for strategic decisions to be applied from up-to-date insights.

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