Visible Intelligence Successes in Marketing & PR
The following success stories illustrate the many ways you can use our social media monitoring and analytics platform, Visible Intelligence®, to improve Marketing and PR outcomes including: preventing crises, gauging brand health, optimizing marketing messaging, as well as identifying target audiences and regional promotions.
- Brand Health
- Consumer Perceptions
- Conversation Monitoring
- Customer Engagement
- Marketing Messaging
- Retail Strategy
- Crisis Monitoring
- Crisis Prevention
- Crisis Response
- Crisis Severity
When a crisis hits—or worse yet, several—you need to understand the public reactions and conversations, and where they’re taking place. Gone are the days of just watching CNN, ABC, NBC, and reading the print. Those outlets are still meaningful, but they give you only part of the picture. If you’re not listening to social media, then you’re not getting a full view. With Visible®, you can understand the tone of the social-media conversations, where they’re taking place, and what conversation volume is like.
A major health-care company uses Visible to monitor social media conversations around their brand. When the company was faced with several incidents that resulted in negative news, the corporate communications group was perfectly placed to stay on top of what was being said.
Working with Visible, the company could track both volume and tone of the social media conversations. They could see what was being said, and where, to be reassured that they understood public reaction. They could see spikes in volume, and also the trends of how long it took the conversations to tail off. That helped the company decide how to address each situation.
With so many people talking in so many places, how do you keep track of your brand? You have click-throughs on your website and ad response analysis. But what are people saying on Twitter and Facebook? And what about blogs and forums?
A leading financial services company wanted to make sure they were getting a global view of how people see their brand, so they turned to Visible to help complete the picture.
Visible provides them with a monthly overview of how people are talking about their brand and how their performance stacks up against the competition. They can see the volume of posts, what is driving the sentiment, where the discussions are happening, and when there are spikes. In places where things look interesting, they take a deeper dive. What is their total share of the conversation? How much of that is positive? How much is negative? What’s the volume? And how does all of that stack up against the competition? When they see they’re getting 25% of the total volume, but 31% of the positive buzz, then it helps them understand consumer attitudes.
Combine that with other data, and the company gets a good picture of the health of its brand both in terms of strategic company positioning, as well as compared to competitors.
You want to be there for your customers, but your resources are limited. What to do?
When the possibilities seem endless, sometimes the best strategy is to be highly focused. That’s what one Visible customer has done. They have just one employee who participates in social media conversations, and he has other responsibilities as well. There’s no time to mine data. Instead, the company works with Visible to monitor specific platforms for questions that include certain terms, including their brand. When someone mentions those key words, the customer service rep gets an alert on his Blackberry, and he can respond then and there, wherever he is.
Vail Resorts has a sweet product to sell: fun vacations in beautiful places. And the product is suitable for virtually every age group—from young adults, to families, to retirees. But there’s some stiff competition from other resorts, and Vail wants to engage with people and make sure that they’re considering Vail when they’re thinking about a mountain vacation.
And that’s the key: to get people to look at Vail when they’re thinking about a mountain vacation. Sure, there are other media outlets—but connecting with someone who’s looking to book a mountain trip is way more precise than an ad in a magazine at the dentist’s office. So one of the ways Vail connects with customers is to participate in the social media conversation. And they use Visible to make that happen. Amid the mass of social media posts, Vail can identify people who are planning mountain trips. And, from within the Visible platform, the Vail bloggers can engage with customers or potential customers. They can provide helpful information, answer questions, and link people to Vail’s online resources—which, of course, include options to buy some pretty great vacation packages.
With Visible, Vail can be where the customers are, and be there at the right moment. Then they’re in a position to engage and influence. And that’s useful even if what you’re selling isn’t quite as much fun as a ski vacation.
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt. FUD. Is that the right approach? What if you’re selling a product that helps people live healthier lives? People know they should… but it’s always a tough go. How do you reach them?
A major consumer healthcare company wanted a better sense of their customers—and potential customers—for a personal health product (think people trying to lose weight or quit smoking). Previous marketing and advertising had emphasized health risks—basically a message based on fear. The people managing the brand were concerned that this approach might be viewed as condescending. They thought that reaching out in a more sympathetic way might be better, but they wanted to confirm this idea.
Working with Visible, the company was able to understand how people talked about the process they were going through. They saw that the conversation was vibrant—and often expressed in rather salty terms. Visible monitoring and reporting confirmed that the sympathetic approach was the right one, more likely to be successful than a message based on fear. In mapping the social networking ecosystem, Visible found that the conversations were widely dispersed. Even better, no competitors were participating, providing a good opportunity for the company to engage customers, and potential customers, in the social media arena.
The company shifted their messaging to a more understanding tone to acknowledge just how hard it is to lose weight or quit smoking, and they started participating on social media sites and in online conversations. As a result, the company has seen an increase in the sales of the brand’s products—for the first time in years.
A large home-improvement chain likes to listen. They like to hear what people are talking about, what projects they’re planning. It’s like sitting in your local coffee shop and listening to what people are planning to do over the weekend—except on a national scale. Of course, it’s not the same everywhere. People in Arizona might be worrying about their lawns, while people in Maine are still thinking about snow throwers.
Working with Visible, the company can understand what people in a particular region are doing. Are they worried about crabgrass? Are they trying to figure out how to lay tile in the bathroom? What are the trends? The major pain points? Knowing these things, the retailer can adjust everything from merchandising to advertising—even in-store workshops. And since they look at it regionally, they can have the right merchandise—and message—in the right place at the right time.
It’s like listening in at every coffee shop in the country—except you have to get your own coffee.
Is it a crisis? Who is talking about it? Does anyone care?
A member of the PR team at a major company was concerned about the buzz around an employee termination. Her bosses didn’t think it was a big deal because they hadn’t seen any coverage in media like the New York Times, or national TV outlets. But the PR staffer understood that influencers might be in very different places. In particular, she wanted to look at the conversations happening in social media, so she worked with Visible to track the conversations and get meaningful reports. The reports showed that the termination of the employee was a big issue—and that the conversation wasn’t happening at the New York Times, but on YouTube and on forums. She showed the reports to her managers, who immediately understood that the incident really was something to be concerned about.
The company was then able to address the issue before it got any bigger. Not only that—the PR staffer was given budget to hire people to form a new-media team at the company. The insight into this event changed not only the response to the one incident, but also the company’s vision of where it should put its resources.
When Kraft Foods changed the recipes for some of its salad dressings, they wanted to know what people were saying. So they turned to Visible to help them monitor the social media conversation.
At first blush, it didn’t look too good. Not only did people dislike the taste of the salad dressings, but there were also reports of people cutting their fingers on the new packaging. Kraft had not heard received any complaints through its customer service hotline, but many people where taking their complaints online for over a year and a half, rather than directing them to the company. In fact one poster even stated that they hoped Kraft was listening so they would know to fix the problem.
Once Kraft knew about the problems, they could take action. Clearly, the bottle cap design needed to be fixed. Beyond that, Kraft was able to respond to people and let them know that the company was concerned and addressing the problem. They also monitored reaction to the recipes and found that the objections were short-lived. There were a few vocal people, but no more than that.
By monitoring the conversations, Kraft gained a better understanding of what their customers were thinking, and they were able to respond directly to the people concerned. And they were able to fix the problem with the bottle before more people were hurt and it became a PR issue. So while the initial report wasn’t as positive as Kraft might have hoped, the information enabled them to react quickly and make things better.
The M80 Agency developed an ad for Audi USA showcasing a clean diesel engine. The ad—intended for viewing during the Super Bowl—was clever and funny, featuring “Green Police” busting people for infractions like putting a banana peel in the trash instead of the compost.
What everyone missed, however, was the fact that the term “Green Police” had been used in Germany during the Nazi era. Since Audi is a German company, this seemed potentially insensitive. But given the nature of the ad, did it matter?
To find out, M80 and Audi worked with Visible to monitor the social media conversation before the Super Bowl. That helped them to verify that they didn’t need to cancel the ad. They continued to monitor the conversation during and after the Super Bowl. While there was a little commentary on this issue, most of the posts had to do with the environmental message, the car, and the background music. That validated the decision to let the ad run—and do nothing further.
When a crisis hits, you have to figure out both what to say and how actively to say it. You need to understand both the crisis itself and the public perception of what’s happening. You need to be ready to act, to address public concerns. But there also is the danger of doing too much.
One of the world’s biggest airlines faced a situation like this when a high-profile suspected criminal was arrested after boarding one of their flights. The arrest was big news in major mainstream news outlets, such as newspapers and television. And, of course, the conversation was vibrant in social media.
The airline was already a Visible customer, and their Visible account manager recognized the need to keep tabs on the event. He immediately created a series of keyword searches to begin tracking the event. He was then able to present a series of reports for the client showing how the social media buzz changed over the course of a few days in terms of volume, source and overall tone. While the initial spike of interest was large, and some comments were negative, the company was able to see that interest in the story died out fairly quickly, without their intervention. Without this data from Visible, the airline might have felt compelled to make public statements about an incident that was fading from attention—which could have unintentionally kept the event in the public eye.
Visible can help you understand the social landscape—so that you do enough, but not too much, in a time of crisis.