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Published April 1st 2014

How a German Banking Giant Made Sense of Social Media at Scale

The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (The German Savings Banks Finance Group) consists of over 350 locally managed and decentralized banks, 15,300 branches and offices, and 245,000 employees.

With so many independent parts, it’s easy to imagine how implementing any common system that’s useful for all the Sparkasse branches would be quite a complex challenge.

And that’s the challenge that was faced when Sparkasse and Brandwatch first began working together.

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The biggest hurdle in this project was brainstorming how to sift through the diverse array of social media to present only the meaningful information to each branch.

The group’s largest branch, Hamburger Sparkasse (EUR 37.7 billion in total assets), didn’t want to read every tweet directed at the smallest one, Stadtsparkasse Bad Sachsa (EUR 129.6 million), and vice-versa.

However, when Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe approached Brandwatch for a social listening solution for their honeycomb of diverse banks, we were happy to create a holistic system to tie all the free-floating parts together.

Breaking Down the Data


Using Brandwatch, the banking group were able to track all mentions of the brand across the web, subdividing by location of topic.

In addition to overall brand monitoring, Sparkasse’s branches each had individual projects scanning for relevant and local data.


Real-time monitoring captured daily activity and automatically broke down data into three tiers:

1. Relevant events or general knowledge
2. Events that warranted concern or response
3. Events requiring immediate action

In the uncomfortable event of a crisis, the branch could use Brandwatch’s sophisticated alerts functionality to speedily route potential crises to the appropriate teams before they escalated.

These features came in handy when a particular branch’s ATM broke down. Sparkasse’s monitoring team noticed the online chatter on the issue long before they received any feedback from their technical department, or even before those working in the bank itself noticed.

If “time is money“ then saving time must be great news for the banking business.

A Single System


However, one of the hardest parts of this project was figuring out how to connect all the different pieces of the puzzle.

By giving all staff members access to dashboards and insights, Sparkasse made information transparent and seamless between its disparate groups.

The various sharing and workflow options available in Brandwatch helped make this process as painless as possible.


Furthermore, Sparkasse took advantage of how easy it is to develop and adapt analysis to understand complex issues according to any needs, thanks to functionality like Rules and Categories.

The banking group’s marketing department found these more specific and in-depth analyses highly useful for tracking the success of individual media campaigns.

The firm’s online marketing manager, Ibrahim Ghubbar, said that

“with Brandwatch, we’re given the power and tools to quickly make amendments to our data and monitoring setup, and for more complex issues we can always rely on their high quality support team”

The “Custom” in Customer Service


The Sparkasse case study really highlights how important it is for social media monitoring tools to be adaptable.

In a world where the landscape is constantly changing, there cannot be a uniform solution or one size fits all.

Brandwatch’s flexible monitoring tool and renowned customer service allowed Sparkasse to develop a setup that worked best with their current system.


Want to test just how flexible we can be? Get in touch to find out how we can provide a solution that’s as unique as your requirement.

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