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Published November 30th 2017

The Marketer of 2018: Placing Emphasis on Emotion and Qualitative Insights

We explain why marketers need to pay attention to emotional and qualitative as much as quantitative, and how to do it properly.

When you think of your favorite campaigns of all time, do you recall how they made you think or what they made you feel?

If it’s a great campaign it’ll do both – we’re told again and again that people want an authentic connection with the brands they love, and there’s plenty of competition out there when it comes to hitting consumers right in the feels.

But achieving an emotional response, measuring that response and then reporting on that response comes with challenges.

The marketer of 2018 will need to be a pro at all three.

Making people feel things

B2B and technology companies won’t escape the tide of desire for emotional connection – your customers want authenticity and are looking beneath the surface of your brand.

Just look at some of the top Christmas adverts sweeping the UK and how they play on romantic versions of belonging, caring and togetherness as opposed to appealing to our raw instinct to stuff ourselves with roasted meats, drink too much wine and fall asleep in front of a crappy movie after an argument about Brexit. Love and happiness is totally in.

In times of divide, appealing to common values and universal feelings could help out. At the same time, handle emotions carefully.

The way we express our emotions is changing all the time. Luckily, though, one of the latest trends makes it easier to convey personal responses: Emoji. Something that marketers can measure with ease.

For example, we were able to take a look at how people felt about the UK Government’s 2017 Budget by examining which emojis were being used most when discussing it.

Qualitative insights find the human

Analyzing social media data in a way that goes beyond simple metrics like retweets and replies can be a daunting task. It’s characteristically a little messy and unpredictable and just knowing where to start can sometimes be a challenge.

If you’re just starting a new piece of research, an exploratory approach can help. If you’re looking for trends, begin with a representative sample of the data and click through assigning tags and categories as you go – while you’ll probably find things that apply to the categories you started looking for, you’ll also find surprises. These surprises are often golden nuggets of insight that shine much earlier when your analysis starts from the bottom up.

Qualitative approaches need not be limited to the exploratory phase of research, though. In our recent report written in partnership with Ditch the Label, quantitative and qualitative insights worked side by side to communicate findings from analyzing 13 million conversations on mental health.

In the Symptom Journey section you’ll see them in action. The quantitative insight might be that symptoms of a particular problem reported by someone on social media appear to be getting closer together. Examining the conversations from a qualitative point of view, looking at the actual words and situations, shows that the person experiencing them begins to use more medical terminology to describe them, showing a greater understanding of the condition they’re dealing with and how to cope with the symptoms.

Here’s one example:

The voice of the customer in their own words

In large organizations decision makers are often many layers removed from actual interactions with customers, so ensuring their voices are heard by a company’s leaders is essential to creating customer-first experiences.

Including verbatim examples in reports is one way to illustrate numerical findings and show the humans behind them.

“Verbatim is impactful. Where high level stake holders are involved, they don’t always have time to read and digest the whole report, but if you’ve got recurring themes with example mentions they add more colour and detail. It’s the same story, but with different angles.”


Brandwatch’s Vizia literally brings the voices of customers into the spaces where they’re needed most, verbatim.

Vizia allows you to see what your customers are talking about in real time. See what your front-line colleagues are hearing from customers, what your customers are ranting and raving on, all beautifully displayed in a way that shows you just what your customers care about right now. Featured posts and topics tiles are great for getting the valuable verbatim snippets of the conversation.

Our return on investment is more qualitative than quantitative. We’re focused on understanding the voice of the customer, connecting with all of our local markets and bringing the online world into the day-to-day business operations. The MoneyGram Command Center has helped us achieved all of these goals

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Steve Rayson


Peter Fairfax

Research Data Scientist

Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.