Latest resource: Maturing from social listening to digital consumer intelligence

A practical guide to levelling up how consumer insights are used across your organization

Read the guide

Latest resource: Maturing from social listening to digital consumer intelligence

A practical guide to levelling up how consumer insights are used across your organization

Read the guide

Published August 14th 2015

Marketing: Connected Data and Transparency Changes Everything

Brandwatch's VP of Inbound Marketing, Joel Windels, highlights how connected data is changing the way brands market their products and glean insights.

Our VP of Inbound Marketing, Joel Windels, presented recently at the great Digital Journeys event hosted by Jellyfish, in Brighton, UK.

The talk explained how connected data and transparency is changing the way brands market their products and learn about their audiences.

In today’s article, Joel talks through these trends and what they mean for the marketer of today.

In today’s article, Joel talks through these trends and what they mean for the marketer of today.

From 1995, to 2015

“In order to get people to come to your website in 1995, you sent an email to Yahoo to ask them list it on their homepage. And they would. Imagine that.

The only way you could track this, the only analytics information you had, was a little number in the corner showing how many people have been to a site. 


There were no connected points.

Now, log into your Google account and you’ll see an incredible amount of information.

It knows how many searches you’ve done and knows the sites that you’re heading to as a result, it knows whether you’re on a device, on a computer, or even on a games console – it knows what you’re searching for, as a unified data set.

This is really powerful, the idea that we are connected experiences, technically human. We exist as an entity on digital, rather than a single set of data points.

When you turn your console on, you probably expect to go to Netflix within about five seconds and start from the midpoint of the episode that you were watching earlier in the day on your laptop – that’s how connected services are making things happen.”

Integrated tech and interactive connectivity for better user experience

“Consider when you order an Uber.

  • Uber uses Google Maps (as they don’t have their own maps product)
  • You decide which route you want your driver to take,
  • And you can ‘soundtrack your ride’ in the car by plugging in to your Spotify account
Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.57.42 AM

This is really indicative of how the edges of apps and services are becoming more blurred.

These just exist on millions of devices and millions of services and inside each other, and drawing the boundaries is ever more difficult.

Now, take the game Clash of Clans. 


This game relies on:

  • Sharing
  • Engaging with other users
  • Socially posting to Facebook

It is a social experience, and this isn’t to be ignored. 

This game has generated more revenue than every Hollywood film ever. Films are a one-way experience – this is a much more connected experience, having a bigger impact upon society.

It’s not just devices that are increasingly connected. Our online profiles and personas are connected in ways that we never really thought would happen. Google is driving lots of that; the idea that you exist across multiple activities, places, and behaviors.

The manifestation of this is data, increasingly massive mountains of data, and it can be overwhelming to marketers to know exactly what the hell to do with it.

If you think about when Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, they might’ve known how many units they’d sold, but they had no idea who was playing it, how long they were playing it for, where they were.


The makers of Clash of Clans can now quite easily understand that 5% of their customers generate 95% of their revenue.

They know how long they play it for, even what they’re doing when they’re not playing it. This level of data makes businesses far more efficient and able to do things that they weren’t able to do just a decade ago.”

Question conventional wisdom

“Consider the idea that people buy more ice creams when it’s sunny and hot.

Now, this kind of thinking is informed media spend, has informed messaging, has informed shop locations, and basically, everything ice cream brands have done for about 100 years.

We worked with one particularly massive ice cream brand who have had sales data available for a while.

They tried to play around with just weather data and sales data, and couldn’t really find too much meaning in it.

When they started plugging in other data sets, such as people saying they were eating ice cream, and uploading pictures of eating ice cream, they actually found it wasn’t on sunny, hot days.

It was often when it was raining on a Sunday. People turned to this brand of ice cream to eat a tub to make themselves feel better about the lack of sunshine.

This changed how the brand marketed their product. Connected data sources enabled them to do that.”

Transparency and place

“It’s likely that when you go out to a restaurant in a city you’ve never been to before, you’ll look up reviews.

If a restaurant has too many unfavorable reviews, no-one is likely to visit it – this is democratizing society.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.15.42 AM


You can no longer just market your way to success. Businesses that do a good job of treating customers right float to the top, so consumers are getting a better quality service. As an example, consumers don’t contact energy providers to ask what the best offer is.

They go and talk to their peers, meaning it’s appropriate for community managers and customer service reps to create social media accounts to engage with people asking questions and seeking advice, in the format that they actually seek answers from.

The last thing is place. 

UK retailer Argos mapped their physical stores to see exactly where people were talking about them, allowing them to discover that people in the north, for example, wanted a more friendly experience. They changed their hiring processes in the north to make sure that new hires were personable.

In other parts of the country, they found that consumers were annoyed there weren’t enough seats while they were waiting for their purchases to be delivered to them, and in London, people just wanted to get in and out as quickly as they possibly could.

Argos changed their hiring processes and the way they ran their stores in different areas according to this data.”

The idea that you can alter a consumer’s experience, and change your product offering as a result of connected data, is a really positive and powerful change.

Interested in discovering more about how to uncover insights about your brand? Request a Brandwatch Analytics demo.

Share this post
Commentary Marketing
Search the blog
React Newsletter

Sign-up to receive the latest insights into online trends.

Sign up

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.