Interview: Carnegie Mellon Professor Ari Lightman On How Students Are Empowered By Learning To Use Brandwatch Consumer Research
By Kara FinnertyJun 10
Published November 12th 2013
Agency life can be tough. It’s a competitive market with agencies constantly fighting for business, for some smaller agencies nabbing that one major deal is what keeps them afloat.
The agency big boys like MediaCom, Carat and MEC are producing awesome results, but these guys have massive teams behind them, backed by huge budgets.
Company size and cashflow aren’t the only weapons in a successful agency’s armory, there are many ways that any agency can stay ahead of the pack.
It’s about being smart, doing your research and knowing even more about that client you’re pitching to tomorrow than they do.
Traditional methods of market research, such as customer surveys and focus groups would have been used to gain an understanding and knowledge of a client’s customer base, competitors and wider market.
However, we’re living in a digital age now and an agency ignoring social data is like trying to operate in the middle ages.
So using social data how can agencies staying ahead in this fierce market?
Being able to demonstrate ways consumers are using a product, especially those that the brand weren’t aware of, could highlight a massive growth area for the business.
Looking at conversation online surrounding a particular product and identifying key topics or themes within the data can not only isolate potential new business opportunities or relationships, but also help streamline messaging and campaigns.
The client you’re pitching to should know the fans and advocates engaging with them on their own channels, but that is not the only place people are going to be talking about them.
Delving into the web and unearthing forums dedicated to a certain product, run solely by fans, could be somewhere the brand should be engaging or exploiting.
You may be able to show the client how to locate some hugely influential brand advocates and otherwise unknown online personas that can be harnessed.
All brands are using social. Well, we hope they are anyway (if not, get in touch!). The bigger question here however is: are they doing it right?
Measuring the success of the Facebook or Twitter campaigns a brand has run in the past or being able to tell them the impact a piece of content had or the reach and level of engagement it had is a sure-fire way of impressing a prospect in a pitch – showing them you have an understanding of their previous campaigns’ success will ensure you’re better positioned to take responsibility for new ones.
Knowing what is working (and even more importantly what isn’t working) for a brand’s competitors is pure solid gold.
Being able to demonstrate an understanding of the wider industry and who their major competitors are – perhaps even competitors they weren’t aware about – will not only impress during your pitch, but will also help you craft a much more targeted and nuanced service offering to the client.
Is that campaign your biggest rival ran last month doing well? What are people saying about their latest product? Who is the most successful in the sector and why?
Using social data to listen to what consumers really want, identifying a gap in the market and ways to improve a current product, as well as isolating features consumers are already asking for shows you’ve done your homework.
Now we can’t guarantee you that doing all the above is going to secure that crucial client, but you’re going to go into that pitch with alot of insight and knowledge, having that under your belt may make all the difference. We’ve got another seven tips to help you win new business with pitches too.
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