Interview: Professor Mike McGuirk on How Brandwatch For Students is Used in His Classroom
By Olivia SwainSep 6
Published June 20th 2017
The agency game is constantly evolving, and though change is not always easy to adapt to, there is no denying that it is an exciting time for digital marketers to push their boundaries and compete successfully to win new business in an environment where agility is key.
Over the last few years, brands’ understanding of the digital landscape has accelerated, leading to increased expectations of their agencies to deliver excellence.
Unsurprisingly, this lead to a boost in competitiveness as well as a greater sophistication and complexity in agency briefs.
In their burning quest for winning new business, agencies struggle with juggling multiple challenges without dropping the ball. The pressure of consistently acquiring top talent, overcoming budget reductions and increasing churn rates, whilst also keeping abreast of the constantly changing digital media landscape can be difficult to handle.
In this highly competitive field, the key to winning new business is being different, standing out from the crowd, going the extra mile and leading your agency to a first-place finish.
To empower you to stay ahead of the game and win new business, we have compiled a list of seven key ways social listening can help you create the perfect pitch.
They say you can’t move forward until you’ve looked back.
Using social listening platforms, you can research the brand’s previous campaigns and learn what was successful, what worked and wasn’t in the plan, and what should be done differently next time.
Focus on one or two recent campaigns of importance and collect key metrics, charts, visuals that can feed into your pitch and show results as well as key areas of improvement. You can then discuss how you could have made that particular type of campaign many times more successful.
Provide easy access to insights that are clear and actionable to help inform future campaigns and boost your chances of winning that pitch.
Whilst most brands will have a rough idea of who their most active Twitter fans are, you could use social listening platforms, such as Brandwatch, to build lists of their superfans on different page types (forums, blogs, social networks, etc), depending on the nature of the business and on which platforms their audience is most active.
You could even take this one step further and rank them by influence scores, numbers of followers, engagement levels, etc. Building strong, long-lasting relationships with your brand advocates starts with high quality, thorough research.
Surprise and originality should be two key elements of a successful pitch.
With Brandwatch, you can unearth online communities, heated discussions, fan groups or unexpected topics of conversation around the brand or the industry they operate in.
Bring to life conversations that the brand might not be aware of early in the pitch, to pique their curiosity, but most importantly answer the key question: so what?
Why is that worth their attention? Explain why they should care and how that particular information they’ve missed out on can help make a positive impact on their brand.
Our top agency clients often cite Alerts and Signals as their favorite platform features. This allows them to be notified in real time if a crisis strikes, when an influencer mentions their client, if there is a spike in mentions and much more.
Whilst pitching, it’d be good to reinforce the power of the softwares you have access to, reassuring them that when it comes to crisis management you are on top of your game, ready to react immediately, respond and protect their brand’s reputation. Succeeding at winning new business for your agency also means making your client feel at ease with leaving their brand image in your hands.
It’s common knowledge that a social listening platform gives you access to high volumes of data, but the main challenge frequently mentioned by agencies is how do you use that data to get to actionable business insights.
Social data isn’t your final destination, it’s simply your starting point. Make the most of it by analyzing and extracting the most useful insights and then brainstorm how that can help make an impact on the business overall.
Blend your social data with other research sources to get the full picture and make pertinent recommendations on which are the key areas of improvement and the next action steps.
Explaining how they can use social listening to find leads can add a sophisticated touch to your pitch to win new business. Using an intent to purchase query (find example below) you can identify individuals who are ready to take action and buy the brand’s products or services.
Reveal the most recent, relevant mentions and explain that going further, not only could they track such mentions and engage, but also be alerted in real-time whenever someone is talking about making a purchase in relation to their brand.
It’s essential to be aware of what other businesses in your industry are doing in order to learn from their mistakes and devise a strategy on how to outsmart them.
Agencies that confidently demonstrate an understanding of the competitions’ consumers online conversations will grab the attention of the prospect, especially if the competition are driving more engagement and currently hold a great share of voice within online consumer conversations.
Revealing deep insights into the competition has a greater impact than simply showing a prospect data about its own brands. Bringing competitor analysis into the pitch at an early stage, with a clear plan of action, will usually help progress a pitch much faster.
Above all, it is important for agencies to create a sense of differentiation and a unique way of using social data to inform all other agency activities, and ultimately win new business. Some of the largest global agencies have teamed up with technology partners to create a productized offering by combining agency expertise and resources with market leading technology.