Helen & Gertrude (H&G) was founded in 2016. It’s part media agency, part creative agency, and prides itself on being 100% data driven.
A key part of H&G’s data toolkit is Brandwatch, primarily used by Senior Data Analyst Tegan Jenner who’s been using the platform since the agency first adopted it around five years ago. She’s a Brandwatch Consumer Research power user who is responsible for working on all kinds of data projects, from research that informs massive product launches to regular competitive intelligence reports.
In this case study you’ll hear from Tegan on why Helen & Gertrude chooses Brandwatch, the key Brandwatch use cases that help the agency delight clients, and how Brandwatch data helps win new business for the team.
Why does Helen & Gertrude choose Brandwatch?
Tegan has had her fair share of demos with social intelligence providers, but Brandwatch has won her custom every time. There are several factors as to why.
First up, Tegan finds the Brandwatch platform “smooth and easy” and loves the intuitive query and dashboard building. This is something she found clunkier in competitor demos.
Second, it’s Brandwatch’s data visualization. These are particularly important for Tegan as her presentations, which are often shared externally, need to look great but not take forever to create.
“I’m a data analyst and I’m making 100+ slides every week. I try to keep the quality really, really high. If I have to use an ugly graph from some place it pains my soul,” she says.
“Brandwatch has great visualizations that are already beautiful and easy to read, and can just be screenshotted and placed in my deck.”
She also appreciates the help of Brandwatch’s data visualization when explaining tricky or surprising insights to clients. “When you’re delivering unexpected news or bad news about a brand, if you have nice graphs and visuals in the dashboard it makes it easier. You can show how you didn’t pull an insight out of thin air and share a graph that shows how things are trending over time.”
Finally, platform flexibility and the depth of insight that Tegan is able to generate for clients and colleagues is a real winner. Brandwatch will often send her down a rabbit hole when researching client projects. “That can be really exciting – when you find an insight you weren’t expecting and it guides your campaign in a new direction,” she says.
Key use cases for Brandwatch + Helen & Gertrude
Helen & Gertrude has advanced their social listening over recent years. Things started with brand health checks and general trend analysis, but now Brandwatch insights inform all kinds of campaigns. Let’s take a look at a few of the core Brandwatch use cases put to work at the agency.
Brand health monitoring was an early use case for H&G. This incorporates looking at what people are saying about clients and their products, and can involve metrics like volume of mentions and sentiment analysis, as well as studying the kinds of topics surfacing in conversations.
It might sound simple, but social media data always allows the possibility for analysts to go down rabbit holes and explore unexpected insights. Tegan gives the example of a beauty brand that was generating a huge amount of conversation among people in the adult entertainment industry. This was a surprising insight, but one that was highly relevant and of significant value to the client as it opened up a brand new audience segment. This wouldn't have been found without social data.
Over time, the kinds of questions clients have been asking have evolved. “It’s gone beyond ‘what are people saying about my product’ and moved into ‘how is my brand connected to wider social issues?’,” explains Tegan.
And, as time has gone on, clients have been asking for more.
“Sometimes with the clients we do regular projects for we have to rein them in because they want everything. They’ve seen how valuable the insights can be, and they ask for more and more.”
Ad-hoc trend analysis
While the kinds of analysis the agency has done using social data have become more sophisticated, that doesn’t mean that Tegan’s colleagues have had to become expert data scientists.
As requests trickle in for more data and analysis, Tegan has been able to onboard many colleagues at speed by giving them access to Brandwatch Quick Search. This allows them to look at a snapshot of data using simple search parameters to answer clients’ questions at speed.
This is great for ad-hoc questions on trends (both that relate to the client and that are more general).
“I love the Quick Search tool,” Tegan says. “It’s helped with team efficiency – not every request has to come through me – team members can just go in and get a quick pulse check for a client.”
Competitor intelligence reports are a huge part of Tegan’s work, and she produces five or six per month for clients. Luckily she’s got the process down to a fine art.
“We have a specific dashboard where I make separate tabs for each competitor so I can look month over month where any spikes have been coming from, and at the biggest topics and products competitors are being discussed in regards to,” she says.
Her reports, full of Brandwatch insights and the visualizations she loves, go on to inform all kinds of different activities for clients.
For example, Tegan can catch competitor announcements or launches that may have otherwise gone under the radar, or identify how competitor campaigns are running. She gives the example of a client in the beauty industry that’s running a campaign around mental health and how she’s able to show how competing campaigns on the subject are performing quantitatively, as well as the kinds of qualitative reaction they’re generating.
“Whenever a client launches a new product we use Brandwatch to look at industry trends and what people are saying about this specific type of product,” Tegan says.
This can include answering questions like:
- How has the conversation changed over time?
- What are the main types of products people are looking for?
- What are the main issues they’re trying to solve with those products?
This is the kind of analysis that can’t be performed with simple Google searches. “I could do a Google search and see what gets served to me, but that’s not necessarily what’s gaming traction with consumers,” Tegan explains.
Data segmentation is key to getting the best insights.
“I love categories and rules - using those in interesting ways takes it to the next level. That’s where the big insights come. Not only breaking things out by competitor – that’s obvious – but looking at it by the types of products that solve a problem.”
One of the most interesting ways that data is used in Helen & Gertrude is how it’s brought into almost every aspect of the agency’s work. The insights Tegan is able to generate around a product launch can help inform the creative strategy, feeding into the product aspects the design and copy should highlight.
Winning new business with Brandwatch data
And if all that wasn’t enough, another aspect of Tegan’s role is helping with new business pitches.
Social media data can also give prospective clients a new window into consumer behavior that they may not have explored before. A sample of 5,000 people talking on social media about different body parts they might want laser hair removal from can give a beauty brand a lot more insight than anecdotes, and it’s significantly quicker than asking those people outright.
Brandwatch really helps Helen & Gertrude with prospective clients from an industry the agency hasn’t worked in before. Tegan gives the example of a tea company, and how she can easily bring up data on trending flavors of tea and other insights that can help elevate their pitch that little bit more.
“It shows that we already have an industry inside look before we even start working with you. Brandwatch has definitely helped in new business pitches – we look like we know what’s going on.”