[Guide] The Social Media Management Maturity Model

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Quantum brings social listening in-house and boosts their research and strategic capabilities by using Brandwatch for data analysis.


Quantum is a global insight, strategy and innovation consultancy.

Quantum partners with local businesses, international conglomerates and visionary startups, addressing complex problems organisations face by putting human understanding at the core of their solutions through extensive use of culture, insights, strategy & analytics. 

Cianan O'Dowd leads a digital social listening team at Quantum, developing design strategies for clients using data from social listening.

Problem: Having little control over outsourced research

To provide clients with strategic advice, the Quantum team needs to have access to up-to-date information and different types of data sources. And the best data-driven insights come from accessing and analyzing larger and diverse data sets, not just from focus groups, interviews, and surveys.

Before using Brandwatch, Quantum used a variety of external consultants to help them conduct research on a project-by-project basis. They would go to the external consultants with a very specific question in mind, and get the report they need. The quality of those reports depended on the hours spent and the complexity of the brief.

As a result, the team used to get very limited results. When they sourced out their research work to external agencies, they were only getting summary reports, which usually lacked rich details necessary to paint a bigger picture. And it made it harder for the team to formulate strategic directions for their client projects.

“We realized that by having access to the raw data in house, our own analysts and our own researchers can actually read into that data at a deeper level.”
— Cianan O'Dowd, Design Strategy & Digital Listening Team Lead, Quantum Consumer Solutions

That made Quantum realize that by having access to the raw data in-house, their own analysts and researchers can read into that data on a deeper level and get to the insights needed to formulate strategies.

When Cianan and his team were working with external partners across different markets, they also realized that in some cases, the analysis was not linking up with the picture that they were getting from real consumer conversations.

When the team managed to get hold of the raw data, they discovered that different analysts have different ways of reading and interpreting the data. It was also down to whether the analysts were picking up on the right information that Quantum were interested in for that particular project. Hence, moving their research capabilities in-house worked in the company’s favor, as they needed people who know how Quantum operates, to steer the research in the right direction.

Solution: Enhancing in-house research capabilities

Quantum decided to conduct their research in-house. They set up a digital listening team and turned to Brandwatch as their social listening and consumer intelligence solution. With Brandwatch, the team was able to access data easily, as the data was laid out in a very clear way.

Compared to other solution providers that they have tried in the past, Quantum found Brandwatch provides them with good and clean data sets. Brandwatch enables Quantum to categorize structured and unstructured data, build clean-cut dashboards, and provide a more efficient workflow for the team. This helps to set them up for success for their analysis work.

“When we came to using Brandwatch.. the tools that are in there and the capabilities that they gave us has made our lives much easier.”
— Cianan O'Dowd, Design Strategy & Digital Listening Team Lead, Quantum Consumer Solutions

Quantum uses a blend of traditional qualitative methods, together with social listening, to give them the breadth that they require. This helps the digital listening team identify trends better and get consensus on a larger scale. Ultimately, using the Brandwatch solution, enables the team to decide on a strategic direction and define the strategy needed for client projects.

Cianan’s team predominantly works to service the company’s needs, but also directly with clients, depending on their briefs. Quantum uses the Brandwatch platform to look at consumer conversations in real time to help them define strategic directions for their projects.

Some examples of how they use Brandwatch for their client projects include:

  • developing a marketing strategy,
  • researching a new type of product innovation
  • or looking at people’s perceptions of flavors for a Food and Beverage client.

Outcome: Quantum’s success with social listening and continuous learning

As Quantum had brought all their social listening responsibilities in house, the support that they got from the onboarding team was critical. The onboarding team helped Quantum understand everything from the principles of scoping data collection depending on the brief to analyzing the data that they collected. The experts at Brandwatch taught the Quantum team how to look at the data and how to think about using the data. The onboarding process was very detailed and very specific to Quantum’s needs as a consulting business; every day is a different task, and every client is different.

They found that Brandwatch was very engaged and receptive to the fact that as a consultancy agency, Quantum’s needs are constantly changing, and they need a platform that helps them adapt. Their needs were being met all the way from the early onboarding process to now, where the team even arranged to have additional time with the Brandwatch analysts for more complex projects.

“Having an onboarding team together with the platform is what made all the difference to us. It has helped us massively over the last year. Now, we have a high level of confidence that we’re actually delivering what we needed to use Brandwatch for.”
— Cianan O'Dowd, Design Strategy & Digital Listening Team Lead, Quantum Consumer Solutions

Marrying qualitative and quantitative research was one of the biggest challenges for Quantum. To help them overcome this, the professional services team at Brandwatch ran a workshop with Quantum to impart some tips and tricks on how to merge the data sets and build a narrative that is qualitative based, while using quantitative numerical data to back up the analysis.

“We get a lot of success having access to that level of detail and that level of specificity that we need.”
— Cianan O'Dowd, Design Strategy & Digital Listening Team Lead, Quantum Consumer Solutions

Falcon.io is now part of Brandwatch.
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Existing customer?Log in to access your existing Falcon products and data via the login menu on the top right of the page.New customer?You'll find the former Falcon products under 'Social Media Management' if you go to 'Our Suite' in the navigation.

Paladin is now Influence.
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Brandwatch acquired Paladin in March 2022. It's now called Influence, which is part of Brandwatch's Social Media Management solution.Want to access your Paladin account?Use the login menu at the top right corner.