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Smarter Advertising: Measuring Buzz of an Ad Campaign Through Monitoring

Dec/Tue | Category: theJustification | 

A little over a month ago we met with a very smart media planning agency.  We talked about social monitoring and the insights you could learn and then started thinking the relation of that to placing ads might be interesting.  So, we selected an ad campaign that a Fortune 100 company is running with them to put the theory to the test.  (Note:  Due to NDA agreements we can’t disclose the name of the client or the campaign, but rest assured it’s a good one.)

Normally we’d start any program by looking at the objectives, but without access to the original campaign strategy, that wasn’t possible.  Instead, we established our goal as simply to measure buzz and sentiment around the campaign in general.  We hoped to reveal how much conversation the campaign sparked and among what audience.

To set up the monitoring, we carefully created a list of keywords and phrases to monitor in order to measure the buzz.  We then built this into the two tools we are currently testing – Filtrbox and Scout Labs – and set it to run.

The initial “buzz” report returned a lot of advertising trade coverage from mainstream media and blogs resulting mostly from the press release the company had sent out.  This initial blip quickly died down and it almost seemed that all we were going to be able to say was that there was effectively zero buzz.  However, toward the end of the week, we began to pick up on strong reactions to the celebrity talent used in the campaign.  Quickly we added those as separate key words so we could track the buzz and conversation sentiment around each.

What we found by was eye opening – while the mainstream news and blog coverage of the campaign faded off, the social discussion about these celebrities picked up each week.  People were tweeting to the celebs that they loved (or hated) them in the commercials and their friends were retweeting these comments – all with links to footage of the ads the client posted on YouTube!  Social media was a measurable driver in the campaign.  Here’s what the chart looks like after five weeks of tracking:

The other exciting part of this discovery is opportunity.  To engagement marketers each of these mentions symbolizes an opportunity to talk to the customer – to thank them for their appreciation, to point out to them the outtakes videos of that commercial which they might enjoy – to drive conversation and bring them deeper into the brand experience.

The data we collected through monitoring also tells us how the campaign and it’s components are fairing in the court of true public opinion – and what that public consists of.  For example, one celeb resonated with African American men particularly well while another sparked conversation among women age 30-45 (this was noticed antecdotally but a tool like “MAP” Sysomos could give us even greater detail on these demographics should the client be interested).  Two other celebs that were used were almost never mentioned in the social space.  Where we’re at now is looking back to the business objectives to determine if these things are good or bad.  If “buzz” is one of the desired objectives, this data can help influence a decision on what ads to continue to place and which may need to be discontinued.

The lesson we learned is that social media monitoring alone can be a powerful tool in tracking an ad campaign, but you can also leverage these findings to identify new engagement opportunities with your customers.  However, before you rush off to set up your current campaign, we want to stress the importance of defining the objectives of the campaign clearly so that you can use this data to help you measure your success against those objectives and utilize the intelligence collected to its fullest potential.


Anyone else out there made great discoveries using tracking tools?  We’d love to hear your stories!


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