Whitepaper: The Social Consumer Brand Compatibility Model

Five years ago, not everybody could have foreseen the huge role social media would play in marketing today. Today, almost any brand realizes the importance of social media and either has or is working on a social media strategy. Some brands were among the early adopters and have taken a head start in social marketing, while others are still trying to figure out the best way to incorporate social into the marketing mix.

But social media are not like traditional media and require a different approach from a marketing point of view. It’s inherently interactive, and ever-evolving. Social media is more than ever about the relationship between customer and brand. This does not only take a different kind of communication, but also a different kind of data analytics. Social media are a potential source of a wealth of consumer information, but the question on everybody’s mind these days is how to get the best information from this vast pool of data.

The CMO Council report ‘The Social consumer Brand Compatibility Model‘ introduces a new way of analyzing social media data:

Social Consumer Brand Compatibility modeling is an emerging area of marketing science that seeks to navigate the mountain of social media data and take-away insights regarding customers and their interests. By analyzing posts, ‘likes’, and rich media content sources from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks, brands can glean richer information about media consumption, psycho-graphic, lifestyle, and personal interests. […] Social data delivers heightened insight, allowing marketers to improve media selection and buying, as well as the relevance, resonance, and response of ad and promotional buying.

Because, according to the report:

Brand engagement within social media must look at a new model for forming a continuous, flexible, and fluid conversation that leverages insights directly from the individual, allowing marketers to change how they engage by redirecting where they interact with their most valued and loyal customers.

But marketers still have a long way to go. In the CMO Council’s ‘State of Marketing’ report, 42% of marketers indicated that they regard adapting to new media and technologies as a challenge. Understanding of how consumers use social media is essential to deploy it effectively and secure the necessary budget for campaings. The CMO Council warns:

Without the ability and commitment to target digital ads to specific audiences for specific reasons, social media marketing will never realize its full effectiveness and impact. And lacking clear indication of strong ROI, executives in the C-suite will remain hesitant to support further investment in social media at all.

So how does this Social Consumer Brand Compatibility Model work? The CMO Council describes it as a very detailed version of demographics: ‘This analysis focuses on identifying what makes your customers unique and distinctive from the general population, as well as what is trending among that more relevant subset.’ Whereas traditional demographics analyze a concept of the general consumer, Social Consumer Brand Compatibility modeling creates a profile of the actual consumer, mapping their media use based on data sourced from social media. this information allows marketers to draw more actionable insights from the raw data, allowing them to send targeted offers to consumers, which they are of course more likely to respond to.

The technology (or the technique, if you will) is not perfect, however:

Some skeptics argue that social media sentiment analysis is not precise enough to produce valuable insights. […] Sentiment is also one piece of the larger picture provided by social data that can provide deep and actionable customer insights, ranging from who a brand’s best customers truly are to identifying the best tactics and methods to engage customers in the places and conversations they are choosing to have.

But the fact remains that this has potential. Marketers can get a much clearer picture of where social customers are engaging, and identify new and potentially more effective ways to strengthen the bond between brand and customer. With the information from social media,  marketers can improve their media selection and buying, as well as the relevance, and response of ad and promotional buying.


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