THE CUT

MARCH 2015
SOCIAL INSPIRED MARKETING

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In our on-going pursuit of finding a better way for marketers to cut through, please indulge us for a moment as we introduce you to a profoundly obvious yet under deployed strategic approach we Renegades call Social Inspired Marketing.
Why the new approach?

Frankly, we learned the same painful lesson twice in 2014. When a brand launches a major new ad campaign, the first signs of success or failure will be seen in conversations on social media. In the case of failure, the social agency pays a double price having to fight back the negative sentiment without the benefit of using the campaign's imagery. Suddenly social is isolated, never a good place for any marketing component and it will take months for a replacement campaign to arrive.

Research to the rescue?

The scenario above is well beyond the domain of a social media agency yet we paid the price, a situation that in theory could have easily been avoided with some form of copy testing. Unfortunately, both brands chose focus groups over more quantitative methodologies and neither considered previewing the ideas on their social channels, an approach that could have discreetly identified a disaster in the making long before it was too late.

Reversing the process

While using social media as a means of testing ad campaigns is probably a new idea to many, that is not the main message here. We believe, and have the evidence to prove it, that the problems outlined above are overcome when you start with social listening rather than ending with it. And no doubt every ad agency worth its salt will say it includes social listening in its strategic process, the outcomes suggest that there must be some gum in their works.

Mining social data for truly social ideas

So if everyone is mining social data, why isn't everyone finding gold? Great question and the answer is as complex as the problem. Some are using the wrong tools, others the wrong miners and still others are looking in the wrong place. In truth, there is a huge gap between data and insight and it takes a skilled cutter to transform a lump of carbon into a precious diamond.

So what are we really talking about?

The essence of Social Inspired Marketing is that somewhere within all the conversations about your category, your product, your audience and the culture at large lies a gem of insight — an insight that will inspire not only outbound cross-channel communications but also inbound conversations, all of which will tie together in a neat little bundle of effectiveness. And while we are seeing new tools daily to help find these insights, we'll give a run down of those in our next newsletter.

One real world example

Last year at this time, Renegade in partnership with Leo Burnett launched The Bench campaign to educate young high school athletes about the NCAA's new academic eligibility requirements. Based on language and cultural insights gleaned from social, The Bench, a salty coach-like character, actually conversed with thousands of hard to reach teenagers on Twitter and Instagram while humorous PSA's on TV helped initiate those conversations. Tracking data and site traffic validated the effectiveness of this campaign AND happily, The Bench recently won the Shorty for best Twitter campaign.

If you want to talk more about how to mine social data for big marketing ideas, feel free to give us a shout.

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