tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/sentiment-analysis Latest Sentiment analysis content from Econsultancy 2017-05-25T12:10:08+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69116 2017-05-25T12:10:08+01:00 2017-05-25T12:10:08+01:00 How brands can navigate today's super-political environment Patricio Robles <p>Here are a number of tips for brands trying to figure out what to do and what not do.</p> <h3>Be very, very careful about jumping into politics and highly-charged social issues</h3> <p>Although a growing number of high-profile brands seem comfortable making political and social statements, this is arguably riskier than ever before. Consider the following two examples:</p> <ul> <li>In response to a law passed in North Carolina, retail giant Target announced a restroom policy that allows individuals to use the restroom of the gender they identify with. Target's move was intended to support members of the LGTB community, but the announcement sparked a backlash from consumers worried that the policy could, among other things, be taken advantage of by sexual predators. An online petition sponsored by the American Family Association calling for a boycott of Target has garnered more than 1.5m signatures.</li> <li>In response to US President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily halting US travel for individuals from several Muslim-majority nations, Starbucks issued a pledge that it would hire 10,000 refugees. Given the heated debate over President Trump's executive order, Starbucks' announcement not surprisingly also sparked calls for a boycott.</li> </ul> <p>What has happened since? It <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68914-sentiment-analysis-how-consumers-feel-depends-on-who-you-ask/">depends on who you ask</a>.</p> <p>In Target's case, shopper traffic is down, sales have decreased by 6%, and same-store sales have fallen in every quarter since the boycott began. Not surprisingly, the American Family Association believes this is the result of the boycott, but Target disagrees.</p> <p>In Starbucks' case, market research firm YouGov <a href="https://today.yougov.com/news/2017/02/22/brands-and-politics-spotlight-starbucks/">says</a> that the company's brand perception plummeted following #BoycottStarbucks. Starbucks commissioned research of its own <a href="https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-brand-equity">that concluded</a> there has been no impact, but with Starbucks seeing slower than expected same-store sales growth <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/27/starbucks-reports-fiscal-second-quarter-earnings-.html">for the second quarter in a row</a>, there's room for speculation and debate.</p> <p>No matter what, neither company's politicking appears to have helped it, so the key takeaway is that there is probably little for brands to gain today by going out of their way to speak out about political and social topics on which reasonable, decent people can have very different opinions.</p> <p>The lack of potential for benefit appears to be confirmed by a recent survey <a href="http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/4as-survey-finds-more-risk-than-benefit-in-brands-tackling-political-and-social-issues/">conducted by</a> 4A’s and SSRS, which found that "consumers are not looking to brands to take a position on political or social issues" and "only a small percentage of consumers are moved to buy from positive messaging."</p> <h3>Focus on uncontroversial values and causes</h3> <p>One of the primary reasons brands are jumping into politics is that the people running them truly believe that there are politically-tinged issues that are too important not to weigh in on. Additionally, in some cases, they want to signal to their employees that they disagree with political policies that are controversial.</p> <p>But avoiding politics doesn't mean that brands have to embrace amorality. In fact, it's actually ill-advised for brands to pretend they don't have a conscience as numerous studies have shown that for many consumers, brand perception and purchase intent can be influenced by a company's CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts.</p> <p>But instead of getting political or taking a side on highly-charged social issues, brands can demonstrate that they have a conscience by building their initiatives and marketing campaigns around core values and causes that just about everyone can get behind. There are plenty of examples of companies demonstrating their values by supporting causes that don't have lots of political baggage.</p> <p>For example, through its <a href="http://www.stellaartois.com/en_us/buy-a-lady-a-drink.html">Buy a Lady a Drink campaign</a>, brewer Stella Artois has given more than $1m to Water.org while raising awareness of the global water crisis and its impact on women around the world. And last year, Elsevier <a href="https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/corporate-social-responsibility/elsevier-and-doctors-without-borders-partner-to-help-tackle-africas-health-challenges">announced</a> a partnership with Doctors without Borders "to cooperate in fighting the root causes of some of Africa's most vexing health challenges, including diarrhea and infectious diseases, which leave millions of people dying or severely diminished every year." As part of the partnership, Elsevier provided a $300,000 grant to Doctors without Borders' research and training division.</p> <p>While these initiatives are not directly tied to political and social topics that are in the news, they allow the brands behind them to demonstrate their values and commitment to causes that few people are likely to object to.</p> <h3>Trust your agencies, but understand that they might be biased</h3> <p>Most large brands work with agencies, which are tapped for their knowledge of consumers and their expertise in helping brands connect with consumers.</p> <p>But agencies are often home to bias, including <a href="https://digiday.com/marketing/like-ad-agency-republican-trump-era/">political bias</a>. This subject has been increasingly discussed in the wake of Donald Trump's election, as many agencyfolk openly supported his opponent, Hillary Clinton. With this in mind, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/willburns/2016/11/22/can-liberal-leaning-ad-agencies-effectively-sell-to-conservative-consumers/">one observer asked</a>, "can liberal-leaning ad agencies effectively sell to conservative consumers?"</p> <p>It's a simple question, but not a trivial one. After all, if brands are relying on the advice and execution of agency partners that <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/advertisers-search-for-middle-america-1479687543">may have a difficult time connecting with consumers</a> who don't share the world view of the vast majority of their employees, brands risk adopting strategies and campaigns that, at best, won't resonate with a large portion of the consumer population and, at worst, could alienate huge numbers of consumers.</p> <h3>Seek out new perspectives</h3> <p>Bias is natural, and it isn't always inherently bad. It probably wouldn't be a good thing for agencies to always "play it safe" and become opinion-less organizations. But in today's challenging environment, brands shouldn't shrug their shoulders and pretend that the bias can't be a liability.</p> <p>No, this doesn't mean brands should, say, fire their agencies. But it does mean speaking up if and when their agency partners make strategic recommendations and present campaign concepts that are too political or based on <a href="http://adage.com/article/agency-viewpoint/14-heartland-stereotypes-stifling-brands/307055/">naive stereotypes about large swathes of the population</a>.</p> <p>Diversity of perspective is important and brands should ensure that they have access to voices, internal and external, who can credibly represent <em>all</em> the members of their customer base.</p> <h3>Don't step in it</h3> <p>While some brands are unlikely to stay out of the realm of politics and heated social issues, every brand should do whatever it takes to avoid major faux pas like the one Pepsi made last month when it unveiled an ad starring new spokesperson Kendall Jenner. In the ad, Jenner leaves a photo shoot to join a protest. She ends up facing off with a police officer, who she hands a can of Pepsi, prompting the officer to smile.</p> <p>The ad was seen by many as a tone-deaf attempt to co-opt the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soda and caused a huge backlash. Wired even <a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/04/pepsi-ad-internet-response/">declared</a> that it "was so awful it did the impossible: it united the internet." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">can you believe kendall jenner solved all the black lives matter issues by giving a pepsi to a cop? inspiring.</p> — Danii G (@gerbatron) <a href="https://twitter.com/gerbatron/status/849396830773415936">April 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>According to Pepsi, the ad was intended to represent "people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony." But the concept was so poorly conceived and poorly timed that the company was forced to pull the ad and admit that it had missed the mark, something most experts suggest the company should have realized before the ad was even filmed.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68914 2017-03-23T15:07:12+00:00 2017-03-23T15:07:12+00:00 Sentiment analysis: How consumers feel depends on who you ask Patricio Robles <p>The announcement, which was written by Starbucks' founder Howard Schultz and also came with statements about the American Dream "being called into question," sparked calls for a Starbucks boycott, and #BoycottStarbucks became a trending topic on Twitter. At the same time, Starbucks also found itself receiving calls of support for standing up for its beliefs.</p> <p>So what was the cost or benefit of its announcement? As it turns out, answering that question with any level of confidence is really, really difficult.</p> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-starbucks-refugee-idUSKBN16H04P">According to</a> the YouGov BrandIndex, which "tracks public perception of thousands of brands across the world every day," Starbucks' reputation took a big hit following its announcement. </p> <p>Prior to the announcement, YouGov's data indicated that 30% of consumers would consider making their next coffee purchase at Starbucks. After the announcement, that dropped to 24%.</p> <p>Additionally, Starbucks' YouGov BrandIndex Buzz score dropped from 12 to 4. The Buzz score measures how consumers respond to the question, "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" and can range from 100 to -100. </p> <p>According to YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli, "Consumer perception dropped almost immediately. That would indicate the announcement has had a negative impact on Starbucks, and might indicate a negative impact on sales in the near term."</p> <p>Most interestingly, Marzilli noted that while Starbucks has seen its Buzz score drop before in connection with initiatives that have political overtones, this time Starbucks' announcement negatively affected its purchase consideration numbers, signaling that perhaps the calls for a boycott were indeed resonating with some Starbucks customers.</p> <h3>Starbucks says "wait a minute"</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, Starbucks felt compelled to respond to headlines suggesting that its brand was hurt by its announcement. On March 10, the company issued <a href="https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-brand-equity">a press release</a> detailing how Kantar Millward Brown, a market research firm, found no evidence that the announcement had any negative impact whatsoever.</p> <p>The press release quoted a letter from Brian James, Kantar Millward Brown's Brand and Communications practice president, which stated: "Following the recent release of results from a YouGov Brand Index Survey, several news organizations have reported that Starbucks is suffering from consumer backlash related to its announcement to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years.</p> <p>"Such backlash or declines are not substantiated in our own measurement of Starbucks Brand Health and Consumer Sentiment.  Kantar Millward Brown has conducted on-going monthly measurement of Starbucks Brand Perceptions and Consumer Sentiment toward the Brand and saw no such impact in February 2017.  </p> <p>"In fact, in February 2017 — after the announcement — we did not observe any substantive impact on Customer Consideration, Future Visitation Intent or Brand Perceptions or any other key performance metrics for the Starbucks brand.</p> <h3>So who should we believe?</h3> <p>It's reasonable to be somewhat skeptical about Kantar Millward Brown's findings. A cynic would suggest that because Kantar Millward Brown works for Starbucks, it is biased. But even if that's not a totally legitimate or fair argument, it's interesting to note that no actual figures for the firm's "Starbucks Brand Health and Consumer Sentiment" were released.</p> <p>While Starbucks would likely cite the confidential nature of such figures, if the company is going to issue a press release promoting the fact that a market research firm it hired "did not observe any substantive impact" following an announcement that was heard around the world, refuting an independent source that did provide actual numbers, it's not unfair to suggest that Starbucks should have provided more data and details of its methodology.</p> <p>At the same time, it's worth considering the possibility that YouGov's data might not paint the most accurate picture of sentiment either.</p> <p>While the firm says that BrandIndex data is "nationally representative of adults in each country," its data is gathered by "interview[ing] thousands of people from its panel of 2.5m people worldwide online." For comparison, Starbucks serves more than 60m customers per week, so tracking sentiment accurately for the brand based on daily polls of just thousands of consumers seems fraught with challenges.</p> <p>At the end of the day, Starbucks offers an interesting case study that demonstrates just how difficult it is to, with any confidence, take the temperature of consumers.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that sentiment analysis isn't worthwhile, but as more and more businesses are implored to invest in it, particularly as part of their social media investments, companies should remember that ultimately, there's no substitute for keeping a close eye on basic KPIs like revenue and store traffic.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68782 2017-02-10T11:36:23+00:00 2017-02-10T11:36:23+00:00 Three ways brands are using emotional analytics to connect with customers Tamara Littleton <p>But now it’s time for the next step.</p> <p>Emotional analytics allows brands to connect with people on a deeper, more personal, level. Unlike sentiment analytics, which simply allocates responses into broad positive, neutral or negative categories, emotional analytics tells brands what people are feeling and why. This, I think, makes all the difference.</p> <p>I might take to Twitter after a bad experience with customer service, and while the post could be defined as negative in a sentiment analysis report, how useful is that “negative” tag to the brand? My post will be lumped in with tons of other “negative” posts, depleted of all context which could make it actionable for the brand.</p> <p>Without deeper context, the brand can’t solve any problems. It can’t see that certain business practices make me frustrated, or that many other customers are experiencing a similar frustration for the same reason.</p> <p>Brands that don’t know why a customer feels the way they do can’t tailor their products and services to meet specific needs and wants.</p> <h3>How emotional analytics delivers results</h3> <p>By using emotional analytics, brands can see if there’s a disconnect between the emotions that we want the brand to create, and those that real customers are experiencing.</p> <p>A brand’s marketing team may want to promote the brand as inspirational and exciting, but how can it tell if it’s really delivering on this? Emotional analytics looks at how people are feeling, examines what topics they are having feelings about, and allows marketers the chance to change the narrative. </p> <h3>Three ways brands use emotional analytics</h3> <h4>1. Personalisation </h4> <p>As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, <a title="campaignlive.co.uk" href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/easyjet-transformed-customer-data-emotional-anniversary-stories/1414488">EasyJet</a> used emotional analytics to discover what its customers felt about previous journeys they had taken.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3819/easyjet_20_years.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <p>It then used these insights to send customers personalised emails featuring their own history with the airline.</p> <p>These emails were opened 100% more than regular email campaigns, with the word “love” being the most common word used by recipients to describe how they felt about it.</p> <h4>2. Compliance</h4> <p>Bloomberg allows its clients to track the emotion in text and voice communications, helping them <a title="informationweek.com" href="http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/businesses-harness-emotional-analytics-for-gains/d/d-id/1324970">prevent market abuse</a> and remain compliant.</p> <p>Think of all the times that we don’t say what we mean. When we say we’re fine, when really were angry. By analysing our emotional responses, brands have a better chance of spotting any hidden meaning behind our messages.</p> <p>Businesses can apply this technology to their own internal communications and identify irregularities before they become problems.</p> <h4>3. Improved experience </h4> <p>We’re starting to see more <a title="insider-trends.com" href="http://www.insider-trends.com/is-emotion-tracking-the-next-big-retail-trend/">wearables</a> that track our emotional responses. For retailers, these offer a way to improve and tailor their in-store customer service – from sending assistance to frustrated shoppers to knowing which customers would be more open to special offers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3820/feel_wristband.png" alt="" width="700" height="349"></p> <p>When <a title="wgsn.com" href="https://www.wgsn.com/blogs/ebays-pop-up-tracks-shoppers-emotions/">eBay</a> launched its pop-up store in late 2016, it wanted to track how people felt when they shopped for Christmas gifts. The answer? Stressed. 88% saw their heart rate jump by 32% during their shopping experience.</p> <p>Ebay wanted to use this data to take the stress out of shopping, and use the emotional insights to show shoppers what products they had connected with. The ecommerce giant tracked this data using wearables and in-store experiences, but it could gather the same sort of data online using emotional analytics.</p> <h3>Emotional analytics: using humans to turn emotion into action</h3> <p>From managing a crisis to refining a customer’s retail experience - if you understand the emotion that your brand elicits from a customer, you can take positive action.</p> <p>Using human insight to get under the skin of the data means you can turn analytics into action, transforming your marketing, customer service and experience to resonate with customers. You can win not just their heads, but their hearts. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67759 2016-05-09T15:15:00+01:00 2016-05-09T15:15:00+01:00 Expanding your marketing playbook with predictive analytics John Kelly <p>For some people, their feelings about those horses and what they say about the brand transcends more logical price or taste comparisons.</p> <p>While categories with basic emotional appeals may always exist, today’s customer is more sophisticated and the marketing necessarily more complex.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dlNO2trC-mk?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Simultaneously, there is great pressure on chief marketing officers to deliver organic growth for their companies. The playbook must have more pages!</p> <p>One of those new pages is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">predictive analytics</a>, which empowers marketers by providing insights into customer behavior and how certain strategic decisions can increase sales.</p> <p>Those who can best predict the customer and act on those insights will ultimately take market share from their less attuned competition.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67315-eight-tips-for-getting-corporate-buy-in-for-data-analytics/" target="_blank">83% of marketers</a> say they now use predictive metrics to build competitive experiences and make smart product decisions.</p> <h3>Predictive Analytics X's &amp; O’s</h3> <p>Predictive analysis of data allows you to play out different “what if” scenarios so you can develop campaigns that achieve optimal growth.</p> <p>Getting more specific, here are four predictive analytics plays CMOs might consider, depending on their business:</p> <h4>1. Sentiment analysis</h4> <p>A sentiment analysis identifies and categorizes the opinions expressed in a section of text to determine whether the writer’s attitude is positive, negative, or neutral.</p> <p>If customers post product reviews on their blogs or discuss your services on social media, a sentiment analysis will dissect their text for clues about their satisfaction levels.</p> <p>Scoring the relative sentiment expressed in mediums from social media commentary to call center transcripts, and comparing peaks and valleys and their drivers over time is powerful.</p> <p>It essentially transforms the idea of “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/voice-of-the-customer-listen-measure-act/">voice of the customer</a>” from a concept to a real tool to sharpen campaigns, products, and customer service operations. </p> <h4>2. Hedonic analysis</h4> <p>Hedonism means the pursuit of self-indulgence, so it follows that a hedonic analysis studies consumers’ preferred features.</p> <p>Instead of guessing what people want, you identify which options are most attractive to them. If you’re an automotive manufacturer, your next model could include dozens of feature combinations.</p> <p>Understanding which combinations will achieve the highest value in the marketplace is useful for optimizing product offerings to best match customer desires and, ultimately, demand. </p> <h4>3. Credit analysis</h4> <p>Credit rating agencies originated in the early 1900s, making credit the oldest form of predictive analysis and a basic tenet of modern businesses.</p> <p>Whenever you offer financing, you’re asking, “Does the customer have both the good faith and the ability to pay?”</p> <p>If you can tweak your approval formulas to qualify more candidates without triggering higher default rates, you’ve mastered organic growth creation. Someone figured that out already, right?</p> <p>The difference today is the availability of abundant supplemental behavioral data that, it turns out, have a lot to do with understanding whether the customer will be a faithful creditor.</p> <p>Social media patterns, cellphone ownership, and usage are just a few ways credit can be predicted more reliably, which is very useful in markets that don't have traditional credit-prediction methods like FICO scores.</p> <h4>4. Churn propensity analysis</h4> <p>Another behavior prediction measurement, churn propensity analysis, anticipates how likely customers are to cancel their annuity contracts.</p> <p>This metric is perfect for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66034-the-pros-and-cons-of-subscription-ecommerce-models/" target="_blank">subscription-based businesses</a> as well as credit card providers, media brands, cellphone carriers, and direct response companies.</p> <p>If you know which customers will leave and when, then you can court them to remain with you by employing preventive marketing measures.</p> <p>Altered service options and tailored discounts help you avoid losing their business long-term.</p> <p>One rule of marketing that hasn’t changed is that it’s less expensive to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11051-21-ways-online-retailers-can-improve-customer-retention-rates/">retain a customer</a> than to acquire a new one.</p> <h3>Use with caution</h3> <p>Be careful with the possibilities enabled with the new playbook.</p> <p>Predictive analytics enable you to engineer “wins” such as mastering <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65327-why-dynamic-pricing-is-a-must-for-ecommerce-retailers/">dynamic pricing</a>, increasing profits, and retaining more customers, but those victories aren’t achieved by numbers alone.</p> <p>The most successful CMOs marry in-depth metrics with original thinking to deliver standout campaigns. </p> <p>“Data analytics — big data — is not a substitute for innovation. It’s not a substitute for creative thinking and leadership,” said Sandeep Sacheti, executive vice president for customer information management and operational excellence at Wolters Kluwer.</p> <p>CMOs who can tap into both the logical and creative will achieve greater professional success today and in the future.</p> <p>Anthony Scriffignano, senior vice president and chief data scientists at Dun &amp; Bradstreet, echoed this idea: “The environment is busy and chaotic. Marketers are under a lot of stress and pressure to deliver the growth,” he said.</p> <blockquote> <p>This new data era moves away from the creative and the gray to the very specific, the black and white, the binary. They’re not going to deliver that growth with data-driven analytics unless they take the careful time and process to do it right.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Know your data strategy</h3> <p>With some success, perhaps in the form of a pilot project, you’ll want to get much deeper.</p> <p>Consider your overall scheme if you and your company are going to be real data players.</p> <h4><strong>1. Get intimate with your data</strong></h4> <p>Verse yourself in your analytics and look for gaps in the numbers.</p> <p>It’s worth identifying your current analytics state and your ideal. What would the perfect setup look like, and which metrics do you need to get there?</p> <p>But be discerning about which numbers you emphasize. You may not need every metric available to you, and your vision for how to use your data should evolve as your company grows.</p> <p>Blind pursuit of an ideal state that doesn’t match your organization is wasteful, so evaluate which information moves you toward your goals.</p> <p>As you determine the most valuable threads, you’ll have to make spending decisions about how to gather, validate, integrate, and analyze the right data.</p> <h4><strong>2. Think scientifically</strong></h4> <p>You don’t need to be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67203-data-analysts-vs-data-scientists-what-s-the-difference/">a data scientist</a> yourself to use analytics effectively, but you do need to hire some.</p> <p>Point-and-click technology is not an honest replacement for the hard work data scientists perform to root out causal relationships, and it creates a false sense of control over the numbers.</p> <p>Your competitors are already catching on to the importance of data scientists and going after top talent via direct hires or consultancies.</p> <p>You can’t afford to fall behind in this area, and data science is not a DIY game. Recruit the best data team you can find by offering candidates big, bold projects and a culture that values their work. </p> <h4><strong>3. Know what matters to you</strong></h4> <p>Do you know your five most impactful marketing data metrics? I don’t mean in concept; I’m talking about hard numbers. Have you tested your data, assessed its weaknesses, and identified statistically proven causal relationships?</p> <p>For instance, you might find that if you drop service wait times by 10%, you can increase prices by 5%.</p> <p>The data might indicate that changing a single term of your offering like the subscription cancellation policy and its accessibility could reduce customer churn by 10%.</p> <p>Make a plan to discover the undeniable facts of your business performance. As a leader or marketer, you must deal in proven, impactful metrics, or what I call the lowest-hanging analytical fruit. </p> <p>Predictive data and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/future-of-digital-marketing-london/">the future of marketing</a> are intertwined. “Data analytics is going to be standard, expected practice in every business function and business model,” Sacheti said.</p> <blockquote> <p>Just like HR is a function that exists everywhere in every company and finance exists everywhere in a company, big data scientist is going to be a profession that’ll be expected in every company.</p> </blockquote> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67621 2016-03-08T15:21:02+00:00 2016-03-08T15:21:02+00:00 Is Twitter getting too noisy for high-profile users? Patricio Robles <p>When asked about his declining activity levels, Curry gave Barr a straightforward explanation...</p> <blockquote> <p>...we started having conversations about it and I asked why it was and his response was "it’s just too much of a hassle, it’s too much noise, there’s too much friction to make it worthwhile to spend time doing this."</p> </blockquote> <p>So Barr, who previously worked at Nike, teamed up with Curry and a former Nike colleague, Jason Mayden, to launch Slyce, a new social platform that the trio hopes will provide high-profile figures like Curry with a better way to interact with fans. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Join me on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Slyce?src=hash">#Slyce</a> for a live Q&amp;A on What a day....... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TeamSlyce?src=hash">#TeamSlyce</a> <a href="https://t.co/SdLj8yStza">https://t.co/SdLj8yStza</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y6jqC9dTc7">pic.twitter.com/Y6jqC9dTc7</a></p> — Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) <a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30/status/706718278802997250">March 7, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Last month, Curry used his Twitter account, which has over 4.5m followers, to promote a live Q&amp;A session held on Slyce, and the startup has recruited a handful of other athletes to use the service.</p> <p><a href="http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/03/steph-curry-slyce-davidson">According to</a> Curry, "It’s just kind of having control of your own voice." His co-founder, Barr, elaborated...</p> <blockquote> <p>(Traditional) communication channels have become extremely one sided. And then you have a guy like Steph who has millions of followers the only way he can really interact with them is posting a picture and then walking away from the platform.</p> </blockquote> <p>Slyce aims to faciliate better, more meaningful interactions with fans.</p> <p>When Curry held his Q&amp;A session, the company sorted through the questions and selected those that were of the highest quality.</p> <p>Slyce says that selection process is 90% manual today but it hopes to be able to add greater automation as it gathers more data it can analyze.</p> <h3>A new trend?</h3> <p>It's no surprise that athletes like Curry are investing in social media. And there's plenty of reason to believe that some of the investments they're making could pay off.</p> <p>For example, celebrity-backed Shots, which counts singer Justin Bieber and boxer Floyd Mayweather as investors and early-adopters, was at one point <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2014/11/25/twitter-in-talks-with-bieber-backed-app-shots-source.html">reported</a> to be in acquisition talks with Twitter.</p> <p><strong>But Slyce isn't just a new social media app. </strong>It's a different kind of social platform that aims to facilitate a different kind of dialog between high-profile users like Curry and their followers.</p> <p>Can such a platform find success? While celebrity participation will almost certainly drive some level of adoption, it's still doubtful that celebrities will be able to direct enough of the online conversation to platforms they control that they can ignore platforms like Twitter, Facebook <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-snapchat-built-a-business/">and Snapchat</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, the fact that Curry used Twitter to promote his Slyce Q&amp;A highlights just how valuable his Twitter following is.</p> <p>But if Curry doesn't stay active enough on Twitter or he uses his Twitter account primarily as a vehicle to direct followers to other platforms, the value of that following could decrease.</p> <p>For this reason, it's important that high-profile users ensure they're using all of the solutions at their disposal, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64864-16-essential-social-media-management-tools-we-love">social media monitoring tools</a>, which can help them separate the wheat from the chaff on platforms like Twitter.</p> <p>Fortunately, recognizing just how important high-profile users are to their audiences, the platforms themselves are also looking for ways to better connect celebrities and fans.</p> <p>For instance, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/about/mentions/">Facebook Mentions</a> aims to provide "a better way for actors, athletes, journalists and other public figures to stay in touch with their followers and the people and topics they care about."</p> <p>While there's no reason to believe that there isn't room for new platforms like Slyce, celebrities will still need to actively participate on the largest platforms if they want to be a part of the conversation.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67573 2016-02-24T16:48:49+00:00 2016-02-24T16:48:49+00:00 Facebook rolls out Reactions, an extension to the Like button Patricio Robles <p>As Facebook product manager Sammi Krug <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/02/reactions-now-available-globally/">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>For more than a year we have been conducting global research including focus groups and surveys to determine what types of reactions people would want to use most.</p> <p>We also looked at how people are already commenting on posts and the top stickers and emoticons as signals for the types of reactions people are already using to determine which reactions to offer.</p> </blockquote> <p>Ultimately, Facebok settled on six emotions: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2322/facebookreactions.gif" alt="" width="396" height="114"></p> <p>Users are not required to use Reactions. They can still opt to simply Like content, and the ubiquitous Like button will remain in place.</p> <p>To provide a Reaction, users can hover over the Like button in the desktop experience or hold down the Like button in mobile experiences to expose the additional Reactions.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/156501944?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="500" height="281"></iframe></p> <h3>What Reactions mean for the News Feed</h3> <p>Facebook's Krug <a href="http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/02/news-feed-fyi-what-the-reactions-launch-means-for-news-feed/">says</a> that all Reactions will be treated equally by its algorithm as far as the News Feed is concerned:</p> <blockquote> <p>Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post.</p> <p>In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, “wows” or “sads” a post — we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content.</p> </blockquote> <p>But over time, Facebook will evaluate how different Reactions are used and could tweak its algorithm to weigh Reactions differently.</p> <p>If this happens, it's not inconceivable that Reactions like Love, Haha and Wow could be more favourable than Like, Sad or Angry, so brands will want to pay attention to developments in this area to ensure they can incorporate Reaction-related algorithm changes into their Facebook content marketing strategies.</p> <h3>Brands could benefit</h3> <p>While there's risk that Reactions could some day complicate life for brands as far as the News Feed algorithm is concerned, they also stand to benefit from users' newfound ability to express emotion when reacting to content.</p> <p>Right now, much of the sentiment analysis that brands perform on social platforms like Facebook is qualitative and based on free-form unstructured data, like comments.</p> <p><strong>With Reactions, brands will be able to gauge sentiment on the world's largest social network in a quantitative way. </strong></p> <p>The importance of this shouldn't be underestimated, and savvy brands will look to analyze Reactions, which can be monitored under Page Insights, as quickly as possible.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67499 2016-02-09T15:13:00+00:00 2016-02-09T15:13:00+00:00 Quicken Loans shows the perils of Super Bowl ads Patricio Robles <p>But a super-expensive Super Bowl ad doesn't guarantee advertisers the results they hope for.</p> <p>Mortgage lender Quicken Loans learned that lesson the other day when its Super Bowl ad sparked jeers on social media.</p> <p>The ad promoted the company's Rocket Mortgage tool, which aims to simplify and speed up the process of applying for and obtaining a home loan.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QlRm6Y5iVfw?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>But some viewers drew a parallel between the tool and the loose mortgage lending standards that caused the 2008 financial crisis, and took to social platforms like Twitter to criticize the company.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Are we really offering mortgages with almost no underwriting again? Was that the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RocketMortgage?src=hash">#RocketMortgage</a> message? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperBowl?src=hash">#SuperBowl</a></p> — Pat Kiernan (@patkiernan) <a href="https://twitter.com/patkiernan/status/696491501237436417">February 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Quicken Loans responded quickly to dispel the concerns: Rocket Mortgage makes the mortgage process quicker and easier for consumers but the loans are still subject to stringent underwriting standards.</p> <p>But even responding to negative buzz was turned into fodder for more negative buzz.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The only thing more predatory than <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RocketMortgage?src=hash">#RocketMortgage</a> lending is the aggressive PR team responding to every negative tweet</p> — Jo Kimbrell (@jokimbrell) <a href="https://twitter.com/jokimbrell/status/696727998498795520">February 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Clearly, Quicken Loans' costly Super Bowl ad missed the mark with some consumers.</p> <p>No company spending $5m on an ad during the Super Bowl would want to find itself in a situation where it's having to defend itself publicly on a day when it should be basking in Super Bowl glory.</p> <h3>Traffic tells another story</h3> <p>Social buzz is just one part of the story, however, and negative sentiment can be deceptive.</p> <p>Small minorities of vocal users can create a firestorm that appears larger than it really is.</p> <p>With that in mind, Quicken Loans says that despite the criticism, its Super Bowl ad was a success. According to Jay Farner, the company's CMO, the ad drove 14,000 people to the Rocket Mortgage site within the first minute its ad was broadcast.</p> <p>"The win was driving folks to the site," <a href="http://adage.com/article/special-report-super-bowl/quicken-loans-responding-backlash-super-bowl-ad/302585/">he told</a> AdAge.</p> <p>14,000 visitors in a minute does seem like a win, but is it?</p> <p>Even if one assumes that Quicken Loan's Super Bowl was responsible for driving 100 times that amount of traffic – 1.4m visits – it's not clear just how big a win the ad really delivered.</p> <p>While under this completely hypothetical scenario a cost of roughly $3.50 per visitor might compare very favorably to typical CPCs for mortgage search terms on Google AdWords, ultimately cost per acquisition is the metric that matters most and there are logical reasons to believe that Super Bowl ads probably don't deliver high conversions.</p> <p>After all, many visitors are likely visiting without strong intent.</p> <p>Of course, most Super Bowl advertisers aren't concerned solely with action. The Super Bowl is the quintessential branding exercise, so there are intangible considerations that can't fully be quantified.</p> <p>But even so, Quicken Loans' experience demonstrates that despite their high costs, high-profile ad slots can still carry higher-than-anticipated risks and future Super Bowl advertisers will want to take those into consideration when crafting their ads.</p> <p>And some might even find it wise to consider <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67488-four-tips-for-capitalizing-on-the-super-bowl-without-spending-millions">trying to capitalize on the event with lower risk, lower cost strategies</a>.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67137 2015-11-02T14:49:00+00:00 2015-11-02T14:49:00+00:00 Social monitoring & listening: What is it and do you need it? Evan Dunn <p>But once you understand the underlying framework behind each of these tools - data collection, normalization and natural language processing - it is surprisingly easy to distinguish between the value of different tools.</p> <p>And from there, to embed them into strategies that drive marketing organizations further through research and analytics.</p> <h3>Social listening as a tool for data-driven growth</h3> <p>The most common question I get when talking with people about social listening is “What do I do with this data?”</p> <p>The answer is:</p> <ul> <li>Understand your audience.</li> <li>Care for your audience.</li> <li>Activate your audience.</li> <li>Benchmark against your competition.</li> <li>Optimize your campaigns.</li> </ul> <p>Research is, after all, the beginning of better marketing. </p> <p>Yes, it takes a bit of creativity to apply social listening data to real business problems. That’s why I’m writing a blog right now.</p> <h3>First, a definition:</h3> <p>Social listening, sometimes called social monitoring, refers to technology that has the following properties:</p> <ul> <li>Scans major social networks for instances of a keyword or key phrase.</li> <li>Scans other sites - blogs, forums, news, etc - for instances of a keyword or key phrase.</li> <li>Analyzes the results of these scans with Natural Language Processing (NLP) for sentiment.</li> <li>Analyzes the results of these scans for various actionable insights, including major topics and key influencers.</li> </ul> <p>Capabilities vary widely among tools. Many social listening platforms are not worth the money they charge, others are reasonably priced.</p> <p>Prices, by the way, range between $10 and $10,000 per month - or higher for custom and volume-based pricing.</p> <p>We will be discussing the ‘Enterprise Social Listening’ tools on the higher end, between $1,000 and $10,000 per month.</p> <h3>Understand your audience: Market research &amp; product research with social listening</h3> <p>Most social listening tools scan hundreds of millions of websites for mentions of certain keywords.</p> <p>This means that the results you’re looking at are really a sample set of the entire 'social web'.</p> <p>So if you want to know what people online think about 'smartphones' - or if you’re a product manager for Apple and you want to know what people think about 'iPhones' - a quick scan with the right tools will tell you:</p> <ul> <li>How many people or sites discussed iPhones/smartphones.</li> <li>How the volume of iPhone/smartphone discussions trended over time.</li> <li>Where the iPhone/smartphone discussions happen.</li> <li>How people feel when they discuss iPhones/smartphones.</li> <li>What they are saying - over all time and at specific intervals - in the context of iPhone/smartphone discussions.</li> </ul> <p>As a market analyst, the information is useful for correlating with sales, stocks, etc. - and for understanding macro trends in order to anticipate the near future.</p> <p>As a product portfolio manager, the information is useful for understanding customer satisfaction.</p> <h3>Care for your audience: Customer service with social listening</h3> <p>In fact, customer service is one of the major applications of social listening technology.</p> <p>Tools like Sprinklr and SparkCentral are designed to power customer service for enterprise organizations.</p> <p>By observing real-time lists of unhappy customer data, organizations can react quickly to address customer concerns, as well as observe major themes that arise from dissatisfied customers.BIS</p> <p>For example, remember #Bendgate? That crazy thing where iPhones could bend? Yeah, that all started in September 2014. See this chart displaying over 450,000 mentions between September 20 and 30. </p> <p>The mentions are either of #bendgate (green) and “iPhone NEAR/5 bend” (purple; NEAR/5 is a Boolean search operator that will only allow results where the second word is within 5 words of the first):</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8567/social_listening_chart.png" alt="" width="975" height="396"></strong></p> <p><em>Courtesy of <a href="http://infegy.com/">Infegy Atlas</a> - our preferred social listening tool.</em></p> <p>Notice that things don’t really pick up until about the 25th, but the mentions begin streaming in on the 23rd.</p> <p>Before the hashtag really caught fire, mentions of iPhones bending were higher. In fact, there are mentions of iPhones bending as far back as the 21st (though it’s not visible on this chart because of low volumes).</p> <p>Savvy use of a social listening tool would allow those who manage customer satisfaction to watch this theme of bending iPhones unfold before it went viral.</p> <p>You can beat the press to the punch with social listening.</p> <h3>Activate your audience: Targeted advertising and influencer activation with social listening</h3> <p>Top-tier social listening tools should provide you with unique IDs of social users, where possible.</p> <p>Typically, this is only feasible on Twitter and Instagram, and sometimes other less-used social platforms like Reddit and Weibo.</p> <p>For example, see this list of targeted Twitter users developed using <a href="https://manageflitter.com/">ManageFlitter</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/evanpdunn/lists/boston-cmos">CMOs in Boston</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8562/Screen_Shot_2015-11-02_at_13.52.35.png" alt="" width="565" height="303"></p> <p>Once you have unique IDs of targeted users - especially ones who have strong affinity for your brand - you can do two things:</p> <p><strong>1. Deliver advertising to fans via Custom Audiences</strong></p> <p>Twitter and Facebook both offer advertising solutions that involve bulk uploading unique IDs of users in order to deliver advertising to only them. These are called <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences/">Custom Audiences</a>.</p> <p>Say you develop advertising attribution software and are trying to sell to marketing execs.</p> <p>You are based in Boston - or are boosting sales efforts there - so you want to develop awareness by placing your message in front of marketing execs in that area.</p> <p>With that “CMOs in Boston” list I generated through ManageFlitter, you could deliver advertising to these users. If your list isn’t large enough (over 500 users), then you could broaden your search to include other qualifying terms.</p> <p>If you have users signifying positive sentiment - or are using more sophisticated NLP software that looks at purchase intent - you could pull the user results from Twitter and advertise upsell products to them.</p> <p>DISCLAIMER: According to Twitter's Terms, exporting lists from searches such as the one described above in order to upload them to Custom Audience for advertising targeting is not viewed favorably. Legal ramifications may result.</p> <p>You can read more about it in the comments below.</p> <p><strong>2. Activate influencers</strong></p> <p>Most social listening tools have some level of focus on telling you who your “influencers” are.</p> <p>These are the power users - the ones who advocate strongly for your brand and who have a good degree of visibility online.</p> <p>Much like Custom Audiences for advertising, you can act on the user lists generated by these tools to encourage influencers to talk more about your brand.</p> <p>Some brands offer these influencers special promotions in exchange for posts; others invite them to exclusive events.</p> <h3>Benchmark against your competition: Landscape analysis with social listening</h3> <p>Share-of-voice is a common measure of competitive standing among major brands. With the right tools, you can develop macro SoV insights, as well as SoV by geographic segment, channel segment (News, Forums, Blogs, etc.) and demographic segment (gender, age, etc.).</p> <p>You can also develop sentiment benchmarks. Perhaps your brand is getting largely negative feedback, so you develop campaigns designed to encourage positive sentiment online.</p> <p>You can set incremental measures of success so that, in six months or a year, you’re on top of the positivity game.</p> <p>Marketers can also use social listening to track negative press about competitors.</p> <p>In one instance with a higher education client, we knew about a disastrous press situation for our client’s competition before our client did. Many social listening tools offer alert functions that make this possible.</p> <h3>Optimize your campaigns: Real-time monitoring with social listening</h3> <p>Content marketing for enterprise is often focused around key phrases, tag lines or hashtags.</p> <p>Social listening tools allow you to track the spread of these beyond your own paid/earned/owned efforts to promote them.</p> <p>You can also measure the saturation of your hashtags and campaign terms among the overall buzz about your brand.</p> <p>For example, for a major telecom client we were able to see the points at which their online conversation was dominated by a new hashtag they had launched.</p> <p>This allows them to optimize their content based on the apparent efficacy of these times.</p> <p>And finally, you can deploy social listening tools to measure the efficacy of your campaigns not only in volume, but also in sentiment.</p> <p>After all, what good is buzz if it’s bad?</p> <p><em>Where to learn more about social listening tools:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65958-social-listening-in-2015-top-five-opportunities/"><em>Social listening in 2015: top five opportunities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64864-16-essential-social-media-management-tools-we-love/"><em>16 essential social media management tools we love</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66948 2015-09-21T13:50:00+01:00 2015-09-21T13:50:00+01:00 What a Dislike button on Facebook could mean for brands Patricio Robles <p>In a Q&amp;A session last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his company is working on a way for Facebook users to express different emotions.</p> <blockquote> <p>People have asked about the 'dislike' button for many years. Probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.</p> </blockquote> <p>Zuckerberg didn't reveal much more than that. He did indicate that the intent of this new button would not be to facilitate "down vote[s]." Instead Facebook would be providing a way to avoid liking a piece of content when it might be seen as insensitive. For example, liking a Facebook post about someone's passing is considered by many to be an awkward act.</p> <h3>A Dislike button could change Facebook</h3> <p>A Facebook in which users can do more than Like content could create a very different environment for brands using the social network.</p> <p>After all, even if Facebook intends for its yet-to-be-named Like alternative to be used as a mechanism for disliking content, the addition of a new way for users to express their emotions about content will likely require brands to rethink some of the ways in which they interact with Facebook users and how they evaluate their efforts on Facebook.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7194/8155144549_f82feb1d2c_b-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="157"></p> <h3>Content creation</h3> <p>A dislike button of some kind could complicate content marketing campaigns on Facebook, as brands would need to consider the possibility that users on the social network who don't like their content could use the new button to express their feelings.</p> <p>Right now, users can do this by posting a comment, but that takes effort and there's no visible figure on Facebook that displays the number of comments deemed to be negative.</p> <h3>Metrics</h3> <p>Beyond the possibility that the new button will come to be used as a down voting mechanism in practice – a true Dislike button whatever it's called – brands might need to adjust how they measure the conversations around their content.</p> <p>Instead of counting Likes, brands would need to count non-Likes and establish methods for evaluating the efficacy of their Facebook marketing campaigns in light of this new figure.</p> <p>For instance, brands might face the possibility of seeking to understand a piece of content that generates a large number of Likes and non-Likes.</p> <h3>A moot issue?</h3> <p>It's likely that Facebook is aware of the potential issues associated with a Like alternative and it's entirely possible it will keep this from complicating matters for brands.</p> <p>For example, it could decide to keep the Like alternative away from brand Pages. Or it could allow brands to decide whether or not the content they post would have anything other than a Like button.</p> <p>Whatever happens, Mark Zuckerberg's announcement that Facebook is looking to move beyond the Like is yet another reminder that even the largest social platforms are still subject to change significantly as they evolve.</p> <p><em>If you want to learn more about social from some of the most successful brands on the planet, get a ticket for the <a href="http://ecly.co/1EmHi7L">Festival of Marketing 2015</a> and check out the Social stage. </em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66789 2015-08-31T10:02:00+01:00 2015-08-31T10:02:00+01:00 We analysed 82 Econsultancy email subject lines and here’s what we learned Parry Malm <h3>The first challenge is to understand <em>why</em> some subject lines are good, and <em>why</em> some are bad.</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66328-211-awesome-phrases-for-email-subject-lines-that-sell">Subject lines are important</a>. This isn’t news. But how can you quantify the 'goodness' and 'badness' of a subject line?</p> <p>Consider these two subject lines Econsultancy sent out earlier in 2015:</p> <ol> <li>Marketers, vent your frustrations here!</li> <li>Marketing Pain Points – share your stresses, get free report</li> </ol> <p>These two subject lines invited people to fill out a survey about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66623-three-remedies-for-your-marketing-pain-points/">marketing pain points</a>.</p> <p>Before we look at results, here's some similarities and differences between the two subject lines:</p> <ol> <li>Version A is shorter than Version B.</li> <li>Version A uses an exclamation point, while Version B doesn’t have any ending punctuation.</li> <li>Version A begins with a collective noun, while Version B begins with a proper noun.</li> <li>Version A uses the word ‘frustrations’, while Version B uses ‘stresses’.</li> <li>Version A has a comma to separate fragments, while Version B uses a hyphen.</li> <li>Version B offers a tangible incentive, while Version A doesn’t.</li> <li>Version B uses the word ‘free’, while Version A doesn’t.</li> <li>Version B uses jargon (‘pain points’), while Version A is more colloquial.</li> <li>Both use the imperative voice.</li> <li>Both use second person pronouns.</li> <li>….. and so on (I could go on – there are dozens of differences and similarities between the subject lines!)</li> </ol> <h3>Which subject line won – Version A or B?</h3> <h4>Version B won with a 7% open rate lift (at 99% confidence). Whoo hoo!<strong><br></strong> </h4> <p><strong>So now the important question: why did it win, and what can Econsultancy learn from this?</strong></p> <p>As mentioned above, there’s a litany of ways that Versions A and B differ. Dozens, or maybe even hundreds.</p> <p>Here are a few plausible hypotheses that this split test could answer:</p> <ol> <li>Longer subject lines are better than shorter.</li> <li>Using the word ‘free’ is good.</li> <li>Exclamation points are bad.</li> </ol> <p>And so on. The list could go on ad infinitum.</p> <p>This is just two subject lines! What happens when you look at dozens, hundreds or thousands of them?</p> <p>How can you tell which are the best… <strong>and understand why they’re the best so you can replicate the success?</strong> </p> <h3>What about these 10 subject lines?</h3> <p>These subject lines are the ones that experienced the biggest variation from the mean.</p> <table style="width: 517px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="379"><strong>Subject Line</strong></td> <td width="139"><strong>StDevs from Mean</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Upcoming training course I thought you'd be interested in</td> <td width="139">5.65</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Where will marketers prioritise spending in 2015?</td> <td width="139">-2.59</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">eCRM and analytics - join a three-day masterclass</td> <td width="139">1.79</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Training: content and SEO working together</td> <td width="139">-1.45</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">*drum roll* And the top 100 UK digital agencies are....</td> <td width="139">1.34</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Adopting a lean methodology: training in agile marketing</td> <td width="139">1.22</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Understanding the Customer Journey - get your free report</td> <td width="139">-1.20</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">What are marketers’ priorities in the year ahead?</td> <td width="139">-1.12</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Understanding the Customer Journey - new report</td> <td width="139">0.91</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="379">Intensive training in developing a positive customer experience</td> <td width="139">-0.78</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>(<em>Note: we normalised the results to determine the distance from the mean. This is to quantify variance that exists while controlling for other factors. A positive number means it was good, and a negative number means it was bad. The larger the number, the greater magnitude of its goodness or badness.)</em></p> <p><strong>Remember the differences we found between Versions A and B above?</strong> Let’s say we can find 10 differences between any two subject lines in the set of 10 above.</p> <p>This means that A is different from B in 10 ways, from C in 10 ways, and D in 10 ways, plus B is different from C in 10 ways, D in 10 ways... and so on.</p> <p>Suddenly you have a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combinatorial_explosion">combinatorial explosion</a> of millions of hypotheses, all of which could be correct. Discovering which is ‘the one’ is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.</p> <p><strong>So, what’s an email marketer to do?</strong> </p> <h3>Here’s how you can quantify <em>why </em>some subject lines work and others don’t</h3> <p>You read a subject line as a chunk of text and emotionally respond to it. That’s how language works. You ingest an entire sentence, have a subconscious response, and act upon your impulse. <strong>Email subject lines work when they pique particular emotions in recipients. </strong></p> <p><strong>But how do you quantify the emotions that resonate with your audience? </strong></p> <p>There are a couple of challenges here. First of all, hand-quantifying emotion is wrought with <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases">cognitive biases</a>. And second, it’s a time-consuming and cumbersome task.</p> <p>We ran Econsultancy’s data through our email subject line sentiment analysis tool - <a href="https://phrasee.co/introducing-phrasee-pheelings/">Phrasee Pheelings</a>. It’s the world’s first technology that measures the emotional power of any of your previous subject lines.</p> <h3>Here’s the bad news for Econsultancy</h3> <p>Econsultancy tends towards two distinct emotional clusters in their subject lines, loosely described as:</p> <ol> <li>Direct and devoid of personality (i.e. ‘<em>The Consumer Conversation - new report’</em>) - in blue below</li> <li>Mid-level familiar and curious (i.e. ‘<em>How healthy is your content strategy?’</em>) - in pink below</li> </ol> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/W5Cflzf.jpg" alt="Phrasee Pheelings 2 cluster" width="600" height="600"></p> <p>The response variance of the two clusters was noticeable, though small. Why is this?</p> <p>When marketers have to write loads of subject lines in their day jobs, they either</p> <ol> <li>follow the status quo; or</li> <li>follow gut instinct.</li> </ol> <p>Both of these strategies run many risks, not least of which are:</p> <ul> <li>If the status quo subject lines weren't good in the first place, you’re just polishing a turd. You aren't progressively optimising your language decisions.</li> <li>If unquantifiable assumptions (like the Versions A and B comparison above) drive your gut instinct, you are making uninformed decisions.</li> </ul> <p>People tend to do the same things over and over, because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The results don’t get worse, but also they don’t sustainably improve.</p> <p><strong>This is a missed opportunity.</strong></p> <h3>Here’s the good news for Econsultancy</h3> <p>Econsultancy’s two main emotional clusters don’t vary much, and the results don’t either. But this is an opportunity in itself!</p> <p>There are limitless possible emotional combinations of language available. <strong>Knowing which work best for your audience is impossible without testing. </strong></p> <p>The key is to get <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65885-how-304-email-marketers-split-test-their-subject-lines-spoiler-alert-it-s-usually-badly/">split testing.</a> But don't test pointless things like changing a single word. That’s a tiny learning point that won’t tell you much about your audience. It will just make you buy a thesaurus.</p> <p><strong>Instead, test out big things. Like the overall emotional power of your subject lines. </strong></p> <p>And do it in a methodological, robust, quantifiable manner.</p> <h3>So, Econsultancy, here’s our advice to you:</h3> <p>When writing your subject lines, test the emotional impact of your subject lines.</p> <p>You’ve tested out two emotional clusters ad infinitum, and the results aren’t bad. But what about the clusters you haven’t tried yet?</p> <p>For example:</p> <ul> <li>What about high urgency/’FOMO’ sentiments? There’s few like this in the sample set... but what if they're key drivers for your audience? In orange below.</li> <li>How about more familiar tones? Econsultancy has a friendly brand voice, yet that doesn’t translate in your subject lines. In purple below.</li> <li>And, what about high levels of curiosity and ambiguity? In green below.</li> <li>And so on, and so on... there's limitless combinations to consider.</li> </ul> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/jbWo5Ij.jpg" alt="Phrasee Pheelings Untested clusters" width="600" height="600"></p> <p>To complicate matters – none of these emotions exist in isolation. You can have something that’s both urgent and familiar, for example. Or something that’s not that urgent, but has middling values of both familiarity and curiosity.</p> <p>The challenges are:</p> <ul> <li>to quantify what emotions to test;</li> <li>to generate subject lines that adhere to these emotional clusters; and</li> <li>to measure on an ongoing basis response, while controlling for external factors.</li> </ul> <p><strong>When testing out emotional clusters, some will work, and some won’t. </strong></p> <p>Your audience responds to the emotional power of your subject lines. Until you figure out what combination of emotions work the best, you’re using suboptimal subject lines.</p> <p><strong>The take-home point is this: </strong></p> <p>Small language sets are suboptimal if you don't quantify their success or failure. You don’t know if what you’re doing is good… or if you’re missing an opportunity.</p> <h3>Big thanks go to…</h3> <p>What I like about the good people at Econsultancy is they’re always up for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65263-3d-printing-check-me-out/">trying new things</a>… and sharing what they learn with their audience. They love innovation and that’s why they’re such a well-respected group.</p> <p>So thanks a lot to the Econsultancy team for sharing their data with us here at Phrasee, and for being good sports through the process. </p> <h3>And it’s not just us who think this is important…</h3> <p>When writing this blog post I received the following email from Econsultancy’s <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/index.cfm">Festival of Marketing.</a> Check out the subject line:</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/L2jkDhL.png" alt="" width="600" height="420"></p> <h2> </h2> <h3>Emotional power is what makes marketing awesome.</h3> <p>We all know that emotion drives response. That’s not the opportunity.</p> <p>The opportunity is to quantify emotion… then optimise based on the results… and then <strong>profit from better subject lines.</strong></p>