Agency Social Revolution

Agencies increasingly leverage social media data and analysis at every stage of the account life cycle, from pitching new business to evaluating ROI. The first study in our Agency Social Revolution series looks at cutting-edge ways agencies can bring social listening to the pitch to offer fresh insight to stand out and close deals.

Maybelline Client Pitch

When pitching a new account or growing your agency’s engagement with a client, bringing fresh consumer insight about a brand or product category and demonstrating how your team can leverage those insights to build successful campaigns wins business. In our Agency Social Revolution Series, we will follow the story of how an agency can use social media listening and analytics at every stage of their engagement with Maybelline, a marquee makeup and cosmetics brand. In this post, we examine how an agency can uniquely arm themselves for the pitch and come out with a new account by leveraging the latest in social media analysis.

Research for the Pitch

Maybelline New York is the world’s biggest cosmetics brand and original producer of mascara. Acquired in 1996 for $508 million, the brand is the largest beauty company owned by L’Oreal. CoverGirl, a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, is a main competitor. CoverGirl is most well-known for its skin products, while Maybelline is recognized more for its makeup and mascara products. The brand memorably advertises with the catchphrase, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” The brand spent $339,200 on advertising in 2013.

Market size and position research in hand, we turn to the ForSight analytics platform to research customer conversation to bring fresh consumer insight to Maybelline. As a first pass, we used ForSight to gain a high-level outlook on volume, sentiments, and topics trends for the brand. From there, we took a deeper dive into consumer opinion and the drivers of customer conversation, both at the brand level and by looking at product-specific conversation.

Maybelline consumer opinion

Key Insight #1: Advertising Strategy and Consumer Conversation Mismatch

The general Maybelline brand analysis yielded 75,795 posts in the United States between March 2014 and July 2014. The distribution of conversation gave us valuable insight into the most effective pitch for this brand’s business. The largest portion of conversation was consumer “intent to purchase.” Products for lips in particular dominated the intent to purchase conversation category. This insight comes as a surprise, because six out of ten of Maybelline’s most recent commercials were selling eye makeup (mainly mascara), while only two advertised lip products.

In a pitch, an agency could use ForSight’s analytics to persuasively pitch a campaign strategy to focus on the shopper’s love of Baby Lips. Lip makeup comprises 14% of the 38% of conversation about purchasing Maybelline, adn this conversation is overwhelmingly discussing Baby Lips, the long-lasting lip balm line. To further validate that recommendation, the agency can present data showing why the Baby Lips fans are so responsive on social media, even though the brand’s advertising budget is not currently aimed in their direction.

Client Pitch Maybelline Social Volume

Key Insight #2: How to Reach Baby Lips Buyers

A number of Baby Lips conversation talks about “obsessions” with the product, and need for more; it is discussed as a refillable necessity. That level of brand loyalty is paramount to a beauty line, as consumers will often continue using a favorite product, making it a “signature” part of their makeup kit or buying one for each purse. When we focus our social media analysis on the Baby Lips product line specifically, loyalty is clear in the opinion category breakdowns: 13% of conversation mentioned an obsession with or addiction to the product; 26% discussed buying new kinds, implying an attentive following; and 9% announced that they needed more Baby Lips because they had run out. This ForSight opinion analysis portrays a Baby Lips consumer profile that regularly buys Baby Lips and uses it very frequently.

Conversation analysis offers fruitful insights for campaign strategy creation, but agencies can quickly learn even more about Maybelline consumers’ demographics and psychographics very easily with social data. For Maybelline, ForSight indicates that people in the Maybelline conversation are 81% female, with highest posts per capita coming from New York, Missouri, California, Nevada, and Texas respectively. However, the insights that will distinguish your pitch from the pack come from the ForSight Affinities tool.

Affinities illustrates the interests that skew more toward one brand’s conversation than the interests of Twitter authors in general or a competitor’s brand. Affinities can measure the percentage of authors in a social conversation with a particular interest and assigns the strength of affinity.

Understanding the music and television affinities of an audience is especially helpful for agencies, because these interests highlight where brands can find consumers’ attention with advertising. With the Affinities tool, we found that people discussing the Maybelline brand are 61 times more likely to have an interest in cosmetics and makeup than the rest of Twitter, and twice as likely as those discussing CoverGirl. The affinities for CoverGirl lips are lifestyle based–nutrition, news, parenting–while affinities associated with people talking about Baby Lips lean toward pop culture, including reality television, sports and sports shows, and musicians. While CoverGirl would be smart to take out ads in women’s magazine, Maybelline would want to pursue ads in celebrity magazines and during reality TV programming.

Brand affinities in pitching client brands

Crimson Hexagon’s segment summary for the group of Twitter authors interested in Makeup reveals that interests that are commonly shared with Makeup include Miley Cyrus, hip hop, and fashion. By showing Maybelline’s strong ties to makeup and pop culture in the minds of consumers with social analysis and mining insights from segments for trending topics and influencers in these segments using ForSight, agencies can bring conversation and audience insights to the table to inform the pitch and to propose future campaign strategy.

Pitching Mabelline as a brand client

Customizable opinion analysis provides insight into which products dominate the conversation about a brand, and gives fresh audience insight without spending money on focus groups or surveys, leading to a well-researched and uniquely informative pitch and account plan. The first critical step in the agency life cycle is the pitch for new business. With robust conversation and audience social media analysis, the agency will go in to the Maybelline pitch armed with unique consumer insight that will make their agency the clear choice to land Maybelline’s creative business.

Stay tuned for the next blog post in the Agency Social Revolution series on brand research for agencies.