Analysing the Amazon Echo Launch in Europe

How do European consumers feel about Alexa?

Campaigns are the lifeblood of modern marketing. But they’re also hard to predict and even harder to execute. Boldly crafted marketing campaigns can either propel brands to new heights of success, or send them plummeting to the doldrums. It all depends on how the audience receive the campaign message, and, of course, how they respond to the product or service being marketed.

But creating a compelling campaign is nothing compared to measuring its impact. Even the most carefully planned campaigns will fall short if the brands that launch them can’t measure their performance and optimise in real time. Knowing how audiences are reacting to your campaign as it unfolds gives you the opportunity to salvage a poorly received campaign and adjust tactics as and when necessary. It can also unearth unexpected opportunities, where having first mover advantage can really boost your brand.

Analysing consumer conversations from public online data and social media provides real-time insight into the performance of a marketing campaign. Combined with traditional methods of campaign measurement, social media analytics can help marketers measure campaign success, track audience engagement and potential new opportunities, monitor for possible crisis points and gain a more detailed understanding of audience response – invaluable for future strategies.

The Internet of Things (IoT), is one of the hottest topics in consumer electronics, spanning a vast and ever-growing range of products, from smartwatches to self-driving cars and voice-activated home appliances. In this post, Crimson Hexagon will take a look at the launch of Amazon Echo speakers in the European market, to find out exactly how this campaign fared in the minds of European consumers. As Amazon Echo speakers were launched in December 2017, we gathered data for the whole of 2018 so far, covering all social channels including forums and blogs, and focusing on users from EMEA countries.

Relevant and Resonate

Online conversation around a campaign is the driving force for judging performance. Below we can see the most common keywords found in conversations related to Amazon Echo. Most of the words are positive and relevant, showing that the product has resonated with audiences. The significant presence of the #AmazonEcho hashtag indicates strong, branded engagement on social. What’s more, there appear to be no negative flash points so far.

But this is just a surface-level post-mortem. Keywords around a campaign are only one step in an overall campaign analysis. The real questions are: Which specific elements of the campaign are driving consumer conversation? And how can those insights be used to refine the campaign or apply its lessons to the next one? To reach that level of understanding, we need to gain a wider context by looking at other aspects of the conversation.

For example, beyond the most popular hashtags, this word cloud shows the most common words used in the online conversation about the campaign.

Of course, words are just words. They help us identify the topics driving the conversation, but not the emotions. That’s why it’s also important to examine consumer sentiment about the campaign. For starters, we can look at overall levels of basic positive and negative sentiment, then we can dive down into the individual emotions.

The above graph shows that basic positive sentiment for Amazon Echo has overshadowed negative sentiment for the majority of 2018. This is good news for the brand. But the week of March 1st to March 8th shows a strange spike where negative sentiment is greater than positive. Let’s dig deeper into the data and see if we can unearth the reason(s) behind it.

This joke isn’t funny anymore

As demonstrated above, a snapshot of conversation snippets from that particular week shows that the Amazon Echo’s AI assistant, Alexa, had a ‘strange, unprompted’ laugh. This was widely considered ‘creepy’. Fortunately, Amazon spotted this issue in good time and took steps to fix it.

For real-time campaigning in the consumer electronics vertical, insights like this would be invaluable to help brand managers promptly take action and address any negative flashpoints. An unexpected problem can scupper an entire campaign, so brands are well served by regularly monitoring for issues and addressing quickly if needed.

Drilling down into the specific emotions within the conversation shows good results overall for Amazon Echo this year. The primary emotion seen here is Joy, although this is followed by Anger, which peaks in the month of February. Fear also makes a strong appearance in the first month of March, which is most likely related to the Alexa ‘creepy laugh’ incident mentioned earlier.  

Everyone’s a Winner

Finally, let’s take a look at some related topics within the online discussion about that Amazon Echo. This is a useful way to produce unexpected opportunities to engage with varied strategies, create new partnerships, and explore wider segments of the consumer population.

Below, we can see that most of the discussion topics are positive and relevant. In particular, the keyword ‘winning’ stands out significantly, leading us to a whole slew of keywords associated with competitions related to the Amazon Echo. Clearly, Echo audiences like competition, so this looks like an effective way to engage them with the product. This insight could be worth keeping in mind for use in future marketing strategies.

Want to learn more about how Crimson Hexagon can your help your business improve campaign analysis? Check out our 5-Minutes to Campaign Analysis Guide here. 

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