Q&A: How Immediate Future Created The Social Journey to ROI Travel Report

We talked to Katy Howell, CEO at immediate future, to find out how they produced their report on travel “The social journey to ROI” using data from Crimson Hexagon’s platform:
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1. Who is immediate future?
Someone said to me last week that we are the Granddaddy of social media marketing. That’s because we have been working with brands in social for 11 years now. That is a long time. Our heart lies in being social media specialists. We’re a team of consultants with marketing at our core and skills ranging from editorial to analytics. We’re known for working with big brands such as Sony Music, Thomson Reuters, Southbank Centre, IBM, Interflora and Motorola Solutions.
2. As a social media agency, what are the three main challenges brands face?
Great question, I wish it was just three (as it is usually a lot more!), but the key ones are:

  • Attributing ROI (or business value) to social activity with activities such as lead generation, customer acquisition and, of course, sales
  • Understanding where social media impacts the customer and how that informs a company strategy from reputation to positioning and real-time engagement (both internally and externally)
  • Hot topic right now is social and digital transformation. This throws out a number of issues including organisational structure, training, constant monitoring and analytics and policies.

3. How do you use Crimson Hexagon data?
Everything we do at immediate future is driven by social data. From crisis management to marketing campaigns and from demand gen to real-time. That means we use the data and insights from Crimson to inform our recommendations, optimisation and reporting across:

  • Mapping social through the customer purchase journey
  • Competitor audits
  • Industry topics, themes, and language used
  • Understanding social behaviours
  • Benchmarking and reporting
  • Real-time dashboards for outreach and crisis
  • And just about everything!

4. What specific parts of the tool provided value for this particular analysis on travel?
The buzz monitors were our starting point. They allowed us to see the depth of conversation, the overall topics and trends. We then switched to the opinion monitor with a more refined search. Training the tool to allocate posts and tweets to steps in the customer journey was the final step before analysis. We then ran the final sweep across one full year and began to extract data as insights that informed the report.
5. You also combined other data sources in this report. Is this something you see increasingly happening in the market?
Absolutely! Monitoring tools only allow you to look at open web data (so, chatter that is not set to private and where the API is freely available). We used survey data from GlobalWebIndex which asks a range of questions every quarter from a huge worldwide database. This research gives us the views of the consumer or customer. This allows us to see hidden insights such as Facebook usage or attitudes to purchase. And as the data can be cut by interests, demographics and purchase behaviour, it enhances the analysis from Crimson Hexagon.
6. In the report you say “Social is not a channel”. I bet that got a few eyebrows raised. Can you elaborate?
It did indeed! Anyone working with social knows it is not a channel. Why? Because social is leaky. It impacts (and often amplifies) other channels. It is everywhere from the ads you stream, to the posters you create. Social happens even when you don’t plan for it. This, of course, is driven by the rise of mobile. So next time you run an OOH campaign, look at the pick up as consumers take pictures and tweet or post about the campaign.
7. How easy was it to get a solid picture of the customer journey on social?
Now you touch on the reason we find Crimson Hexagon so useful. Training the tool to recognise certain posts is easy. We framework a typical (or several) customer purchase journeys and then train the tool to recognise posts that are applicable to each stage. The training takes time to focus, but is made simple by the tool. Once you have enough posts in each stage, you can run the analysis. And Voila! You have a clear map of where social conversations are happening. The significance of this insight cannot be overstated. It allows you to interpret data at each stage of the purchase funnel. As marketers, you know when to post, how to post, what action (and therefore call to action) you need. Manage this through ongoing optimisation and you finesse your social activity to deliver ROI or value to the business.
To view the report on travel trends created by immediate future with social data click here.
travel social report

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