Q&A: How Room 214 Built Their Fashion Brand Report With Social Data

We sat down with Michael Kwolek, Director of Research, and Taylor Cunningham, Research Associate, from digital agency Room 214 to discuss how using ForSight helped empower their team to create innovative work:
ROOM 214 Guys

  1. Who is Room 214?
    Room 214 believes in working with talented (yet humble) people to create inspired work that makes our hearts race, challenges us, and has a positive impact. Born in 2004, we’re an award-winning digital-native marketing agency that helps global lifestyle and B2B brands connect with the people who matter most. That includes brand development, strategy, content creation, community management, search and advertising.
  2. What precipitated your need for a social listening platform?
    As a digital-focused agency, we needed a comprehensive but cost-effective way to better understand conversational trends around our client’s brands and industries online. This helps guide strategy development, tactical ideation and fan outreach, allowing us to make decisions rooted in data.
  3. Who in your team uses Crimson Hexagon data?
    Our research team uses Crimson Hexagon daily, and some account managers also access it for a unique (and secret!) outreach project we’ve been running for a client. We typically package the insights and pass them on to other teams involved, whether it be Creative, Traffic, or Account Planning + Management.
  4. What specific parts of the tool provided value for this particular analysis?
    The nugget of data we needed for the fashion report’s Brand Salience Score was average daily authors mentioning each brand. We ran Buzz monitors for each of the 110 brands our list to gather a few key pieces of data, including gender breakdown and overall volume through 2014.
  5. You’ve said each client (or potential client) is vetted over Crimson’s tool to gain a full-field understanding of the social market they live in: whether it’s competitive behaviors, key influencers, or interests and preferences of users. How does that process help your team when closing business/winning a new pitch?
    Pitches are really fun. We love to give potential clients two or three small but actionable insights from Crimson Hexagon to pique their curiosity and demonstrate our ability. It’s always great to show potential clients a new way of looking at their digital audience, and Crimson helps us color those personas nicely. Insights from Crimson also allow us to understand the brand’s competition and digital history. That way, our proposed strategies are always fresh, logical extensions of existing work with an emphasis on the unique traits that connect more personally with their audience.
  6. How did it help to have a keyword analysis tool like Crimson’s when researching top brands that are harder to find, like “Guess”, as opposed to “Nike”?
    Brands with generic names like Guess were certainly a challenge in this project, and there are many more in the fashion world than you might expect. We start the monitor with the brand’s social handles and hashtags, but we needed more to capture all organic conversation. Crimson’s keywords feature helped us design a system to weed out irrelevant posts and make the process quite a bit easier, though it is definitely a much longer process to create a clean monitor for Guess than it would be for, say, Rebecca Minkoff.
  7. In your Fashion Report this year, how did you come up with the Brand Saliency Score? 
    We wanted to step up our game from last year’s report, which only considered the number of social followers as the ranking metric because there is so much more to digital success than fan counts. We sought to combine stats on each brand’s official content with fan-created post counts to paint a better picture of how relevant each brand is in our culture overall – the challenge was creating a single metric combining several data points into a meaningful score. Our partners at Infinigraph supplied brand-created post engagement data and we were able to gather follower counts ourselves. These combined with Crimson Hexagon gave us the raw data needed to put together an overall Brand Salience Score, whose raw unit is simply “people.”
  8. You said the results were pretty easy to get, but once you have them, learning what to do could be difficult?
    One of the most challenging parts of the process was crafting a ranking algorithm that combined the several raw data points into a meaningful score that was mathematically sound. How much is a favorite on Twitter worth vs. a share on Facebook? Maybe Brand A is getting 10x the mentions of Brand B, but all of Brand A’s conversation is coming from a single super fan. How do you deal with that? The equation alone took us several days to develop, but once we did so, it was surprisingly simple and made common sense. I was so proud of it, keeping it on my whiteboard for several weeks.
  9. Tell us about some of the other ways team members use Crimson’s tools:
    In addition to new business, persona strategy, campaign planning, and crisis management, we use Crimson for an innovative fan outreach program that lets our client connect with fans on a very personal level. It’s also a great way to find influential posters and regional nuances.

To review the report Room 214 created with social data, click here:
Fashion Report Room 214

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