Social Business Intelligence Offers Unexpected Consumer Engagement

How Social Data Can Help Agencies Win the Next Big Client

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Social business intelligence can help a firm or brand select the advertising agency that offers them a competitive edge by targeting consumer demands and responding to product issues.  Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ social media analytics revealed a strong campaign against Beneful products, opening the door for a an agency to present a data-driven creative campaign strategy presentation.

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Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ social media analytics platform discovered positive engagement with Beneful’s marketing strategy and a strong campaign against Beneful products:

  • Consumer conversation was stimulated by a Beneful Dog Park Contest which composed 44% of positive conversation leading up to Beneful selecting a winner.
  • Consumers also engaged with Beneful online by sharing pictures and stories about their favorite four-legged friends, making up 26% of positive conversation.
  • In December 2013 there was a significant spike in conversation sparked by consumers complaining that Beneful was making dogs sick. Daily posts rose from roughly 100 posts per day to over 1,000 at the height of the concern.


Preparing for Your Agency’s Next Pitch

Purina Beneful PetCare is on the search for a new advertising agency after 25 years with Fallon Worldwide. Nestlé, Beneful’s parent company, is one of the world’s most valuable brands and is known for food and drink brands from Butterfinger to Hot Pockets. We decided to investigate how social media analysis may increase insights into consumer conversations about Beneful.
After analyzing almost 10,000 posts discussing Beneful over the past 6 months, we are able to provide valuable insights that highlight consumers’ engagement with the Beneful Brand, the success of current marketing strategies, and consumer concerns.


In-depth Insights for Accurate Advertising Strategies

Looking at consumer conversation over the past 6 months, it is apparent that there is an enormous spike in activity in December 2013. This increase in conversation is almost entirely negative and appears to have started when customers began linking Beneful dog food with declining dog health. Although there was little media coverage on this issue, it is clear that consumers were concerned and actively discussing the unexplainable rise in illness. While the basic sentiment of conversation is clearly negative, what exactly were consumers saying?
Beneful social business intelligence opinion analysis
One way to gain a more comprehensive understanding of consumer conversation is to use a topic wheel that provides a clear visualization of the subjects that people are talking about. Popular topics such as “beneful kills” and “boycottbeneful” correspond to the rise in negative conversation. Interestingly, “youtube” is also a frequently used term that relates to the boycott movement. It is clear that social media is an important factor because protesters relied on youtube videos and created a new hashtag, #boycottbeneful, to spread their message.
Beneful social business intelligence topic wheel
Beneful’s current marketing strategy uses personal appeal by creating fun and energetic commercials. These marketing efforts align with Beneful’s message “Play. it’s good for you.” by promoting playing with your dog and the simple, fun things in life. While Beneful has gained positive earned media for creative commercials, this has been overshadowed in past months by consumers’ concern for the safety of their dogs.
Beneful has experienced success with popular commercials. One of their latest, a creative and heartwarming video, has received over 5 million views. Yet, youtube has also spread consumer weariness of the brand as critics post their own videos.
While this situation has the potential to damage the Beneful brand, it also presents an advertising opportunity. Beneful can become a more informed consumer by selecting an advertising agency based on their use of comprehensive social media analysis and ability to target campaigns to consumers needs and concerns.
Our analysis found that dog owners are most interested in their pets’ well-being. Beneful should select an agency that incorporates this knowledge into advertisements, commercials, and posts that highlight the importance of dog health to Beneful and assure consumers that Beneful is the right choice for their dogs.


The social media response to a possible tie between Beneful and dog illness is just one example of the problems that arise for all businesses. While a recall or FDA investigation may appear problematic for a business, social media analysis can help to turn a negative into a positive. This depends heavily on the business’s advertising agency. When reviewing advertising agencies, it is vital to select an agency that can use consumer conversation as to discover customers really value and how they can create better and more focused advertising.
Also interesting:
Beneful social business intelligence hashtags
Find out more about how social business intelligence can arm agencies for the pitch. Click here to download the case study.

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