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The 5 Most Surprising Takeaways from Our Social Listening Report for Ad Agencies

By Derek Franks  •  September 4, 2018

From Starcom to BBDO, Twix to Netflix, these ad agencies and client brands get the full analysis in our latest social insights report 

The 5 Most Surprising Takeaways from Our Social Listening Report for Ad Agencies

Posted by: Derek Franks on September 4, 2018

Are you a numbers freak? Do you nerd out on data about brands and getting into the nitty gritty of brand strategy and campaign analysis? Do you work for an agency or brand and are constantly on the lookout for better insights on customers?


You’re in the right place. We’re just like you.

And because we share your affinity for an abundance of bar graphs and pie charts, we’ve created the ultimate social insights report for some of the world’s most reputable ad agencies and their top client brands.


This report covers insights from analysis of millions online consumer conversations over the last year looking at sentiment analysis, audience personas, campaign performance, brand health, linguistics and more.

In the report, you’ll find analysis and observations for agencies like Ogilvy, BBDO, and Starcom and their client brands such as IKEA, Twix, and Airbnb.

To give you a little preview, we thought we’d breakdown some of the most eye opening insights gleaned from our analysis, as well as pinpoint the various opportunities agencies and brands have using such insights. By the end of it, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy.


(If you do already, click here!)


Here are 5 surprising takeaways from our social insights report for ad agencies and their top client brands:

5 Takeaways from Agency Report TITLE

#1: People’s online conversations are reflections of who they are

Incorporating the information provided by people who discuss their favorite brands, entities and topics all over the world, we can piece together the most key details about these audiences: their likes, dislikes, values, conversational keywords, buying interest, as well as key demographic and psychographic details.

In our report, we show how we discovered audience’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, activities, interests and habits using the billions of online conversations to map out these persona profiles. The great part about this information is that it’s accurate. Why? Because it is based on information that these people provide on their own, unsolicited.

It’s fitting to find, for example, that Crayola’s audiences are highly interested in do-it-yourself and crafting and that Airbnb’s audiences love to talk about travel.

But it may also surprise you to find that IKEA’s audiences have the most affinity for technology and tech brands like Apple and Pinterest. This means that for those who mention or talk about the IKEA brand, they also talk about or express interest in tech more than any other subject.

IKEA audience top brands social listening

With social listening analytics capable of syphoning out people’s favorite brands and personalities, via entities and categories search filters, you can get an idea of how these people interact and how they express themselves. These attributes are all part of the DNA makeup of audiences. To know who they are, you have to analyze what they say.

Doing so will help you to build out accurate personas of the people, consumers and customers who are most relevant to you and your brand.

Click here to get your copy of the ad agency report

#2: Some brands are missing surprising audience demos, others find their niche

We discovered some fascinating insights about how some brands might be missing out on key audiences that they could be leveraging for their brand efforts.

One such example is candymaker Twix (and featured agency BBDO), who has a large following on social and has created some successful ad campaigns in recent years. (So, are you a left Twix or a right Twix?). What Twix might me missing out on is a large segment of audiences that follow them and talk the most about them online.

Those who discuss the Twix brand the most are young, educated, lean female and they are most interested in baking, fashion and style. Further analysis shows plenty of food blog readers and publications that mention or use Twix in recipes. But this doesn’t seem to always align with Twix branding efforts.

Additionally, the candy brand could partner with influencers to reach these foodies with branded content, a tactic we couldn’t really see being employed by the brand.

Twix target audiences and publications from social listening

By contrast, we also found that some brands targeted specific niche audiences that turned out to be a hit.

This was the case for hospitality tech brand Airbnb, who effectively targeted a niche audience. The company both successfully predicted a market demand as well as crafted a clever concept and campaign to help them win big business.

We also analyzed how MullenLowe’s Netflix campaign to reach gamers ahead of their Iron Fist series release garnered big buzz.

Gamers are notoriously difficult to target with advertising. There are nearly 320 million people who reside in the United States, and 155 million of them play video games, according to DMNews. But those who are fanatic game players are known to be difficult to reach.

“Gamers are fairly elusive, especially millennial gamers,” market researcher Amis Tolia tells DMNews. “The millennial gamer is difficult to reach, and it's hard to get their attention even when you do reach them.”

Social listening tools offer an inside look into audience segments and people’s interests, allowing researchers to look at actual consumer conversational data.

This means we gathered instant, real-time analysis of the campaign for Netflix, showing a surprisingly high conversational volume in correlation to the their campaign for Iron Fist. This goes to show, with proper research, planning and execution, you can reach any audience relevant to you, even one as specific as gamers.

Download the report to see the full brand and campaign analysis.

#3: That campaign was a winner? Social listening data provides instant campaign analysis

We geeked out making this report. You can tell right when you start reading it.  

One of the things we had most fun doing was analyzing campaigns and brand efforts instantly, thanks to our social listening platform’s speedy insights. We were able to gauge the performance and success of specific campaigns according to audience reaction on the spot with just a few clicks of the keyboard.

We traveled back in time to find out things like how Crayola’s campaign by McGarryBowen to name a new color received high marks and if IKEA and Ogilvy’s video campaign was a hit or a miss. The machines gave us results in a flash.

In the previous takeaway discussing targeting niche audiences, we explored how Netflix effectively marketed to a very specific audience. With the help of social listening research, we got instant historical analysis on that targeted campaign.

With this power, you can see the audience reaction to your campaign, in real-time. This gives you instant understanding of your success and how you’re driving the audience conversation with your campaign.

For example, we are able to go back and look to see just how well Netflix targeted those audiences with a full analysis of their campaign in just moments of search time:

Netflix Iron Fist Campaign Analysis from Social Listening


And of course, the campaign turned out to win some accolades in itself.


Netflix and MullenLowe Iron Fist Campaign

In our report, we detail how several brands impacted their market share-of-voice, the overall sentiment, advanced linguistics, top channel sources and emotions and themes (such as purchase intent) with their various campaigns and brand strategies. And we document the speed and ease of finding such data.

With this technology, agency teams can get fast, historical or real-time data in a matter of seconds so you never miss a beat on your performance measurements.  

#4: These audiences like that? Consumers have varying hobbies, activities and interests

You probably don’t know too many people that have just one hobby or interest. If you do, well, you have some weird friends, k?

Looking at Crayola’s audiences, you’ll find plenty of people who have a high interest in drawing, painting and other artistic activities. Many are also moms and teachers of kids who love to use Crayola’s products as well.

In fact, the top highest entity to cross index with Crayola, according to our analysis, is the Cricut, a machine used to print labels and images onto t-shirts. There are a lot of people discussing this machine who are also discussing Crayola.

Crayola Brand Audience Social Listening

Sure enough, our report finds that among the top at-home crafting and DIY activities that Crayola’s audiences are interested in is shirtmaking. This means that people who discuss Crayola also have shown affinity for, talked about or otherwise expressed interest in making shirts.

You realize then that you can put together a pretty precise model of the ideal Crayola customer, one that loves coloring and drawing, who has kids who love coloring and drawing or that loves to make shirts, among other crafting activities.

A takeaway here for agencies and brand teams: it’s imperative that you investigate and map out your customers’ other varying activities that may not seem to be relevant to your brand directly, but that play a large, influential role in shaping and inspiring those people that you hope to do business with.

#5: Online conversations provide real-time, actionable competitive insights

People are talking about your brand.

They’re also talking about your competitors.

That’s good news for you!

All that online chatter is an absolute goldmine for competitive analysis and intel. You’ll see in our report that, as the endless forum of conversations continues to grow, you have available to you a breeding ground of information about your competitors and what consumers think of them compared to you.

In the report, you’ll see that there are key competitive insights to be had by researching and analyzing the billions of online conversations that could impact your business decisions, branding, products and customer service.

For another surprising find, take Twix again, for example. When you compare them to other candy leaders (outside of the Mars Candy realm), you’ll find that they miss some key brand opportunities that other companies like Reeses and Butterfinger are capitalizing on, namely, holiday activations and campaigns.

Candy brands market share of voice social listening data


The report comes with a complete competitive scorecard for each of the ad agencies’ clients so you can see how they stack up on measurements like brand favorability, trust, passion and purchase intent, among others.


The data and observations within the report give you more than just metrics. They provide real world insight that can have an impact on business decisions, marketing strategies, customer targeting, product improvements and brand messaging.

The whole idea of our research is to show there is true business value in better understanding audiences and consumers through listening to your community of audiences, influencers and competitors.

This article is just a snapshot of the capabilities of social listening and intelligence tools featured in this report. The 40+ pages of data visualized for your enjoyment will dive deep on advertising and branding from the top agencies and their biggest clients.

What are you waiting for? Download the report below to get all the insights in your inbox in no time.

Topics: advertising, social listening, social listening data

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