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What Does Social Media Data Have to Do With the Marketing Mix?

A marketing director and their agency representative walk into a bar…er, a strategic plan review…and start to talk with execs about their upcoming plans for the year. The conversation may have evolved to reflect current realities, but if anyone in the room is worth their salt, the meeting will end with a lot of time spent on the Four P’s of the marketing mix:  Product, Place, Promotion and Price.

The concept of the marketing mix (AKA The Four P’s) was coined in the 1950’s and has become a staple for all strategic marketers. Analyzing social media data is a relatively new tactic. As with many new tactics, there is a time period where people determine where to best apply it. In general, our clients have mastered using social listening to:

  • Understand sentiment about their company’s brand
  • High level feedback on campaigns
  • General competitive analysis such as sentiment comparisons

Click here for demos of the above scenarios. We are really excited about moving to the next level where true insights are developed to inform decisions around strategic questions, such as the Four P’s. On January 21st we conducted a webcast that provided a summary of the 2013 holiday shopping season.  During the introduction we asked a poll question of the participants:

“What is your interest in gaining social media insights around the 2013 holiday season?”

  • Help me think about PROMOTIONS in 2014
  • Help me think about MARKETING CAMPAIGNS in 2014
  • Help me think about NEW TARGET MARKETS in 2014
  • Help me think about PRODUCT OR SERVICE FUNCTIONALITY in 2014
  • Help me think about DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS in 2014
  • Nothing specific. I’m just curious what was being said on social.

Participants were able to check multiple boxes.  Here are the results.


It was not surprising to us that marketing campaigns ranked first and promotion ranked second. Nor was it surprising to see product and service enhancements at the bottom of the ranking. But we believe that this is where the leaders will go next, if they are not already there. We had a real life example of how social media data can be used to support this “P” (Product) in the webcast.

One theme that emerged around Black Friday was the physical toll it takes to get up early, stand in endless lines, and possibly have an encounter with a cashier that is equally burnt out. If you are a retailer and you put emphasis on the total buyer experience, why would you NOT do something to improve your service offering to address these themes? For example, how about coming up with imaginative ways to make waiting in line less painful?

Coming full circle to the beginning of the post, bars…excuse me, strategic planning sessions…can be a brutal experience. But they go much smoother when you have data to support your plans. We expect social media data to become a standard part of the marketer’s data toolkit.

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