I’ve spent the last 15 years of my career focused almost entirely on the proposition that people make purchase decisions because of the way they are influenced by the people around them. In 2002 my first book, The Influentials, declared that “all decisions are conversations.” That idea has always earned a lot of head-nodding, because we all know that’s how important word of mouth is to our own purchase choices.Nevertheless, there’s always been a “but.” But can you prove it? Can you show me how to improve my brand’s social performance? With the launch of Engagement Labs’ Version 2 of TotalSocial™, the answer is an emphatic “yes, we can prove it, and here’s what it means for your business.”
Version 2 of TotalSocial™ was just released with some very significant enhancements, the most important being new metric weightings based on the degree to which each metric helps to drive consumer purchases. TotalSocial--the only data solution that integrates consumers’ offline conversation with social media conversation about brands--is now predictive of consumer sales by using a new proprietary algorithm that links brands’ offline and online social metrics with sales performance. The new version of TotalSocial empowers brand marketers to better drive marketing ROI by understanding the direct link between their brands’ TotalSocial scores and sales.
As part of this enhancement to TotalSocial, we acquired U.S. sales data for a substantial number of the 500 US brands in our database from leading sources of syndicated sales data such as Nielsen, NPD Group and others, covering 2014 to 2016, with a focus on more recent time periods. The data were used to develop predictive statistical models determining the impact of each of eight core metrics to consumer purchases, which resulted in the most extensive links between word of mouth and social media metrics to sales.
The link between the sales data and word of mouth was measured through statistical regression. By observing the correlation between how word of mouth data increases or decreases as compared to sales patterns at the same time or beforehand, Engagement Labs was able to isolate both the impact and significance of TotalSocial scores. The data were controlled for seasonal impacts and trends, to ensure the model is measuring true incremental impact.
This latest release marks a big leap forward in that we have universal sales-driving weightings applied against all brands. Over time, we will be providing clients with the chance to optimize the weightings for their brand in particular. Indeed, our team was truly impressed by the degree to which every brand has its own distinctive “social DNA” when it comes to driving its sales. Some brands are strongly weighted toward offline conversation, others toward online, and on average the balance is near-equal between online and offline.
In addition to the outcomes-based weightings, version 2 also includes updates which were designed to increase the timely delivery of data, as well as to make room for a more customized application of the system. With the latest enhancements to TotalSocial, brand marketers can now get answers to two key questions; ‘How do I improve my TotalSocial scores?’ and ‘How do I explain to the c-suite where we should be investing our marketing dollars to drive sales?”
I am confident that our clients, present and future, will be impressed.
For more information about the company’s TotalSocial data solution, visit www.engagementlabs.com/totalsocial.