A case study of how a leading international marketing and communications agency, utilized social insights to win one of its most competitive pitches.

Today, insight-driven digital agencies have a valuable ally to optimize their pitch process, differentiate themselves from competitors, and win new impactful clients: social intelligence.

In this post, we’ll show examples of the pitch strategies a leading marketing agency implemented using social data analysis, including listening to online consumer interactions with the target brand, its competitors, and conversations related to the brand’s industry.

An important question presents itself before implementing a social intelligence strategy: how do you distill meaningful insights from a large mass of data, and how do you integrate these insights into new business pitches?

This article answers these questions using a leading global marketing agency as an example. You’ll see:

  • How the agency won one of its most important pitches by creating a clear competitive edge over other agencies
  • Social insights that have been most effective in adding value to pitches and obtaining a significant budget
  • Best practices that emerged to guide strategic pitches

Happy reading, and please leave any of your own examples and experiences in the comments section!

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The agency

The agency in this case study is an international marketing and communication agency founded in 1949. Since its inception it has married a precise philosophy of creativity and consumer insights into a respect for the customer. Building on this philosophy, a new mission emerged in the digital age: utilize technology platforms not only as content distribution systems, but also as a strategic way to gain new consumer insights.

Over the years, this agency has won several international awards and boasts a portfolio of clients including Heineken, Volkswagen, Vodafone, and McDonald’s (just to name a few).

The business challenge

The strategic planning and new business teams quickly realized that the growing number of competitors participating in important pitches created a need for a new strategic process.

For this reason, a business challenge became clear: optimize the investment dedicated to pre sales activities, improve the team’s operational efficiency, and create clear and differentiated positioning during pitches.

Share on voice graph of brand’s competitors, via Digimind Social

The project

The opportunity to put into practice this new vision was the proposal to win the social and branding communication of a leading Oil & Energy industry client.  

In collaboration with Digimind’s insights and analytics team, the agency used Digimind Social to enrich the proposal using a detailed competitive analysis and brand positioning analysis using social media insights.

In detail, the agency and Digimind worked together to bring out the following social insights:

  • Topics discussed most frequently by target users and the platforms where most conversations occurred
  • Sentiment associated with competitors and the negative and positive feedback about other players in the market
  • Visibility, coverage, and effectiveness of campaigns the brand and it’s competitors had run in the past including prize competitions, corporate communications, and new product launches
  • The brand’s perceived identity online and areas where it could be improved
Competitor comparison of mentions by social platform, via Digimind Social.

The solution

The two teams produced a full social intelligence audit that was included with the pitch proposal. Thanks to the social listening, analytics, and data visualization features, the report was able to present key areas of improvement for the brand.

Some specific areas where the Digimind tool provided particular value include:

  • Facebook and online forums were the outlets where users discuss most the brand’s product offering, rates, contracts, the supplier switching procedures. Consequently, an optimization plan was devoted to these platforms.
  • The negative sentiment related to the brand’s competitors focused on issues related to the poor contract and rate clarity. In this case, dedicated campaigns were proposed to erode specific market shares.
  • Data showed that when consumers move, they tend to evaluate new service provides most often. The agency proposed a campaign to monitor in real-time instances of people moving and offer customized offers to capitalize on this insight when consumers are most receptive.
  • Competitors’ sponsorship of sporting events resulted in the largest share of voice spikes online. These competitor campaigns were given heightened social monitoring attention.

In addition, all the results were segmented according to the different types of competitors: natural gas, propane, and butane providers.

Sentiment graph by each competitor, via Digimind Social.

The results

The proposal process involved many marketing and communications agencies, but the ability to generate specific competitive insights and an action plan to take action on those insights made all the difference for this particular agency.

The results are clear:

  • The agency in this case study won the contract
  • The budget allocated by the brand was higher than the initial forecast due to the proposals in the audit report
  • Presales and pitch processes for the agency have been updated to include utilization of Digimind Social, using both automated analysis features and input from our analytics and insights team. The agency has been able to reduce time to create new pitches and improved operational efficiency.

Using social intelligence, an insight-driven strategy drives clear benefits for both clients of the agency and the agency itself.

The best practices

The agency’s success is particularly interesting as it allows us to isolate some universal best practices:

  1. There can’t be creativity without data.
  • Any creative approach needs to incorporate data analysis to create campaigns that are genuinely aligned with any prospective customer’s needs.
  1. You must know the market well to position yourself well.
  • In-depth knowledge of your prospect’s market allows you the sell your service as more than a commodity and target your campaigns more effectively.
  1. Generate value and knowledge.
  • Extract clear insight that can be a guidepost when searching for proper strategy, tactics, and operational workflows.

Of course, these best practices must be complemented by a strategic investment in know-how (professional analysts and strategists), work processes, and tools like a strong social intelligence platform.

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