The Art of Listening Also Known as Marketing

The Art of Listening Also Known as Marketing
April 20 10:00 2017 Print This Article

Since 1982, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has raised over $1 billion to fund awareness and research for breast cancer. One in eight women is affected by the disease, and so the entire color pink and the entire month of October have been commandeered to gain even more traction for this worthy cause. Historically, the brand has focused on demonstrating the power of collective support, sharing happy photographs of teams united in a cause and stories of breast cancer survivors. This was the visual recipe for success during the foundation’s first three decades.
Enter millennials and the rise of social media, and the positive story Susan G. Komen continued to tell no longer resonated as well with this younger generation. My team and I set out to find out why.

In order to do that, we listened. We know social media provides fertile ground for measuring engagement and social sentiment. Our industry measures everything, every single digital footprint, and the result is a plethora of data that is constantly changing. It’s no longer how we listen but what we listen for that matters.

At POSSIBLE, our efforts to better understanding data have transformed into listening more intently. This means we have the ability to understand who your customers are, who they’re with when they make their purchases, as well as accurately measure the emotions around consumer experiences.

Emotion is powerful. It moves people to act. So we measured it, and the language, dialect, and tone of voice the younger generation uses around breast cancer, in an effort to uncover how Susan G. Komen’s was missing the mark with millennials.

Our technology monitored the immediacy of emotions that millennials were expressing on social media. And what we found surprised us. When it comes to breast cancer, millennials are disproportionately full of anger. It’s in the flavors of these different emotions that we discovered Susan G. Komen needed another strategy, one that would validate their feelings.

Our ability to measure deeper levels of emotions expressed by these individuals led us to “More Than Pink,” the campaign that successfully connects with this younger generation. It refocuses the movement on action and urgency rather than just awareness. More Than Pink celebrates the heroes who go above and beyond to affect change and invite those who have been sitting on the sidelines to join the cause.

Many brands struggle to come up with a targeted approach and inevitably create a campaign that they proceed to dunk into the ocean of social media—only to be drowned out with no results. To use a campaign effectively, you need to chip away until the final product precisely fits your message and its audience. The ability to capture emotion on social media with no filter enables us to work with precision, pinpoint our efforts, and produce high-quality results.

At the heart of More Than Pink, or any other campaign, is clearly understanding your audience. Millennials have long been an unfulfilled target of marketers- perhaps because we sometimes fail to recognize them for the diverse group they really are. As their buying power grows, understanding their buying behaviors has become the holy grail of marketing. Empathy for how they confront various issues and opportunities is central to that understanding. As data and our abilities to listen continue to evolve, smart business will use that feedback to make stronger connections with their customers.

SEAJasonCarmel0216Jason holds the position of Chief Data Officer at POSSIBLE. With its headquarters in Seattle Washington, Jason has over a decade of experience working with POSSIBLE, a creative agency that cares about results. Their mission is simple: create world-class work that works. That’s why they back up every idea with hard-core data for solutions that make a measurable difference. Jason’s responsibilities include: Managing a global team of digital analytics, optimization, user research and CRM experts. His Specialties include: Web Optimization, A/B/n and Multivariate Testing, Behavioral Targeting, Web Analytics, Website design and production, Internet and Privacy Law