Vanity metrics are dead. It’s social media data that drives insights in the age of big data.
U.S. Bank has a team that’s tasked with helping the company make data driven marketing decisions. The company employs an extensive social listening program that tracks US Bank’s Voice of Customer as well as the feedback on its closest competitors. With that input in hand, the bank makes investments in innovation, product improvement, customer service, and content and marketing opportunities.
“Financial organizations need to move away from being gut driven and just doing things based on what others are doing,” explained U.S. Bank’s Troy Janisch, director of social intelligence, at Tradestreaming’s 2016 Money Conference. “Once you start listening, you can fine tune it to be more responsive to the products and services you have.”
Compiling the data is the first step in creating actionable insights for U.S. Bank. It averages about 28,000 mentions a month and has a single employee whose job it is to validate all these mentions manually. But events like the Wells Fargo fiasco can cause mention volume to significantly change month to month. That means negative sentiment about U.S. Bank can rise from a baseline of around 3 percent to upwards of 8 percent. To flatten out the variability, Janisch’s team prefers to use ratios, like net promotor scores.
The social intelligence team next weights mentions according to what marketing was working on during the month. So, for an awareness campaign, metrics like reach, share of voice, and visits will trump other engagement and acquisition metrics. By weighting what matters most, U.S. Bank can customize marketing campaigns to achieve specific goals.
One place this works really well is on sponsorships. The bank spends more money on sponsorships than it does straight-up advertising, so tracking performance is really important. Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Field is the National Football League’s newest stadium. To measure the impact of the stadium sponsorship, the social intelligence team benchmarks the Vikings’ stadium against other leading fields like Citi Field and AT&T Field.
“For each field, we can measure the social potential, how much activity is going on, and the awareness and engagement on each property,” said Janisch. “So we can set goals for U.S. Bank Stadium to be more effective than AT&T Field is for its sponsor.”
U.S. Bank also tracks local mentions of its network of 3000 branches. The social intelligence team knows that 70 percent of its customers and prospects will check online before making a financial purchase. To be more effective at a local level, the company tracks Trulia, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Google for mentions of its branches.
Once the firm has this data in hand, it acts by allocating marketing dollars where they’re most effective. For U.S. Bank, this is an ongoing process. The bank’s social intelligence team has made the firm more responsive by creating a continuous feedback loop to the rest of the firm on what’s working now, without getting bogged down in historical data.
“Dwelling on what happened in the past just slows things down,” explained Janisch. “Mass marketing is now more about continuous in-process marketing, creating systems as opposed to campaigns. Good creative is essential to compete, but that comes more at the end of really understanding the customer and being able to provide the right creative to the right customer at the right time.”