Jessica Hogue, Research Director, Online Division
For years, Nielsen has been refining and expanding its online tools that enable clients to put actionable context behind conversations about their brand. As "brand listening" on the web has now become standard practice, it's time to go deeper to unlock the value, passion and insight hidden inside the everyday chatter happening outside the context of your brand. As social media usage and time spent on these sites grows globally, the need for this deep social listening, with the proper approach and analysis, is more important than ever.
In a recent webinar, The Power of Listening: How KRAFT Leverages Social Media Insights for New Product Development, I hosted with Paul Banas of Kraft Foods, we examined how Nielsen's social listening frameworks could provide valuable dimension and feedback for Kraft's potential entry into the burger or mini-burger market. Kraft knows the cheese part of cheeseburger better than anyone, but what could social listening tell them about product trends, emerging flavors and consumer profiles?
When we talk about food online, we see that maybe 10% of conversations mention brands specifically, while the rest focus on passionate likes and dislikes, chatter about daily routines and more.
But where to start?
Listening to the entire web to get new product ideas is a bit like boiling the ocean. This is why building a listening framework around themes is key. For example, we could focus in on themes like health and wellness, sustainability, and even an occasion like getting out of the house in the morning. From there we can map those themes, look for trends over time, find intersections and conversation drivers across different segments. Then, it's onto a deep dive of that information blending search trends and offline data among other tactics.
It's also important to build a framework around audience types. Kraft knows that moms talk about food differently than food aficionados, dieters or those big on entertaining at home. Understanding who is providing feedback, where they are commenting and even what time of day helps put their passions and preferences in the proper context.
Lifestyle personas of at-home burger eaters
Passion: Cooking unique, gourmet burgers, appreciated sophisticated palates.
Enjoys Them With: Spouse, friends, sometimes kids.
Flavor Profile: High-end proteins: bison, lamb, kobe beef. Enjoys interesting seasonings and toppings.
Where You'll Find Them: Foodie communities, personal blogs
Tension: Getting kids to enjoy "fancy" burgers
| Moms + Household Chefs|
Passion: Basic beef or turkey burgers
Occasion: Family dinners, weekend cookouts
Enjoys Them With: Spouse, children
Flavor Profile: Existing freezer or pantry ingredients
Where You'll Find Them: Personal blogs, recipe sharing and mom sites
Tension: Creating a quick, tasty meal while avoiding dinnertime ruts. Greasy burgers are deemed unhealthy.
Passion: Pre-made burgers, beef burgers with no buns, turkey burgers, veggie burgers.
Prep Profile: George Foreman grill, microwaves
Where You'll Find Them: Weight loss communities, personal blogs
Tension: Time-consuming to make fresh burgers, poor taste for healthier options.
Passion: Beef burgers, turkey burgers served in casual, fun atmosphere, usually prepared on an outdoor grill.
Flavor Profile: Basic seasonings
Enjoys Them With: Friends, extended family
Occasions: Weekends, holidays, during nice weather
Tension: Poor weather, preparation time takes time away from guests, less "classy" than other menu options.
Results of the Deep Dive
When Kraft focused in on conversations specifically around "sliders" or mini burgers, they found some common themes and "Positive Triggers" across audiences to help focus their thinking.
The Value of Social Listening
While both Paul and I agree that social listening is not a full replacement for traditional focus groups, surveys or "ask-based" research, social listening is vital to understanding the passion of consumer sentiment online. Listening vs. Asking provides a powerful complement with the potential to increase the depth, speed and even the affordability of large-scale customer research.