In this series of profiles, we'll be putting the spotlight on some of the wonderful speakers who will be featured at The Social Shake-Up this June.
Chris Kerns has been at the forefront of digital data and insights for over a decade, defining digital strategy for some of the world's largest brands. He currently leads the Analytics & Research group at Spredfast, a social marketing platform that empowers enterprise organizations to connect with consumers in an increasingly social world. His research has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today and AdWeek, among other publications, and we're excited to welcome him to our conference. Here's a sneak peek at some of the topics he'll be touching on in Atlanta.
New social intelligence capabilities have been a boon for real-time marketing, especially with the advent of splashy examples (like that famous cookie tweet we won't refer to here for the millionth time). But is there real evidence that real-time marketing is more effective than more traditional campaigns that are rolled out on a predetermined schedule?
Yes, there sure is. In Trendology, I studied over 100 of the world's largest brands and how they leverage real-time trends on Twitter. What I learned is that when brands join conversations around current events - instead of relying on pre-canned creative - the audience responds with great enthusiasm. I'm seeing the same pattern across big events (like the Super Bowl) and smaller events (like daily Twitter trends) that brands engage with.
What's next in the world of real-time marketing in terms of trends or tools?
Here at Spredfast, our new Intelligence tool is already shifting the perception of what a social analytics tool can do. It's giving marketers the ability to not only search historical patterns for insights, but to understand what's happening right now, and where different topics are trending across the world. With the amount of data science that's baked into the tool, it makes it easy for a marketer to understand the trajectory of a trend, and helps them decide if the time is right to jump in and engage with their audience. It really underlines the point that the modern marketer can become 10X more effective if they have the right data at their fingertips.
Tell us about your favorite example of real-time marketing by a brand in the last year.
I love seeing brands jump in on events with a helpful message. Most of the RTM we see is brands joking around, being funny or snarky. But for the #Blizzardof2015 trend earlier this year, many brands - including Duracell, Travelers Insurance, and Verizon - jumped in to the conversation to add utility instead of jokes, letting people know the best way to prepare for the upcoming storm. This form of RTM opens up the practice to brands from all different verticals, and allows even the most conservative brands a strategy to speak to their audience about relevant topics.
The talk will be all about the data behind real-time marketing, and using a data-driven approach to cut through the headlines that call the practice silly and gimmicky. I run through the performance data for different trends and brands that I've researched, and track performance across the many forms that RTM can take. I'll also take a look at how to best manage the risk that comes along with acting in the moment, with a viewpoint on the best practices for building a good methodology, team, and structure that leverages data at every step. But don't worry - even though I'm a data analyst, I understand that not everyone speaks that language. I've designed the talk to not only be informative, but also a lot of fun. I promise!
Our thanks to Chris for taking the time to answer these questions. Don't miss out on seeing him and a host of other experts from leading brands, up close and personal, this June - register for The Social Shake-Up today.