December 29, 2020 Annual General and Special Meeting of Holders

On December 29, 2020, the Company held its Annual General and Special Meeting of Holders. All the motions proposed on the proxy form were approved by the shareholders of the Company.  

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About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Signs Deal with One of the Largest American Multinational Beverage Corporation

Client Signed Contracts Worth CAD $192,000 for Q1-2021

  New Brunswick, NJ/Toronto, Ontario — January 11, 2021 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) (the “Company”) announced today that it has signed new contracts to conduct marketing and sponsorship evaluation programs in Q1 of 2021. The engagement is an extension of earlier TotalSocial work for the client. The Client’s program is valued at CAD $192,000 for fiscal first quarter. “We are very pleased to win this lucrative deal for Q1 that demonstrates the resiliency of our business model and the value of the data and analytics solutions we have for brands in evaluating their ad and sponsorship effectiveness,” said Steven Brown, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Engagement Labs. “Building momentum in a challenging but improving environment and seeing the progress we have made to date gives us confidence in our approach moving forward. We have established a strong relationship with this client, and this new engagement is testimony to the high regard with which TotalSocial is held as an important part of its marketing and sponsorship evaluation metrics.”

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About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Announces Multi-Year Renewal with a Leading Global Media and Advertising Agency

Client Renews TotalSocial® Three-Year Contract Valued at CAD $430,000

  New Brunswick, NJ/Toronto, Ontario — December 22, 2020 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) (the “Company”) announced today that it has secured a three-year renewal with a leading media agency. The deal is valued at CAD $430,000 with a 2.5% increase on the second and third years of the contract. TotalSocial® has become an integral tool to create strategies and evaluate performance for the Agency in driving media and ad performance. “We are excited to continue our work with the Agency in providing them with insights to drive advertising strategies and increase the totality of conversations happening among their clients that drive optimal business results,” said Ed Keller, CEO at Engagement Labs. “This renewal is another example of our clients and brands reengaging as we go into 2021.” The media agency uses Engagement Labs data in several different ways, including media planning, understanding the impact of communications plans on key performance indicators like advocacy, quantifying the multicultural influencer marketplace in the U.S., market mix models that quantify the impact of marketing investment, and new business pitches. The renewal occurred after deeper engagement with the Agency’s clients in four sectors: consumer electronics, healthcare, streaming services and one of the largest global financial services company. “A key component to Engagement Labs’ growth strategy is to expand our business with our clients and renewing their contracts. This agency shares that belief, and integrates our TotalSocial data into their work on behalf of their impressive list of Fortune 500 clients,” adds Steven Brown, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Engagement Labs. “We are extremely excited by this renewal as it is a great example of a client seeing the value of our platform across the organization and supporting their growth. The ultimate expression of this is their renewing with a long-term commitment.”   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Secures Multiple Initial Deals in Tech Sector to Provide Data and Innovative Approaches

New Brunswick, NJ/Toronto, ON — December 15, 2020 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) (the “Company”) announced today that it has secured multiple proof of concept contracts from two leading technology companies in the US. One is the fastest growing social media app and the other is with one of the largest technology companies based in the US. The latter continues our success with OTT and subscription based companies and focuses on the corporation’s premium digital audio content brand. The proof of concept introduces the two new Clients to experience the industry leading TotalSocial® platform’s authority in delivering valuable data and analytics that help brands and businesses in supporting their sales and marketing goals to remain agile for the next normal. The combined deals valued at CAD $112,000. “We couldn’t be more pleased to work and support the fastest growing and most innovative brands such as our latest tech clients to test our POCs to reveal hidden patterns, correlations and other insights in light of prospective license deals next year,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “With these new relationships, TotalSocial provides data and insights that help them achieve their goals including development of original programming, highlight well-crafted storytelling, growing their user base, and maximizing retention and usage.” “As Engagement Labs grows, we continue to show our value with leading companies across a multitude of sectors. These are new deals with industry leading companies and we look forward to continue working together in 2021,” said Steven Brown, president and CRO of Engagement Labs.  

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About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Releases Q3 2020 Results

Toronto, Ontario — November 30, 2020 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) released results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2020. Condensed interim consolidated Financial Statements and Management Report are available on SEDAR’s website at www.sedar.com. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the marketplace and led to a reduction in marketing spend by major brands of the type who are our customers and with it a pull back in spending on services of the type we provide. This had a revenue impact on our Q3 results.  Despite the decrease in revenue, the Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA loss improved due to cost containment measures implemented by the Company. Third Quarter Financial Highlights
  • Revenue decreased by 51% to $509,940 in Q3 2020 from $1,042,909 in Q3 2019.
  • Operating expenses before impairment loss on goodwill decreased by 54% to $874,900 for Q3 2020 from $1,906,986 for Q3 2019.
  • EBITDA(1) loss improved by 20% to -$959,381 for Q3 2020 from -$1,203,021 for Q3 2019.
  • Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA(1) loss improved by 58% to -$388,702 for Q3 2020 from -$919,345 for Q3 2019.
  • Net loss for Q3 2020 decreased to -$1,129,113, down 11% from -$1,367,046 for Q3 19.
  • Gross profit was $186,148 for Q3 2020, a decrease of 66% compared to $546,539 for Q3 2019.
  • Basic and diluted loss per share was ($0.00) for Q3 2020, compared to ($0.01) for Q3 2019.
  • As at September 30, 2020, the Company was holding cash of $899,272 compared to $844,107 as at December 31, 2019.
Nine-month Period Financial Highlights
  • Revenue decreased by 28% to $2,106,372 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020 from $2,915,712 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Operating expenses before impairment loss on goodwill decreased by 38% to $2,839,214 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020 from $4,576,274 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • EBITDA(1) loss improved by 11% to -$2,175,644 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020 from -$2,441,404 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA(1) loss improved by 50% to -$904,866 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020 from -$1,800,496 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Net loss for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020 decreased to -$2,758,414, down 19% from -$3,420,704 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Gross profit was $831,740 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020, a decrease of 41% compared to $1,402,375 for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
  • Basic and diluted loss per share was ($0.01) for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2020, compared to ($0.02) for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2019.
1 EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. Number for comparative periods were revised to exclude SRED credit tax, variation on exchange, and bank charges in EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as EBITDA to which the Company adds stock-based compensation including the grant of stock options, restricted shares units, and restricted share awards as these expenses do not result in any use of operating cash flows by the Company, severance payments, impairment loss on goodwill, write-off of intangible assets, change in fair value of investment in shares, expenses related to acquisition or disposal of business, and loss on extinction of debt and equity components of convertible debentures, which are extraordinary and non-recurrent expenses, and Board remuneration, which is paid in shares units. EBITDA and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA are provided as a supplementary earning measure to assist readers in determining the ability of ENGAGEMENT LABS INC. to generate cash from operations and to cover financial charges. They are also widely used for business valuation purposes. These measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. “We were off to strong start of the year, as evidenced by the TotalSocial revenue growth of 11% in Q1 ’20 and a 64% reduction in our Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA loss,” said Ed Keller, CEO.  “COVID-19 continued to have a significant impact on our revenues in Q3.  The Company has taken quick action to reduce costs and those efforts succeeded in cushioned the impact of the pandemic on our Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA loss, which in fact improved over 2019.  We had some important signings in Q3 including renewals of one of the largest OTT Media and Entertainment companies and one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S., and new deals such as the sports division of another large media and entertainment companies. Our pipeline of new business opportunities is beginning to fill again, but it is not possible to know how quickly those opportunities will convert,” Keller continued.

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    About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Disclaimer in regard to Forward-looking Statements Certain statements included herein constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management at this time, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, Engagement Labs does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect, in particular, new information or future events. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com

On Eve of the Holiday Shopping Season, Consumers are Buzzing About Retail

holidayshopping Word of mouth about retail and apparel is on the rise as the nation heads into the all-important holiday shopping season – Americans are engaging in 4% more offline WOM conversations about brands in this category over the past 8 weeks versus the same time a year earlier. Further, buzz about children’s products is up 7%, more than any other category measured by Engagement Labs. This compares favorably to an overall decline in brand WOM of -2%. This should bring good cheer to the nation’s retailers, and lends support to the just released National Retail Federation’s forecast that holiday sales will grow between 3.5% and 5.2%. “Given the pandemic, there is uncertainty about consumers’ willingness to spend, but with the economy improving most have the ability to spend,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers have experienced a difficult year but will likely spend more than anyone would have expected just a few months ago.” But not all categories of retail & apparel are poised for growth, if WOM is an indicator as we have demonstrated it is. The biggest gainers are discount stores, which are garnering 57.4m more word of mouth impressions each week now versus a year ago – an increase of 10%. Athletic brands and stores are up 34.3m (+21%), and home centers and hardware stores are up 17m (+8%). This all reflects a desire to spend smartly despite difficult economic circumstances for many Americans, as well as continued investments in physical fitness at home, and home renovations and enhancements. Department stores, in contrast, are seeing significantly less WOM than a year ago, with 17m fewer word of mouth impressions this year versus last, or a 21.8% decline. Change in Year Over Year Word of Mouth Impressions by Retail/Apparel Subcategories More specifically, the 10 brands seeing the greatest year-over-year growth come from a diverse set of brands including some who’s word of mouth has grown 100% year over year. The list includes athletic shoe and clothing giants Nike, whose word of mouth has grown by 15.7m weekly WOM impressions over a year ago, or 19%, and Adidas (+9.9m, or 30%); discount retailers Walmart (+13,8m or 4.6%), Costco (+12.3m or 72%) and Target; HomeGoods (+10.4m or 100%) and Ashley Furniture (+10m or +60%) in the home goods category, Ace Hardware (+8.7m or 49%) and Home Depot (+8.4m or +12%) for the DIY’ers; and Shein, the fast fashion ecommerce platform (+6m from only 500k weekly WOM impressions a year ago). Top Ten:  Change in Year Over Year Word of Mouth Impressions by Retail/Apparel Brand In the children’s category WOM has grown by 7% overall, more than any other category (as noted above).  This is consistent with the Black Friday forecast just released by Publicis entitled, “Toys Set the Tone This Cyber Weekend.” Publicis notes, “there are a number of reasons toy deals are rising to the top. Families may want to give them a little something extra in light of smaller holiday gatherings or are preparing for at-home family game nights, especially those in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches and outdoor activities decrease.” The children’s brands showing the biggest gains are seen for Hasbro (+5.9m WOM impressions per week, or +183%), Gap Kids (+4m from only 600k a year ago), likely due to the success of their masks, Lego (+2m or +14%), and Baby Einstein (+2m or +70%).  

Despite Impressive Gains for Some, There are Sharp Declines for Others

The rising WOM tide in retail and apparel has not lifted all boats. As impressive as some of the gains have been both in absolute as well as a percentage gain basis, there are more than 35 brands in the category that have seen declines over last year. Leading the way is Forever 21, the fashion brand that is being shuttered (-9.2m WOM impressions versus a year ago, or -55%). This is followed by Macy’s (-5.6m or -27%), Best Buy (-5.4m or -23%), Marshalls (-4.7m or 59%), and Kohl’s (-4.5m or -14%). Bottom Ten:  Change in Year Over Year Word of Mouth Impressions by Retail/Apparel Brand “We know this holiday season will be unlike any other,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said as he released his forecast. “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year. We expect a strong finish to the holiday season.” With WOM trends as a leading indicator, there is sure to be gifts a plenty in the stockings for many of these retailers, but sadly also coal for others unless there is a holiday miracle that will help them quickly turn things around. Wishing you good cheer and a safe holiday season.

In Defense Of Short-Term Marketing

MediaPost by Corinne Casagrande , November 18, 2020 … Here are some other ways your brand can benefit from bringing sales forward: 1. Improving your look-a-like models. With more conversions, you have a bigger pool of what the people who converted look like. This helps you make decisions on how to get more of these people. 2. Increasing customer lifetime value.  When you get a customer in your flow faster, they can buy more, faster. Even when they don’t buy, identifying who the low-value customers are helps improve media decisions around inventory and targeting.  
More sales, faster leads to more salesThinking short-term can mean you are prioritizing volume over value.  But in the CPG arena, we know growth comes from trial. For services or higher ticket items, growth can also come from trial — someone else’s trial.
A widely cited study from Northwestern University and Engagement Labs found that 19% of next week’s sales for a brand are driven from word of mouth. More sales = more interaction with the product or service = increased opportunity for WOM sales. Performance media  kickstarts this equation. It’s a hard and often thankless job to build the long-term, consistent memory structures we call brands. It takes a little science, a lot of faith and a ton of craft. But most of all, it takes money. It’s 2020. If you have lots of extra marketing budget, I’d like to hear about it. Otherwise, don’t feel bad about digging into performance.   Read the full MediaPost article, here.
Follow Us:

For more information on TotalSocial®  or to request a demo, visit www.engagementlabs.com For sales contact us at: sales@engagementlabs.com For media inquires contact us at: media@engagementlabs.com
About TotalSocial® Want a better understanding of the online and offline conversations around your brand? Are you a journalist who wants to use real data to measure the brands you’re reporting on? Are you a company who wants to gain further insights into your brand’s marketing strategies to develop effective campaigns to reach your audiences?

Trust and Historic Television Viewership Equal Brand Sales

  November 10, 2020 By Brad Seitter   … Before advertising on broadcast TV, Roof Fix closed sales at no more than 30 percent regardless of the medium they advertised on. Once they moved to broadcast TV, their close ratio jumped to 80 percent and revenue grew exponentially over the next five years. Duane said that having built trust with consumers via broadcast TV advertising made the difference when it came to discussing advertising. This isn’t to say TV is the only way, but studies confirm its efficacy in building trust with consumers over digital and social. Often TV works in synergy with these other media to get optimal results. According to a 2020 Engagement Labs study, 81 percent of consumers say they trust the news they hear or see on broadcast news, 59 percent trust cable news and 31 percent say they trust news on social media. In the same study, consumers were asked where they believe fake news is most prevalent. Fifty-nine percent said social media, while only 5 percent said it’s most prevalent on local broadcast TV. This is a useful snapshot of consumer sentiment that can help guide strategic advertising decisions. Ultimately, the combination of a trusted viewing environment and extensive viewer reach equals opportunity for marketers.  

Automotive

Former head of marketing for Toyota North America, Steve Sturm provided an analysis on how trust and viewership works similarly for the automotive category. The auto market suffered its largest decline in over 10 years with the impact of the pandemic. Monthly vehicle sales fell by 42.6 percent at its lowest point in April, but by September sales were only down 2.8 percent from last year. New vehicle sales are now forecasted to finish 2020 between 14 to 14.5 million vs. an original forecast of 16.8 million.   Read the full ANA (Association of National Advertisers) article, here.
Follow Us:

For more information on TotalSocial®  or to request a demo, visit www.engagementlabs.com For sales contact us at: sales@engagementlabs.com For media inquires contact us at: media@engagementlabs.com
About TotalSocial® Want a better understanding of the online and offline conversations around your brand? Are you a journalist who wants to use real data to measure the brands you’re reporting on? Are you a company who wants to gain further insights into your brand’s marketing strategies to develop effective campaigns to reach your audiences?

How Does Politics Affect Your Brand and Sales? Should You Take a Stance?

Consumer Conversations Provide Guidance to the Post-2020 Landscape

How Does Politics Affect Your Brand and Sales? Should You Take a Stance? For many marketers, 2020 was the year when engagement in social issues became almost impossible to avoid, with issues related to race relations, a global pandemic, climate change, and the future of democracy taking center stage during a watershed election year. That’s not likely to change just because voting in the 2020 Presidential election is behind us. Record voter turnout and razor-thin margins are reflective of a much more politicized environment for the foreseeable future—offering opportunities for brands that get engaged skillfully, and hazards for those who don’t. One case in point is the Hispanic food brand, Goya, which exploded into the national conversation after CEO Bob Unanue praised President Trump in a White House meeting. Online and offline conversation levels for the brand exploded and turned rather negative, especially on social media, yet the brand appears to have benefited. The private company revealed third-party sales data to the trade publication Food Dive to back-up its claim that sales are soaring, and the company is building a new $80 million plant in response to demand. Goya Conversation Volume Up Sentiment Turbulent While progressive leaders and celebrities in the Latinx community launched boycotts of Goya, the brand likely benefited from the fact that the long-time niche brand was introduced to Donald Trump’s voter base just at the moment people are looking for new home cooking solutions and flavors during a pandemic that has reduced restaurant patronage. The Goya experience mirrors—from the opposite side of the political divide—the Nike experience of two years earlier when the brand controversially embraced former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s crusade against police brutality sparking an explosion of negative talk among conservative voters but driving up brand sales nonetheless. In 2018 Dick’s Sporting Goods invited negative conversation about its brand when it sharply restricted gun sales in its stores following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, FL, but that hasn’t stopped its stock price from doubling since then amid the rising demand for home exercise equipment. Gillette weighed in with ads about toxic masculinity. And this year a multitude of brands joined the conversation about voting, race relations, climate change, and a host of other topical issues. The NBA is an example of a brand that may be suffering from the increasing political activism of its stars. LeBron James has led NBA players in advocating for black lives and in promoting voting. While this could be a factor in the 49% reduction in audiences this year, there are so many other unusual circumstances during the pandemic it is hard to know for sure. But there’s no question the conversation has changed—the NBA is showing up in social media conversations about racial justice, and the net sentiment of conversations has been volatile—particularly in social media. Activism Impacting NBA Social Media Conversation Having said that, racial justice is the #1 issue being discussed by NBA fans, more so than Covid-19 or the election or schools, and in that regard the league’s support of its players and their activism about racial justice fits well with their fan base. This is why it’s important to understand the fit between a brand’s audience and the issues agenda it supports.  

How Best To Navigate the Nation’s Issues Agenda

For brand marketers, is it possible to anticipate consumer reaction to forays into politics and issues? While the 2016 political campaign showed the challenge of predicting politics, conversation trends can provide guidance. One powerful approach is to analyze the overlaps in political and brand constituencies. Indeed, many of the same people who engage in political advocacy are also engaging in brand advocacy. It is important to know which issues your brand’s most loyal supporters care about and are advocating about—and which ones turn them off. Take the issue of racial justice. Unsurprisingly, the people talking about racial justice are about 2.5 times more likely than the average person to also talk about the Twitter and TikTok social media platforms which have provided a forum for racial justice discussion. But would you also have anticipated that those same people talking about racial justice are also the most likely to be talking about Scott brand tissues, Arizona beverages, and Chipotle restaurants? People who talk about racial justice—whether on the side of Black Lives Matter protestors or against them—index at a 273 for talk about the Scott brand, meaning they are almost three times as likely as the average consumer to talk about the brand. Consumers who talk about Arizona, Chipotle, Apple, and Metro by T-Mobile also stand out on racial justice, as do those who talk about Chick-fil-A, a brand that has long engaged in political issues from a right-leaning perspective. Brands Talked About Most by People Who Also Talk About Racial Justice Another issue that has become increasingly political this year is the public policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This issue also correlates to the people talking about specific brands, among them the Walgreens and CVS drugstore brands and United HealthCare, companies that are playing important roles for COVID advice, sterilization products, and an annual flu vaccine. Other brands with a strong association with the COVID-19 conversation are Fox News, Neutrogena, Microsoft, and Hulu. Brands Talked About Most by People Who Also Talk About COVID-19 People who talk about the environment stand out as particularly influential for consumer brands. Environment talkers are more than four times as likely as average consumers to talk about the GMC automobile brand, Arm & Hammer, Sephora beauty products, and the Spotify music streaming service. They are also three times as likely as average to talk about the brands Ulta, Angel Soft, Scott tissue, Apple, 24 Hour Fitness, and ESPN. Brands Talked About Most by People Who Also Talk About the Environment Indeed, people who talk about the environment stand out as the people most engaged with brands in 14 of the 15 consumer categories we measure in TotalSocial, most notably beauty (average index of 184), travel services (177), telecom (171), and technology (170). Only the category of financial services is not the most talked about by people talking as well about the environment—but in that case, the environment is the second most correlated issue, after economy-related issues. Environment Talkers Engage in Consumer Categories, Too The political tumult of the 2020 election has motivated many people to engage in political advocacy, including retired military leaders, celebrities, and normally neutral journalists. But politics are likely to become a larger factor in the consumer marketplace, as well, as we head in 2021. For brands venturing into these turbulent waters, it makes sense to listen to the conversation that’s already happening among their most loyal consumers and use this as a mapping tool to help guide your agenda. SIGN ME UP TotalSocial Briefing

Presidential Election Word of Mouth Engagement Is High Again, and Less Negative than in 2016

● Biden Holds 20-Point Word of Mouth Sentiment Advantage ● Republicans More Activist than Democrats, Especially on Social Media

clintonbidentrump

Just before James Comey’s late October surprise about Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016, the two major party nominees were generating very negative conversation about themselves—particularly Donald Trump. This October, the Democrat again has the advantage in word-of-mouth sentiment, but the incumbent Republican President is enjoying higher levels of activism and advocacy from Republicans than Joe Biden is getting from Democrats. In 2016, the 2016 candidates’ “net sentiment” stood at -53 for Trump and -29 for Clinton, based on subtracting negative from positive opinions about the candidates. Immediately after the October 28 James Comey letter, the conversation flipped for the first time in the campaign, with more negative for the Democratic (-46) than the Republican (-42) nominee—and the rest was history, as we described it in our widely reported post-election analysis. Election Word of Mouth Sentiment vs 2016 This year, the two nominees are again in negative territory, but not as deeply negative as four years ago. Again, the Democrat, now Joe Biden, is again less negative (-7) than Donald Trump (-27). Absent another late surprise, it appears that Biden has a clear edge in the word of mouth sentiment battle, as we’ve seen for the last five months. Indeed, three weeks ago, Joe Biden briefly flipped into positive territory after the first Presidential debate, although he has since slipped back slightly to net-negative. Net Sentiment About Presidential Candidates The word of mouth trends for the candidates have been highly polarized in recent months as Republicans’ conversations have been consistently positive toward Trump and negative toward Biden, while the opposite has been true among Democrats. One potentially important shift can be seen among independents who affiliate with neither major party. In September, word of mouth among independents was less negative for Trump than Biden, but now those conversations favor Biden by a 16-point margin. Independents' Net Sentiment About Candidates Overall conversation engagement in the elections is slightly lower this year than in 2016, with 33% talking each day about the elections compared to 37% then. One reason may be the reduced social contact people have due to the pandemic, cutting down on the chances to have these conversations outside of the home. And the other might well be a larger number of important things to be discussing including family health, children’s educational needs, and overall economic concerns. How Many Talk Each Day About National Elections

Offline Word of Mouth is Bipartisan, But Social Media Leans Republican

Word-of-mouth conversations remain the most important way that Americans engage in the Presidential election. For each of the last three weeks ending October 25, an average of 37% have been talking at home about the election, 23% have talked face-to-face outside of the home—despite pandemic-related restrictions—and 23% have talked over the phone about the election. Social media have been a factor, with 18% of Americans posting about the election, followed by 13% who have written private emails and messages, and 9% who have posted their opinions on news websites. How Americans Are Engaged in 2020 Election - Election Engagement in October 2020 While members of both parties engage at similar levels in face-to-face word-of-mouth, Republicans are more engaged with the campaign and in election-related advocacy via social media. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to post opinions on social media, to post comments on news sites, and to display yard signs and bumper stickers. Republicans are also more likely to engage in a variety of “activist” behaviors such as attending campaign events and protests. Democrats stand out in just one area—using a telephone to talk about the election. These patterns may be related to different responses to the pandemic—with Republicans more willing to attend real-world events while Democrats prefer virtual ones. But it also suggests that President Trump has been successful in driving enthusiasm among his key supporters. Political independents lag partisans on almost every measure of engagement, which is typical of infrequent voters who are less committed to either side. Turnout among these low-involved voters will be a priority for the Biden camp in the last days of the campaign. How Americans Are Engaged in 2020 Election - Election Conversation & Engagement by Political AffiliationPolitical conversations help to explain campaign momentum, as people respond the larger national campaign narrative, and they amplify the impact of that narrative among their friends and family. In 2016, conversation trends helped to demonstrate the shift in narrative in response to the Comey letter, even before it showed up in traditional opinion polls. As of now, the narrative appears to be holding steady, with Biden enjoying less negative criticism than Donald Trump. However, the Trump campaign clearly has had success in activating its core supporters, who are more actively promoting their candidate online and in their front yards compared to Democrats. That enthusiasm gap probably would be valuable in a low turn-out election, but this year with half of last year’s total vote cast a week before Election Day, high levels of voter turnout is already a given, advantaging the Biden campaign and its superior word of mouth sentiment.  

About Engagement Labs and the Study

Engagement Labs has a unique methodology that captures the word of mouth conversations of Americans – the true kitchen table things people talk about. Our data and method has found some notoriety after the 2016 campaign and was written up in the Clinton and Lanny Davis books as evidence of the impact of the Comey letter. Engagement Labs measures offline conversations using an online survey about political candidates, issues and brands talked about “yesterday.” For this report, analysts focused on the offline conversations of representative national sample of people 18-69 years old. The study involves approximately 32,000 people surveyed per year (600 per week).