Ben Schneider

Ben Schneider is the VP of Data Development at Engagement Labs. He has fifteen years of experience in the field of data and analytics and played a vital role in combining the consumer conversations that occur both online and offline that are included in the flagship product TotalSocial®.

As the VP of Data Development, Ben helps our head of product integrate the work of Technology, Research, and Customer Success. Ben also works closely with Engagement Labs technology partners, to deliver the most actionable data possible to our customers and teams. Prior to his data development role, Ben provided custom research services to a wide range of Engagement Labs clients in the categories of media, video games, technology, telecom, consumer packaged goods, as well as media agencies.

Before joining Engagement Labs and Keller Fay Group (which was merged into Engagement Labs), he worked at Opinion Research for their Customer Strategies division, working with large utilities, delivery service companies, and medical device companies. Ben holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Northeastern University.

6 Ways Consumer Buzz Impacts Revenue and Brand Performance

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is,” Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit once famously said. Before consumers make buying decisions, they talk. Online AND Offline – through social media, product reviews, face-to-face or via Zoom, FaceTime, by text or IM, or via whatever channel – we all seek recommendations, feedback and validation in our choices of products, entertainment and services. These conversations, reviews and the counsel of our peers have enormous impact on consumer choices and thus on brands in terms of sales, brand health, and other KPIs. As a brand or marketing leader and professional, do you have confidence to back up and support that consumer conversations drive revenue? Research by Engagement Labs published in the MIT Sloan Management Review shows that both online and offline conversations are important drivers of purchase. On average, 19% of all purchases are driven by conversations, including 10% driven by offline conversations and 9% by online ones. The online and offline conversation channels are not at all correlated in most instances, so strategies to activate both are key. In addition, we find that one-quarter of the impact of advertising on sales occurs by causing consumers to talk about the brand. The takeaway: it’s imperative that brands who seek to drive revenue with social influence don’t rely on social media alone. You need a holistic social strategy—measure BOTH offline and online conversation data. Social media alone will get you part way there, but only an integrated strategy will allow you maximize the power of social influence.  

6 Ways to Drive Brand Conversation

Start With a “Talkworthy” Story.Start With a “Talkworthy” Story.

Do you have a story that’s worth sharing, and easy to share? Make sure your marketing, whether on broadcast or OTT, digital, in-store, OOH or wherever you are communicating gives content that people will be eager to share. Make this something you test for and measure.

Target the Talkers.Target the Talkers.

It’s one thing to focus on marketing to new prospects, but it’s the people sharing positive word of mouth that will have the greatest impact on your sales. Many of them are already customers who possess considerable “social value” in terms of their ability to drive trial across their personal social networks. Identify your advocates and make them a central part of your marketing activity, giving them new reasons to recommend you.

Change Your Perspective on Influencers.Change Your Perspective on Influencers.

When you think influencers, think of everyday peer influence and micro influencers. Celebrities with the large followings on Instagram and TikTok are seductive to many marketers who want to pay them to get their message out. But far more influence comes from the “everyday influencers,” the friend we all know keeps up with what’s new and becomes our go-to-source for advice before we buy. Make sure you know where your brand stands among these real-world influencers and focus on sparking them to spread the word.

Reach People When They are in a Social Context.Reach People When They are in a Social Context.

When people consume media, watch a football game, attend an event or in general are gathering together they are far more likely to talk about, not only at the time they are consuming it but in the days that follow. If you want to amplify your paid and owned media, then media planning for consumer conversation is a critical priority.

Convert URL to IRL, and Vice-Versa.Convert URL to IRL, and Vice-Versa.

Upwards of 25% of all offline conversations now include people talking about what they see in digital media. It’s a clear reflection that consumers move seamlessly between their offline and their online worlds. Brands must do so as well. Break down silos. The #1 digital driver of conversation is the brand’s own website. Make sure it’s full of good content worth talking about and sharing.

Retain Current Customers with WOM.Retain Current Customers with WOM.

It’s expensive to acquire a new customer. In addition to the role of WOM in influencing new buyers, we have also learned that WOM has an important role to play in reducing churn. When a customer is looking around for a good deal and wondering if the competitor’s offer is worth considering, they check in with their friends to see what they think. Another important reason to make sure your passionate advocates are armed with the latest news and talkable content to share with others. Consumer conversation data and analytics are vital brand assets. Like any other asset, if you nurture and manage it well, and actively, it will provide great returns on investment. As a marketer, what are you doing to maximize your brand’s social value?

TVB Releases Two New Media Usage Studies

By RBR-TVBR – May 4, 2022
TVB, the television advertising sales advocacy organization, has released two new media research studies chock full of insight on media’s impact on consumers, and what this means for marketers seeking to connect with them in the best way. The TVB 2022 American Conversation Study, conducted by Engagement Labs, examines media’s influence on word of mouth marketing, while the 2022 Political Media Usage Studies look at media usage across linear and digital platforms in 2022 politically competitive states. Among the key findings for TVB 2022 American Conversation Study:
  • Media affects conversations; TV is the key to sparking and supporting American conversations about news of the day, local/regional news, and politics.
  • Television affects 56% of political conversations, which is significantly more than online content, social media, print, and radio.
  • Local broadcast TV news is the primary source of news. Respondents found it to be the most shareworthy, believable, and trustworthy news source.
  • If limited to only 5 channel choices, respondents picked broadcast TV as their top 4.
  • Respondents found social media to be the least believable and least trustworthy news source and also perceive “fake news” to be most prevalent on it.
  • Consumer opinion leaders in 13 key product categories often bring up stories they heard on their local broadcast TV station in daily conversations and find it to be the most trustworthy platform.
  • 49% of respondents are talking about politics daily. That has grown 44% since 2015 (34%).
  • 62% of respondents said they are very likely to vote in the upcoming November 2022 mid-term elections.
  • About half of survey respondents said the economy was the #1 issue that would get them to vote in the mid-term elections.
    Read the full Radio and Television Business Report (RBR+TVBR) article, here.
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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?  

3 Tips to Step Up Your Influencer Marketing by Unlocking Everyday and Micro Influencers

When you search for “influencer marketing,” Google easily shows about 210,000,000 results in 0.55 seconds. Culling through what are the most effective strategies, forecasts and key trends that will dominate, the current state of influencer marketing, the most impactful KPIs and metrics, and distinguish which strategies you should execute to ensure they achieve success can be overwhelming and intimidating. According to Insider Intelligence’s forecast, US influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion in 2022. At Engagement Labs we have long believed in the power of everyday influencers to drive business results. Everyday influencers – by which we mean the 1 in 10 consumers who are sought out for their advice and whose recommendations are heeded – have 131 brand-related conversations every week versus the national average of 73. Further, they regularly seek out information, including that put out by brands, that helps them keep up with what’s new and worth talking about. By reaching these influencers, marketers enjoy almost twice the word-of-mouth reach than average consumers provide, and the impact of their recommendations is four times as great due to their credibility and perceived expertise. 019-12 EL08 INFLUENCER BLOG AFTER SETH v3-01Leading academics have evaluated a variety of influencer marketing methods and settled on everyday influencers as highly valuable. Focusing on the impact of influencers on new production introductions, they find the power of influencers comes in two forms: 1) by expanding the market reached by a new product and 2) by accelerating the pace of product adoption, which confers major competitive advantages over rival products.  

Managing Your Influencer Strategy with #HASHOFF

Our sister company #HASHOFF has a front row seat to the changing influencer marketing ecosystem. #HASHOFF helps brands and agencies source content creators through their owned search platform to identify and activate the right creators to share brand messages organically and across your omni-channel marketing strategy – and measure the results. Influencers present a unique opportunity for brands to be first to the party and get credit for helping beloved creators monetize their passions. Far from fearing being seen as “sell-outs,” creators are eager to work with brands that authentically reflect their personalities, affinities, and lifestyles in transparent ways. For them, sharing on behalf of brands is an extension of their lifestyles, and something they are glad to promote. By utilizing these highly authentic voices within target demographics, #HASHOFF enables brands to develop content strategies quickly, effectively and efficiently to be utilized within the confines of social and for omni-channel distribution applications – content ownership, website creative, marketing materials, programmatic display ads, connected TV, OTT, and digital out of home. According to Adweek, “Micro-influencers have built loyal and dedicated communities of followers without the help of teams of marketing professionals, and their followers respect them for it.” In order for brand managers and agents to benefit from the organic, authentic and independent content that comes naturally with influencers, the use of technology democratizes the influencer market, acting as a fair and informed “agent” for all sides. This suggests brands cannot expect the same people who advocate the brand online to do so offline – and vice versa. How can brands best activate influencers online and offline, everyday and micro?  

3 Ways to Drive Conversations About Your Brand

number1Measure consumer conversations about your brand

Before developing your next campaign strategy, be sure you understand the big picture. Be sure to measure consumer conversations to learn which influencers are talking about your brand and what they’re saying – both on social media and in real life. Doing so will enable you to focus on the channels that provide the greatest ROI.

number2Evaluate the competition

Measure what consumers are saying about competing brands. This will help you understand competitors’ strategies and their strengths and weaknesses. It will also reveal areas of opportunities and help you sharpen your messages and positioning.

number3Create a holistic marketing strategy

Strategies that work well in social media aren’t likely to have the same effect on offline everyday influencers. By truly understanding the dynamics of your brand conversations, you can create separate and distinct marketing strategies that optimize consumer conversations both online and off.   With the right marketing mix, brands can unleash the full power of consumer influencers. Social media and influencer marketing is a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach vast audiences, and that everyday and micro-influencers both drive sales that brands can’t afford to ignore. By enlisting strategy incorporating both #HASHOFF and Engagement Labs elements, brands are able to improve content performance while reducing overall costs with the ability to track the efficacy in both online and offline contexts.

These Brands Got the Most Love in Word-of-Mouth Conversations in 2021

MarketingCharts 2020’s most loved brands in online and offline conversations each dropped down a spot last year, replaced by American Family and Carter’s, respectively. Here’s how other brands fared in an analysis [press release] of top brands by Engagement Labs. In examining more than 650 US consumer brands across various industry sectors and categories, the rankings of the most loved brands are “based on net positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations as well as phone, emailing, texting, IM’ing, video chat – in other words, via any channel other than posting on social media)” from Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial® data. Carter’s climbed a spot to become the brand with the largest gap between positive and negative offline conversations in 2021, solidifying its ascent after having jumped 13 spots the year prior. Carter’s replaced 2020’s leader, Trader Joe’s, which dropped to second. That brand was recently named the “most relevant” among grocery and drug stores. The list of most loved brands offline was otherwise dominated by beauty and personal care brands, featuring Dawn at #3, Dove Men+Care at #5, Dove at #6, Gillette at #8, and Nivea at #10. The biggest gainer was Gillette, up 68 spots, with joint #8 Kirkland also enjoying an impressive ascent (+22) up the rankings.   Read the full MarketingCharts article, here.
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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?  

Beauty And Personal Care Lead Most Loved Brands Rankings

BeautyMatter     KELLY KOVACK, MARCH 11, 2022 | MARKETING TREND   … “This year’s TotalSocial Most Loved Brands exhibit the vital consumer emotional connection with brands and demonstrates how the brand marketers have built and found opportunities even during the past two years of pandemic,” said Steven Brown, President of Engagement Labs. “Brand love has been a major part of our work with Fortune 500 brands and continues to be a focus in 2022.” Gillette’s improvement in offline brand love grew more last year than any other top 10 brand. Gillette has not been shy about weighing in on real-world conversations about social issues, with ads tackling topics such as toxic masculinity demonstrating that when it comes to offline, its positive word of mouth rises above the competition and resonates to consumers. Last year’s net sentiment of consumer conversations is positive for everyday categories such as beauty and personal care, children’s products, food, and home. The importance of positive sentiment prevails as the “Great Resignation” ensues and more people adjust to a hybrid lifestyle, preferring to stay at home to work remotely. Beauty Highlights:
  • The beauty and personal care category stood out for high net sentiment offline and online, winning a total of eight spots for positive conversations.
  • Dove Men+Care, Dove, Gillette, and Nivea made the list for offline conversations.
  • Lush, Mary Kay, Clean & Clear, and Clinique garnered top spots for online conversations.
  • Gillette’s improvement in offline brand love grew more last year than any other top 10 brand: +68 in rank change.
  Read the full BeautyMatter 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?  

Consumers reveal their most loved brands, based on both online and offline sentiment

Bulldog Reporter     by Richard Carufel | Mar 11, 2022 | Public Relations   Which brands do consumers consider to be their most loved? According to the fifth annual ranking of America’s “most loved” brands from Engagement Labs, which combines online social media listening and offline word of mouth social data with predictive analytics. Carter’s, the retailer of children’s apparel ranks first while Trader Joe’s, the American grocery store, moved down to the second top spot of the list of brands most positively talked about in offline conversations, ahead of more than 650 brands across all consumer categories. Meantime, Great Value, a Walmart brand, and American Family Insurance also switched places for the top positions for the most loved brands in online talk. “This year’s TotalSocial Most Loved Brands exhibit the vital consumer emotional connection with brands and demonstrates how the brand marketers have built and found opportunities even during the past two years of pandemic,” said Steven Brown, president of Engagement Labs, in a news release. “Brand love has been a major part of our work with Fortune 500 brands and continues to be a focus in 2022.” Costco’s Kirkland is the only brand to rank among brands both online and offline that shows the importance of marketing strategies that seek to activate both channels in driving business performance. Gillette’s improvement in offline brand love grew the most last year than any other top 10 brand. Gillette has not been shy of the weighing in real-world conversations in social issues with ads such as toxic masculinity that demonstrates that when it comes to offline, its positive word of mouth rise above and resonates with consumers. Last year’s net sentiment of consumer conversations is positive for everyday categories such as beauty and personal care, children’s products, food and home. The importance of positive sentiment prevails as the “Great Resignation” ensues and more people adjust to hybrid lifestyle and preferring to stay at home to work remotely.     Read the full Agility PR/Bulldog Reporter article, here.
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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?  

Vanessa Lontoc

Vanessa Lontoc is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales Operations of Engagement Labs. Vanessa leads and uses her digital marketing, sales enablement, and execution skills to generate significant increases, productivity and marketing services operational effectiveness and desired business outcomes.

Vanessa is a self-starter, tech-savvy, creative, and entrepreneurial marketing executive with 20+ years of diverse experience and deep background in marketing, including evaluating and executing market strategy, performing market analysis, leading PR, media and events planning and promotion, etc.

Her career is comprised of various leadership roles and experiences in B2B and B2C in Fortune 500, growth stage startups to small and mid-cap companies across various industry verticals and sectors such as consumer electronics, SaaS platforms, and media. She is the first Asian-American Advisory Board member of the Frank J. Guarini School of Business at Saint Peter’s University. Vanessa served as a marketing, campaign management and operations contributor to Councilman At-Large Rolando Lavarro, Jr. – the first Asian-American council member of Jersey City.

Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Peter’s University, double majored in Computer Science (Management Information System concentration) and Communications with a minor in Business Law. She completed her MBA in Marketing Management and Finance in Pace University Lubin School of Business.

Vanessa is an active community advocate of grass roots projects in New Jersey and New York, especially in her hometown Jersey City. She’s a supporter of organizations that promote and develop leadership skills in youth and women, and empowerment of the AAPI and the underrepresented.

Beauty and Personal Care Brands Dominate in Engagement Labs’ Fifth Annual Ranking of America’s ‘Most Loved’ Brands

The most positive offline and online conversations with top rankers include Dove, Mary Kay, Clean and Clear and Clinique.

Beauty and personal care brands have dominated Engagement Labs’ fifth annual ranking of America’s most loved brands. The most positive offline and online conversations with top rankers include Dove, Mary Kay, Clean and Clear and Clinique.
The analysis ranks the most-loved brands based on net positive conversations happening online via social media and offline via face-to-face conversations as well as phone, emailing, texting, IM’ing, video chat— in other words, via any channel other than posting on social media—to determine its annual TotalSocial Brand Awards winners.
“This year’s TotalSocial Most Loved Brands exhibit the vital consumer emotional connection with brands and demonstrates how the brand marketers have built and found opportunities even during the past two years of pandemic,” said Steven Brown, president of Engagement Labs. “Brand love has been a major part of our work with Fortune 500 brands and continues to be a focus in 2022.”
The beauty and personal care category stood out for high net sentiment offline and online, winning a total of eight spots for positive conversations: Dove Men+Care, Dove, Gillette, and Nivea for offline conversation, while Lush, Mary Kay, Clean & Clear, and Clinique garnered top spots for online.
Gillette’s improvement in offline brand love grew the most last year than any other top 10 brand with a +68 in rank change. Gillette has not been shy of the weighing in real-world conversations in social issues with ads such as toxic masculinity, which demonstrates that when it comes to offline, its positive word-of-mouth rise above and resonates to consumers.
Read the full Happi Magazine 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?  

Carter’s, American Family Insurance Deemed Most Positively Talked About Brands

MediaPost by Tanya Gazdik, March 6, 2022   Carter’s ranks first, while Trader Joe’s moved down to the second top spot of the list of brands most positively talked about in offline conversations, according to Engagement Labs. American Family Insurance and Great Value, a Walmart brand, also switched places for the top positions for the most loved brands in online talk in the fifth annual ranking of America’s “most loved” brands. The four brands finished ahead of more than 650 brands across all consumer categories. This year’s winners have in common the “vital consumer emotional connection,” says Steven Brown, president of Engagement Labs. Brand marketers have found opportunities to connect even during the past two years of pandemic, he adds.
Costco’s Kirkland is the only brand to rank among brands both online and offline that shows the importance of marketing strategies that seek to activate both channels in driving business performance, according to the study. Gillette’s improvement in offline brand love grew the most last year than any other top 10 brand. The brand has weighed in on real-world conversations in social issues, with ads like the one on toxic masculinity resulting in  positive word of mouth.
    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?