Social influence leadership ignites buzz for retailers—which brands are capitalizing?

Agility PR   by Richard Carufel | Dec 11, 2019 | Public Relations Retailers are having huge success with social and influencer marketing—in large part because retail is a highly social category, with many brands performing above average in driving online and offline consumer conversations—and a handful taking their social influence to great heights.   Engagement Labs, a data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 companies, has released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top retail brands in the U.S. based on social influence—examining what these brands are doing to excel in the social age.   The continued dominance of Amazon and Nike in the U.S. marketplace is certainly impressive. Amazon retains the first place spot with a score of 67.1, while Nike remains in second place at 65, despite a turbulent year that saw sharp drops in the brand’s “net sentiment” in social media, as a result of two controversies related to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.   Amazon dominates consumer conversations and is the focus of more consumer talk than any other retail brand. Amazon has consistently performed better than average both online and offline, earning the “Conversation Commander” status. In a landmark study, Engagement Labs proved that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19 percent of U.S. consumer purchases.   Meanwhile, Kohl’s has moved up to fourth place from seventh, at 60.8, and Costco and Old Navy have joined the list at ninth and 10th, respectively. Victoria’s Secret had the most precipitous drop, falling to 12th from fifth just one year ago, consistent with widespread reports of business difficulties, as we and others have reported recently.   Read the full Agility PR – Bulldog Reporter article, here.
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How Measuring Consumer Conversations Can Reveal Advertising Performance

          Brad Fay, Ed Keller, Rick Larkin DOI: 10.2501/JAR-2019-043 Published 1 December 2019   ABSTRACT Generating “buzz” is a marketing objective for many Super Bowl advertisers, but “buzz” as a campaign objective should not be limited to big tent-pole events like the Super Bowl. It should be a key objective for all advertising. Fifteen years ago, researchers estimated word-of-mouth (WOM) could triple the value of advertising through a “ripple effect” (Hogan, Lemon, and Libai, 2004). The current study confirms the theory that there is a close and valuable relationship between WOM and advertising success, and it further examines that relationship as a reason to make it a campaign objective and a key part of the measurement of advertisement performance.
  • Received September 5, 2019.
  • Received (in revised form) October 2, 2019.
  • Accepted October 10, 2019.
  • Copyright© 2019 ARF. All rights reserved.
  Read the full Journal of Advertising Research article, here.
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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?    

Will 2020 Super Bowl Advertisers Settle for Field Goals?

Scoring a Touchdown Requires Success both Online & Offline

super-bowl-54 The 2020 Super Bowl LIV is such a hot ticket for advertisers that before Thanksgiving, Fox Sports reported it sold out all advertising slots, the earliest such an announcement has been made in at least a decade. Prices for a 30-second spot are reportedly between $5 million and $5.6 million. What will eager advertisers get for that size of investment? If past is prologue, many will walk away with field goals, while failing to score touchdowns instead. By that, we mean they’ll enjoy a nice bump in YouTube views for their brands, and possibly social chatter, but the high performers get more far more than that for their investment.  Super Bowl advertisers ought to be driving for touchdowns. Brands seeking to score a touchdown need to drive up multiple metrics—including offline conversations about the advertised brand. Research shows that online and offline conversation, together, drive about 19% of purchases.  But online conversation by itself drives less than half as much, just as a field goal produces only half the points of a touchdown. In our recently published article in the Journal of Advertising Research, an analysis by executives of Engagement Labs compares before-and-after metrics for 23 Super Bowl advertisers, finding that 78% of them enjoyed 10% or more improvement in their YouTube views immediately after the Super Bowl, versus the month prior, and 61% enjoyed a similar uplift in social media conversations. 019-12 SUPER BOWL GRAPH-01 (1) But fewer than half—39%—saw an uplift of in offline conversations, the same as the percentage gaining in Google search volume.  And merely 30% scored an advertisers’ touchdown by driving up both online and offline conversation.  Who were those brands? In 2019, brands scoring a Super Bowl touchdown with both online and offline conversation rising by at least 10% are listed in the table below.  The biggest winner was Bud Light, which drove up nearly every metric we tracked, including online and offline conversations, as well as Google Search. 019-12 SUPER BOWL GRAPH-02 (1) What makes the difference between Super Bowl ads that drive conversation and those that don’t?  As we wrote earlier this year, popularity is not a factor.  Brands that perform well in USA Today’s Ad Meter system for the most likable Super Bowl ads didn’t do well in driving conversation, while some of the “creepy,” even unpopular ads, enjoyed spikes in consumer conversation. Many of the success factors are marketing fundamentals—brands have a better chance at gaining conversation if the advertisement is strongly branded and includes a message that’s easy to remember and talk about. Beyond the fundamentals, successful use of popular culture is highly effective.  Bud Light’s strategy was to leverage the most talked about television program in over a decade, Game of Thrones. Doritos put together the unlikely musical pairing of Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. Pepsi went all out with actor Steve Carrell, and hip-hop artists Cardi B, and Lil Jon. Talent and production costs may be high when producing a winning Super Bowl commercial, but sometimes that’s the cost of victory. The last five Super Bowl winning teams are all playing with total payrolls well over $200 million.

Engagement Labs Reports a 26% Growth of TotalSocial Revenue in Q3 2019 and Provides Strategic Review Process Update

MONTREAL, Quebec — November 27, 2019 – Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) released results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2019 and provides Financial advisor update. Condensed interim consolidated Financial Statements and Management Report are available on SEDAR’s website at www.sedar.com.   Strategic Review Process Update As disclosed in a Press Release on August 2, 2019, the Company engaged a New York-based investment bank to work with the Board of Directors to consider its strategic alternatives which may include taking on a strategic investor, the sale of the Company and/or some or all of its assets. The process is continuing. As indicated previously, there is no assurance that any material decisions will be made as a consequence of this process. Third Quarter Financial Highlights
  • Total company revenue was $1,042,909 for Q3 2019, which all were TotalSocial® revenue, representing a 26% increase in TotalSocial revenue vs Q3 2018 ($829,739), and a 18% increase in Total company revenue vs Q3 2018 ($883,342).
  • Gross margin increased to 52% in Q3 2019, from 40% in Q3 2018.
  • The operating expenses have increased to $1,906,986 in Q3 2019, up 30% or $434,654 from $1,472,332 in Q3 2018.
  • Net loss before income taxes has increased to -$1,367,046 in Q3 2019, up 1% or -$17,494 from -$1,349,552 in Q3 2018.
  • EBITDA(1) loss of -$1,203,021 for Q3 2019, representing an increase of $218,672, from -$984,349 for Q3 2018.
  • Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA(1) loss of -$919,345 for Q3 2019, representing an increase of $169,413 from -$749,932 for Q3 2018.
  • Basic and diluted income per share was ($0.01) for Q3 2019 compared to ($0.01) for Q3 2018.
  • As at September 30, 2019, the Company had cash of $1,128,549, compared to $906,455 as of December 31, 2018.
(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 calculation. 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 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 are very happy with our growth of TotalSocial revenue, and we continue to bring in new Fortune 500 companies and new sectors. This combined with our focus on cost control continue to move us in the right direction as a Company,” said Ed Keller, CEO.   ###     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  

Amazon, Nike top retail social influence rankings

Chain Store Age   By Dan Berthiaume – 11/21/2019   An e-tail giant and a major athletic/apparel footwear brand are once again the two most socially influential retailers.   According to the 2019 Engagement Labs TotalSocial ranking of the top U.S. retailers based on social influence, Amazon/Amazon Prime retains the first-place spot with a score of 67.1, while Nike remains in second place at 65. Both retailers held these spots in the 2018 ranking.   Engagement Labs analysis indicates Amazon dominates consumer conversations and is the focus of more consumer talk than any other retail brand. Amazon has consistently performed better than average both online and offline, earning it Engagement Labs’ “Conversation Commander” status. A recent Engagement Labs study indicates that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19% of U.S. consumer purchases.   Meanwhile, Nike held second place despite sharp drops in its social media net sentiment due to controversies relating to its association with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.   Meanwhile, Kohl’s has moved up to fourth place from seventh, with a score of 60.8, and Costco and Old Navy have joined the list at ninth and 10th, respectively. Victoria’s Secret had the most precipitous drop, falling to 12th place from fifth place just one year earlier. Engagement Labs says this is consistent with widespread reports of Victoria’s Secret business difficulties.     Read the full Chain Store Age 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?    

Amazon and Nike Retain Social Influence Leadership in a Strong Category

Kohl’s, Costco, Old Navy All Moving Up the List

  NEW YORK, NY (November 19, 2019) – Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 companies, has released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top retail brands in the U.S. based on social influence.   Retail is a highly social category, with many brands performing above average in driving online and offline consumer conversations, which makes the continued dominance of Amazon and Nike in the US marketplace impressive.   Amazon retains the first place spot with a score of 67.1, while Nike remains in second place at 65, despite a turbulent year that had sharp drops in the brand’s “net sentiment” in social media, as a result of two controversies Engagement Labs has previously reported on related to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. Amazon dominates consumer conversations and is the focus of more consumer talk than any other retail brand. Amazon has consistently performed better than average both online and offline, earning the “Conversation Commander” status. In a landmark study, Engagement Labs proved that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19 percent of U.S. consumer purchases.   Meanwhile, Kohl’s has moved up to fourth place from seventh, at 60.8, and Costco and Old Navy have joined the list at ninth and 10th, respectively. Victoria’s Secret had the most precipitous drop, falling to 12th from fifth just one year ago, consistent with widespread reports of business difficulties, as we and others have reported recently.   “Published analytics by Engagement Labs have proven that stronger performance on TotalSocial metrics are linked to business growth, which is why businesses from Victoria’s Secret to Amazon should be focused on improving TotalSocial scores,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “Amazon may be the hands-down leader for social influence in retail, but there are plenty of opportunities for other businesses to improve,” Mr. Keller said.   Last year, Engagement Labs published a report, “How to Beat Amazon,” which provides a guide to brands on improving TotalSocial performance.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   INSET: Nike TotalSocial Online and Offline Sentiment Scores   ###   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. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc, VP of Marketing Engagement Labs 732-846-6800 vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com

Leading Global Beverage Company Signs One-Year TotalSocial Contract Following Successful Initial Engagement

Total Client Contracts Valued at CAD $208,000

  New Brunswick, NJ/Montreal, QC — November 11, 2019 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) (the “Company”) announced today that it has signed a one-year engagement with a leading global beverage corporation. The second contract is an extension of the original engagement that was previously announced, with the total value of CAD $208,000. Both parties have the mutual option to extend the program for successive 12-month terms.   “The initial engagement with this leading beverage company demonstrated the unique value of TotalSocial and its impact on important business KPIs. In today’s dynamic beverage marketplace, we are delighted that our Client recognizes that TotalSocial data and intelligence can help find new ways to connect more effectively with consumers,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs.   “This is our fourth beverage client within 18 months, that attests the value of our solutions and experience in this sector,” said Steven Brown, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Engagement Labs. “The initial engagement proved the value and importance of our data to their business.”       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

Amazon Jumps into Lead in TotalSocial® UK Retail Industry Ranker

Selfridges, New Look Shoot Up Ranking Due to Strong Sentiment, Online and Offline

Amazon Jumps into Lead in TotalSocial® UK Retail Industry Ranker Amazon has taken over first place among retailers in the United Kingdom when it comes to driving consumer conversations, both online and offline. In the latest TotalSocial ranker from Engagement Labs, Amazon scores 64.6, up from 59.7 a year ago, good enough to put it ahead of Adidas (62.6) and ASOS (62.3). Surprisingly, perhaps, Amazon’s key strength is offline conversation, ranking first with a score of 73, the highest of any brand, due to the high volume and positive sentiment of consumer conversations related to the eCommerce giant. 019-11 EL02 UK RETAIL RANKER v2 Meantime, the fastest rising brand is Selfridges, the century-old retailer now ranked eighth, up from 22nd a year ago.  In the last year the store has launched a new “Radical Luxury” campaign and has seen its offline sentiment and brand sharing soar, meaning people are talking positively about its marketing and advertising. The brand’s main weakness is a lack of more frequent conversations, particularly offline.  

BRAND SHARING RISES AS NEW CAMPAIGN DRIVES SELFRIGDGES TALK

BRAND SHARING RISES AS NEW CAMPAIGN DRIVES SELFRIGDGES TALK “About 25% of all brand conversations are stimulated by advertising,” said Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller. “When advertising is designed to be talkworthy, it can generate more personal recommendations for the brand, and the brand’s message enjoys extended reach through social amplification, both online and in the real world.” New Look is also up sharply, to sixth overall, up from 15th, thanks to rising sentiment, especially offline. The positive conversations correlate with a positive turnaround story, a summertime campaign, and a new line of 500 vegan bags and shoes. Due principally to advances by their competitors, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, and John Lewis have all slipped two places in the ranking, to third, fifth, and seventh, respectively. “In order to drive positive conversations in the retail category, it is necessary for brands to take risks and stand out,” said Mr. Keller.  “If you are not moving forward, you are falling behind.”   Engagement Labs has entered a partnership with Kantar Analytics that provides rights to sell the TotalSocial® platform in the UK. To learn more about Kantar and TotalSocial and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, request a complimentary briefing and demo. Sign Up for a Kantar + TotalSocial Demo  

Aveeno Suffers Guilt by Association in Social Media, But Not in Real World

johnsonsaveeno The Johnson & Johnson Company is facing major legal and public relations challenges due to accusations and settlements related to America’s opioid epidemic, and concerns about the safety of its Johnson’s Baby Powder, is recently the target of a large product recall. Not until recent weeks did the problems appear to seriously impact other J&J owned brands such as Aveeno skincare.  Twitter outrage about the possibility of asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder in late October, and linking Aveeno to the parent company, coincided with Aveeno’s online net sentiment plummeting into negative territory, below levels even for the Johnson & Johnson corporate brand and its well-known sibling brand, Tylenol. In addition, a few other negative posts in social media related to suspicions that Aveeno’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Aniston, may have inadvertently posted a photo of herself and her Friends co-stars revealing possible illicit drug use.  

AVEENO’S ONLINE CONVERSATION TURNED VERY NEGATIVE 

AVEENO’S ONLINE CONVERSATION TURNED VERY NEGATIVE QUICKLY But while online sentiment for Aveeno is plummeting, not so for Aveeno conversations in the real world, which remain extremely positive and rising slightly.  Indeed, even offline conversations about the Johnson & Johnson corporate brand remain more positive than negative, which is a reminder that online conversations can give a very different view than the real-world conversations at water coolers and kitchen tables, as we at Engagement Labs have reported often, including in MediaPost.  

OFFLINE AVEENO CONVERSATION REMAINS HIGHLY POSITIVE

OFFLINE AVEENO CONVERSATION REMAINS HIGHLY POSITIVE Understanding the differences between online and offline conversations is crucial for marketers, because failure to do so can lead to overreactions and bad decisions, as well as missed opportunities to grow their brands. The statistical evidence suggests online and offline conversations impact sales almost equally, making it imperative to perform well in both channels. Further, consumers tend to trust friends and family more than what they see in “social media,” reinforcing further the importance of real world conversations. The need to understand both real world conversation—and not rely on social media as a surrogate—is even more important for large corporate families when the alleged sins of the father may be visited only on the Twitter page of the son or daughter.