4 ways GE Capital uses social insights to power digital marketing

Australian digital and social insights teams shares how it is turning customer intelligence into actionable insights that are fuelling more targeted digital campaigns

Leigh Price, GE Capital
Leigh Price, GE Capital

Example 3: Real-time competitive responsive

A third way GE is tapping using social insights is to respond to competitive trends. Price said his team has identified groups of people passionate about travel money products and services, such as frequent flyers, through social data. These conversations also allow GE Capital to identify people talking about market research, focus groups or direct campaigns they were being targeted with.

In one instance, GE became aware of a competitor conducting market research on a new fee structure that it suspected would trigger negative social commentary.

“We produced campaign on standby and had alerts set up so we’d be notified as soon as mentions of the brand in conjunction with the fee increases occurred,” Price said. “We also knew based on our prior knowledge of where conversations were occurring, where people would be talking about the change, so we could target them immediately with our message. It’s a great example of being there with right message, at the right time, to the right people.”

GE uses similar insights analysis when it introduces major fee changes or restructure its own products, Price said. “We’ll listen very closely on social and try to be nimble on our site to deflect service queries,” he added.

Example 4: Visualising peaks and troughs

Through word cloud visualisations of social conversations, GE has also started better identifying what causes peaks in conversation. “Digging down into these unusual peaks to individual posts is often the beginning of a good insight,” Price claimed.

One seemingly unpredictable spike was identified around the price protection feature of GE’s 28 Degrees travel credit card.

“Analytics of the word clouds revealed the launch of new smartphone models was driving peaks in conversation around price protection insurance,” Price said. “What the tech savvy audience had realised was the price of these phones drops after a few months and their thinking was you could buy today’s smartphone at tomorrow’s prices with our feature.

“We began using that insight as a tactic within our marketing campaign. So if a customer is digitally savvy and has contacted us through digital channels, we’ll use that smartphone example for that segment to market this offering.

“We’ve also run several tactical campaigns where we know through social analytics that people talking about this will switch forums, so we’ve targeted those forums based on price protection insurance around the launch of new smartphones.”

How GE gained wider business support

Price attributed the success of the global digital and social initiative on analytics, data and marketing collaboration.

It’s also important insights are shared across the wider business. Priced explained social insights at GE are collated into a weekly “brand snapshot”, illustrating what has been popular on social channels, how GE has reacted to that information, where discussions suddenly peaked, and the performance of social campaigns.

A more insights-driven report is produced monthly. “This is also a good opportunity to take a good sample size, extract it and see patterns that can’t always be identified easily through some social tools,” Price said.

Quarterly reports then look beyond GE brands to competitors and focus on missed opportunities on a competitor’s part and where GE can take advantage, or where the company’s competitors were stronger, Price said. In addition, GE has created a crisis reporting framework which includes hourly reporting to key business and communications teams based on trends and topics driving conversations in a crisis.

“Similarly, if an uncharacteristic peak in negative conversations occurs, our social service manager is notified in real-time,” he said.

Two years into the pilot, Price said both the digital centre of excellence and social insights framework had been well received.

“After the first nine months, other divisions across GE sat up and took notice and we’re now helping other regions to set up a similar program as well,” he added.

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