Archive for Dan Neely

Christmas Comes In April, Taxman Plays Santa With IRS Refunds

Posted by Dan Neely on April 29th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Polls say that U.S. consumers will spend around $700 on Christmas gifts this season, yet will get a far greater windfall when they receive their tax refund. In fact, year in year out, 75% of all individual taxpayers get a refund from the IRS.
Not only that, but according to the latest IRS report, the average federal tax refund will increase to $3,034 in 2014, 3% higher than last year’s average. Not surprisingly, consumers have started filing earlier in the year so they can get their refunds sooner. [source]
How will consumers spend this annual windfall? Networked Insights, a Chicago-based marketing enterprise software platform, examined social data spanning the 2013 and 2014 tax seasons.
For starters, it’s those nagging financial obligations – paying down bills or contributing to savings – that continue to take the biggest chunk of individual refunds, yet how consumers spend what’s left has begun to show considerable change.

Figure 1.1: Bar chart depicting data from consumers who specifically stated what they were spending their tax refund on; ranked according to 2014 data.
"By using our discovery technology,” said Rick Miller, VP of Marketing and Advertising at Networked Insights, “we can not only learn the specific areas in to which consumers are... Read more

The USA Today Ad Meter is Meaningless

Posted by Dan Neely on February 7th, 2013 at 8:24 am

The live polling that USA Today performs annually with focus groups has proven itself meaningless. This year’s “Perfect Match” advertisement scored dead last on the newspaper’s Ad Meter meanwhile the company posted record sales for a Monday following a Super Bowl commercial. What is USA Today missing?
USA Today’s Ad Meter needs to be brought into the 21st century. Traditionally, they have focused on a small sample group of viewers to gauge ad performance. This year, in an attempt to update their analysis they opened up that sample group to viewers that registered on their online portal. It was likely an attempt to get a better read of consumer reactions, but with more than 8,000 participants, they still missed the mark.
The inherent flaw in their analysis—the same one they’ve had since the Ad Meter was first published in 1989—is in the way they measure advertisement success. Knowing whether a person “liked” or “disliked” an ad is no way to gauge if it got the job done for the advertiser. USA Today needs to go deeper to understand the winners and losers.
In Networked Insights’ analysis of the Super Bowl ads and celebrities, social data insights revealed a different viewpoint. was... Read more

Making “Real-Time” Marketing Easy

Posted by Dan Neely on November 13th, 2012 at 11:45 am

For some marketing professionals, the mere mention of the phrase "real-time marketing" inspires head scratching. Add the notion of "social data" and it is enough to make the average marketer start sweating. The reason for their anxiety is simple: The perception of real-time marketing is often far from reality. Many believe it requires a wealth of teams, resources, and technology, but in reality it doesn't need to be that complex.
Progressive marketing organizations have advanced from treating social media solely as a communications channel, to a data set that informs decision-making. Why not? After all, social data is really consumer data with some exceptional characteristics that I refer to as the 3 R’s: richness, regenerative, and real-time.
A cogent evolution of social media monitoring is applying the analytics technologies and methodologies used in Business Intelligence to social media data to uncover insights. This technology, known as a marketing decisions platform, can improve marketing activities across the entire marketing lifecycle – planning, activation, measurement and optimization.
When marketers graduate from questions like “what should I say in social media” to “what can social media tell me about my customer,” they begin to collect real-time intelligence about their target audiences. A marketing decisions platform moves... Read more

Use Social Media Ratings and Analysis to Inform Upfront Buys

Posted by Dan Neely on May 18th, 2010 at 12:00 am

What's the 10th highest rated show according to Nielsen? What's the highest rated show according to the buzz in social media? We'll come back to the answer, but here's a hint: they're the same show.  
It's TV upfronts week, a rite of spring for networks, agencies and brands. The grand presentations and shrewd negotiations hail from a time when  the only question that mattered was: Are they watching our show? Because if they watch our show, they'll watch our ads.

The water has gotten muddy since that Golden Age -- online video, time-shifted viewing, fragmentation of networks and audiences -- these represent enormous changes in the way we consume TV.  And we all know these factors change the value of TV advertising. But the metrics that define that value, dominated by Nielsen ratings, have not kept pace. The system looks increasingly antiquated and biased.

The "SocialSenseTV: Network Ratings Report, May 2010" was released today. It draws on 1.5 billion online interactions from 300 million people to measure engagement of TV audiences around various network shows and related issues. This information -- providing a new way to measure and value the worth of a show -- can be... Read more