By Caroline Henley

July 31st, 2015

People are sharing more and more personal data across their social profiles. Users continue to use their profiles as a means of deciphering their tastes, interests, and personalities.

What does this mean for social business? Advertising has become more relevant, more personal, and in effect, cheaper and easier to run effectively. Departments are merging that have traditionally been siloed. Data that might originally have been used for marketing strategy is now leaking into development and product decisions.

The question for marketers, is: Are you tapping into these available audience insights? 

And once you are, are you using the data in creative ways? Are you looking into social product development?

From large corporations to young startups and small businesses, marketers now have access to immense amount of data. It’s up to each team to innovate, to use the data to drive new profits and results.

All that to say, there are a few brands using social data to make some pretty tasty decisions.

Let’s look at the Talenti Ice Cream’s Flavorize Me and Lay’s Do Us a Flavor campaigns.

Flavorize me
Talenti Ice Cream is running an interesting campaign this summer. Users connect their social profiles with the Talenti website, and click “Flavorize Me.” Then, the Talenti algorithm filters Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts through 25,000 common words that are then assigned a corresponding taste: sweet, spicy, and salty.

What is our company, I thought? What is Falcon Social, flavorized? I ran the Talenti algorithm using Falcon’s Instagram and Twitter data.

Anyone up for a scoop of “Butterscotch Toffee Hungarian Shortbread Malbec”?

audience insights

(Funny, I always thought we’d taste more like a Butterscotch Toffee Danish Shortbread Malbec…)

Here is how Talenti explains the breakdown–the keywords that were mentioned the most are assigned ingredients.

social product development

This is a fantastic marketing campaign: not only are people excited to plug in their profiles and get matched to a personalized flavor, they are excited to share their results. And it lets Talenti stand out as the ice cream of choice of the summer. Refinery29 covered the campaign, and readers were excited to share their results in the comments.

audience insights

At the end of the summer, Talenti will create the favorite flavors and sell them in stores.

Do us a flavor 
Lay’s has been running its “Do Us a Flavor” campaign for three years. Fans contribute flavor ideas for chips, the brand narrows it down to four flavors for fans to vote on, and one is ultimately chosen as a flavor to sell in stores for a year.

audience insights

Everyone should obviously be voting to make “truffle fry chips” happen.

This year, the chip brand hired the creative agency Deep Focus to leverage real-time opportunities. If anyone mentions the campaign with an idea for a flavor (not necessarily coming through the official campaign’s page), they jump on it.

“The agency first uses social listening tools to zero in on conversations happening about the brand. The team then turns around a script based on the tweet in roughly one hour,” reports AdWeek.

Lay’s capitalizes on the ideas mentioned across the web by firing back with a minute-long personalized video featuring two potato puppets, “The Taste Spuds,” debating the flavor choice.

From there, viewers are guided to submit their own flavor ideas.

Finding the flavor within
These two campaigns are great for engaging fans, getting people involved in product decisions. But it’s only one way to crowdsource flavor ideas.

Any business with access to audience insights can make big decisions, such as new flavor combinations, stemming from what is already working.

For example, I quickly set up a listening query for “Talenti” in the US, and found the top trending keywords for the brand over the last week.

audience insights

“Butter” refers to “butter pecan,” meaning, in the last week, fans went out of their way to talk about the butter pecan Talenti flavor in particular. The company could stock more butter pecan pints in grocery stores to increase sales. Or the brand’s flavor scientists can use this information to create similarly well-resonating ice creams, maybe working with other nut-butter flavors.

These insights can be used to improve just about everything in an organization. Product decisions, content marketing, ad buys, industry strategy… the opportunities are endless. It’s how your team works with the data creatively that will make all the difference to pull your business ahead of the pack, one delicious flavor combination at a time.

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