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[Case Study] How audience insights helped a publicly-traded company pivot

Doing business today requires companies to be dynamic.
And sometimes that means adapting your campaigns for a totally new audience.

The good news is that audience intelligence tools can remove the guesswork for businesses forced to pivot. Rather than figure out what clicks with your new audience through trial-and-error, platforms like Audiense can spell out the answer in a snap.

This case study looks at a recent campaign run by Red Cloud Financial Services on behalf of their client, a publicly-traded mining company with patent-pending technology that brought them into the battery technology space.

“The client developed new technology that was predicted to drive interest from audiences they weren’t used to engaging,” notes Andrew Jenkins, VP, Social Media. “Raising awareness with a new audience meant building that audience from scratch and refining how we target them.”

Red Cloud Financial Services was tasked with not only figuring out if their client was capable of expanding their audience, but also how to effectively run a campaign to reach those new customers.

Challenges

For starters, comparing the client’s existing customers to their new audience was apples and oranges.

Rather than focus on mining customers exclusively, the client’s areas of interest ranged from green technology and electric vehicles to responsible investing and social responsibility.

All of this was unexplored territory for Red Cloud Financial Services based on previous campaigns they’d run on behalf of their client.

“Given the new technology and related audience, we needed new audience insights to guide our targeting because their traditional mining audience was not going to be the main focus,” Jenkins said.

Another notable obstacle presented by the campaign was proving a concrete ROI for the client.

“The client is publicly traded and not accustomed to doing paid campaigns — this was new for them,” Jenkins said. “We acknowledged that we couldn’t draw a straight line between the campaign and stocks being purchased.”

Spelling out the ROI of awareness-based campaigns can be a challenge. However, the struggle is twofold when you’re expected to produce results with an audience you have limited firsthand experience with.

Solution

Based on the challenges above and leveraging insights from Audiense to create campaign performance forecasts, Jenkins was able to set the client’s expectations regarding the end-goals and associated KPIs of the campaign:

“Focusing on awareness, we were looking for a potential correlation between the campaign and increased interest. This would be reflected by video views, increased website traffic, and perhaps even increased trading volume.”

As part of the campaign, Red Cloud Financial Services put together four paid campaigns across Facebook and Twitter, a branded article, and three marketing videos.

With so many unknowns and variables, Red Cloud Financial Services relied on Audiense’s platform to analyze the data of their clients’ current audience while researching prospective ones.

1. Building a brand new audience (with insights from current audience members)

Red Cloud Financial Services kicked off the campaign by gathering feedback from their client regarding which new audiences were their priorities. They then narrowed down the targets that made sense.

“With client input, we focused on the following: responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, green and clean tech, batteries, and electric vehicles. That was where Audiense Connect came in to first build the audience and then mine that for targeting insights via Audiense Insights.”

Audiense blog - Audiense Insights - Audience builder

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Using Audiense and analyzing data from the clients’ current audience members, Red Cloud Financial Services was able to point directly to which audiences would be a good fit for future campaigns.

2. Segmenting the new audiences

As noted earlier, Red Cloud Financial Services’ clients’ new audience covered a wide range of industries.

That said, there were plenty of common threads between them.

Using Audiense, Jenkins notes how they were able to segment these new audience against the original mining group:

“We built a copy of audiences in Connect and then pulled them into Audiense Insights to come up with the segmentation. We had used Audiense previously to build the mining audience that we had been using in previous campaigns. Still, this was new territory.”

Audiense blog - Audiense Insights report - segments

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Powered by 175 different attributes to enrich campaign information, Audiense’s platform is capable of digging deep into customer data for any given industry. As such, our platform was able to clue Red Cloud Financial Services in on the specific wants, needs, and desires of each of their target segments.

“Audiense helped build the audience and then mine it for insights and segments that were instrumental in our campaign development and targeting,” Jenkins said.

For example, two of Red Cloud Financial Services’ video campaigns focused on management and partner interviews regarding the patent-pending technology while the other provided a general overview of the company and its new initiative. The ability to test the different types of videos on separate audiences was crucial to the campaigns’ effectiveness.

3. Determining which audience segments are the most valuable

Using Audiense’s Targeting Pack feature, Red Cloud created laser-targeted and successful Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns.

Performance data from the campaigns confirmed that they were on the right track with their targeting. Meanwhile, they also managed to learn which campaigns were the most valuable (and which should be scaled back).

“With two campaigns now completed, the mining audience shows signs of fatigue or diminishing performance while the responsible investing audience has performed really, really well,” Jenkins noted.

This is a prime example of not only how audience analytics can power your marketing campaigns, but also teach you how to refine and improve them over time.

Results

Long story short? Red Cloud exceeded their clients’ expectations.

Below are some key figures which highlight the success of the campaign(s) over the course of 90 days:

  1. The combined campaigns garnered 3.5+ million impressions and 2.8+ million total views
  2. The client saw a rise in conversation volume related to their brand and new patent-pending technology (both from new sources and audiences)
  3. The client experienced a boost in website referral traffic, including 7,000 new visitors from the promoted article and press release about their new technology
  4. The campaigns coincided with a 5x rise in daily trading volume, increasing shares from the hundreds of thousands to the millions
  5. The client saw a 3x rise in their share price, leading to 3x market capitalization increase of several hundred million dollars

While Red Cloud Financial Services cannot claim full attribution for the the boost in trading volume, share price, or market capitalization, these increases coincided with increased website traffic, video views, brand awareness, and conversation volume stemming from the campaign. In fact, the results of the campaign(s) were so positive, the client decided to move forward and ramp up another one. Jenkins notes:

“The primary objective was to raise awareness for the new initiative based on the patent-pending technology. That objective was achieved and the added bonus of increased share price and trading volume has the client preparing for another campaign with a dramatically increased budget.”

Conclusion

Reaching new customers doesn’t have to be a guessing game. It shouldn’t be a total time-sink, either.

As more and more businesses pivot to new audiences, platforms like Audiense serve as a way to conduct in-depth, timely customer research. Much like Red Cloud was able to define and map out fresh audiences to target in a matter of clicks, consider how you could do the same.

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