As published in Social Media Today
Driving More than Cars
Shimmering, translucent and regal, the J.D. Power and Associates award sits on a desk commanding notoriety and respect. We’re able to identify these trophies from fantastic marketing exposure to them. And we can safely associate the company with leading way to higher automotive quality and design standards.
But J.D. Power is more than just about Toyota Camrys and the latest navigation systems. To the surprise of many, the company knows social media and social media sentiment to a surprisingly proficient degree. So well, in fact, they follow a lot of brands and industries you might not expect.
Presenting at a Social Media Analytics Summit held earlier this year in San Francisco, Christie Hickman, the company’s Senior Manager of Consumer Insights and Strategy, revealed how J.D. Power approaches social research from a consultative perspective. In one example, the company ventured into the process of understanding social media sentiment and customer segmentation in the fitness industry. In this case, the company’s social media research was used in conjunction with Ethnography work (the study of people’s behaviors) previously conducted by the client to provide an integrated and comprehensive approach to understanding the target fitness consumer.
Customer Segmentation via Social Activity
So, if you’re a gym-goer, it turns out J.D. Power knows a thing or two about your behavior patterns. Not in a creepy, “someone’s watching you” way. They track, understand, and identify segments from social media conversations across the largest social channels. In the fitness space, they discovered that the social media conversation could be clustered by shared attitudes, interests, and behaviors into five segments identified below.
Take a moment, and if you haven’t already, try and see what category you think you fit into. I’m somewhere between “Scale Watcher” and “Gym Regular.” Admittedly, though, I sometimes feel I slip into “Baby Fats,” although I’m not likely to use that phrase in my OKCupid profile.
With a good pulse on social channel activity, J.D. Power was able to map each segment against online behaviors. In this instance, the company mapped these categories against two scales:
- Social media activity, and
- Desireand ability to go to the gym.
These are the opportunities for J.D. Power’s client to affect higher engagement through social media activity.
From there, the company was able to use this valuable insight into fitness consumer perceptions and behavior to drive the development of a strategic and tactical framework for their client’s Word of Mouth marketing program.
In the end, these efforts led to a clearly articulated opportunity for the fitness client and actionable steps for engaging with their highest potential fitness consumers. And for the social media gym goer, all this may very well mean a more balanced and enjoyable fitness routine.