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[Interview] How quick-footed Twitter Analytics tactics helped PUMA #IGNITEYourCity in 80 countries

PUMA’s #IGNITEYourCity campaign has been running its way all across the world in 2015, visiting major cities and invigorating running communities in those regions using social media. They have enlisted the help of both celebrities and influential local runners to get people into the habit of running, while also promoting their new IGNITE range of running shoes. The campaign has been run by DigitasLBi, who have also utilised Audiense in assisting with planning their strategy, Twitter analytics, and executing their campaign.

We spoke to Benjamin Towne (strategy & analysis manager), Leslie Fines (social & content strategy manager), and Ben Timmins (senior associate) from DigitasLBi to find out how they planned a global campaign for PUMA with a grass-roots feel. They told us how they uncovered authentic runners with a responsive audience in multiple markets, the creative path that lead to the final result, and how they intend on continuing the campaign after the initial splash has been made. Lace up your trainers, limber up your joints and join the race to discover all there is to know about PUMA’s #IGNITEYourCity campaign:

Audiense: What sort of size is the team that’s working on this campaign at the moment?

Benjamin Towne: We’ve got five people working on the campaign from DigitasLBi, including people from strategy & analysis, and social & content strategy. On the PUMA side we work closely with a select group of 3 or 4 people in client representation.

Leslie FinesLeslie Fines, Social & Content Strategy Manager, DigitasLBi


Where did social fit within the creative process of the campaign?

Leslie Fines: The idea of visiting multiple cities over a year was PUMA’s, and they knew that they wanted to promote the IGNITE range of running shoes. Then the social & content strategy and creative teams at DigitasLBi took that idea and decided that an influencer program using social media could work. We wanted to pick a couple of different influencers in each city and get them to run for 21 days as that’s the time it takes to form a habit. So, from our end we decided social would be a key channel from the client’s initial brief, but it was great to have the creative team involved in the vision for how we would execute the campaign.

How much collaboration was there with PUMA when you were building the overall creative idea for the campaign?

Fines: It was pretty hand-in-hand, we would present them with the idea and they gave us some really great feedback on things to tweak. We then used that feedback to look at how we could give a little more depth to the campaign, how we could reach out to the influencers, and how our involvement with them would work. Once that was all ironed out the social & content strategy team at DigitasLBi presented the final strategy to PUMA, who were very excited by it.

Why did you choose to do an influencer campaign using Twitter?

Fines: We felt that actually getting those real life runners in our target markets speaking for us would be a more authentic way to deliver our message than simply putting out promotional material. So we wanted to get straight into the heart of the existing running communities in the cities that we’re targeting. There’s only so much that a brand can say about themselves, but your message can achieve a far greater impact if it’s delivered by people with some real credibility in their field.

How did you decide which influencers to use in each city?

Fines: Audiense was an important tool in precisely unearthing influential Twitter users we wanted to use for our campaigns. It would be difficult to manually discover all of these ground-level runners who had built up strong followings in the specific areas around the globe that we wanted to target. Using Audiense we were able to see locations, as well as customise the type of people we were looking for. It made it a lot easier for us to hone in on the best profiles for us to work with in each city.


What kind of results have you seen in the individual cities the campaign has visited so far?

Benjamin Towne: We’re seeing incredibly positive results on two fronts, firstly the influencers have averaged roughly 24 times higher engaged user rates than PUMA’s core audience. This is highlighting the effectiveness of the influencers to speak credibly about PUMA’s campaign among the target audience. It’s a validation that the people we are choosing, with Audiense, have an active community in the sport of running who respond to the message that PUMA want to channel through these influencers. Secondly, we’re seeing good conversations taking place one to two degrees away from the influencer about both PUMA’s IGNITE product and the sport of running. These conversations are something we want to keep going over time, and we will be monitoring them closely going forward.

How much has your campaign plan been altered as a reaction to how it’s been performing in each city?

Fines: The core principles haven’t changed, we’re still using influencers in each city and putting the spotlight on running and runners for 21 days. But we’ve learned a lot about the culture of fitness on social media in different markets, and where appropriate we have to adapt the campaign to fit locally based on those audiences and their platform preferences. For example, the campaign started in Tokyo where people were less interested in tracking runs and sharing the results than they are in Europe or the United States so that was in mind when we were planning how to approach that market.


How do you research these different markets before the campaign?

Fines: We have our own regional teams who can give us information, but we’ve found Audiense gave us direct access to the individual Twitter users in these cities which helped us identify specific trends. First we’d use it to find us the most enormous list of Twitter users who fit the criteria based on running topics they’re Tweeting about, the number of followers they have, the amount they’re Tweeting, and their location. Then we’d narrow them down further to a list of about 40 based on who was the most influential according to Audiense. Once that list was collated we’d sit down together and study their individual profiles to look for patterns. We’d fit certain chats they were all taking part in and wonder how we could get involved, or we might notice that they a lot of them had their own blogs and look at how that could be implemented into the campaign.

What are you doing to build and develop these conversations in future?

Towne: Part of it was by having influencers that we felt would continue to embody the sport of running, these are people who are passionate about it all the time and won’t just turn it off at the end of the 21 days. They have very active communities of people who talk about a range of different experiences with the sport and we want PUMA to be positively featured in those conversations.

We have also spoken to Audiense to look at localised retargeting options to follow-up with people in specific regions who have interacted with the campaign. Knowing that these people saw the campaign, liked what it stood for, and are trying to embody it in their own way means we may be able to transform the influencer lead message into a PUMA brand message at a later date. The possibilities presented in this area was one of the reasons we wanted to sign on to Audiense in the early stages, and with over 10,000 unique usages of the IGNITE(City) hashtags, we’ve established a large pool of active and engaged consumers for retargeting.

What initially lead to you choosing Audiense as a tool for your Twitter strategy?

Towne: We wanted something that delved deeper into the Twitter data than the standard analytics options, so Twitter themselves recommended Audiense as a tool that could help us achieve that. We wanted something that was more than simple demographics, we needed influencer identification and ongoing reporting on PUMA, and we needed accurate reporting for the campaign too. Audiense’s ability to perform these tasks was what convinced us to implement the tool into our strategy, then we were shown other features (such as how they help with retargeting) that we were keen to implement into the campaign at a later date once we gained more experience with the tool.

What elements of Audiense have you been using, what sort of results have you got?

Towne: We’ve been keen to gain analytics on PUMA’s audience to deliver to the client. It’s given us insights into the dynamic of different areas of that audience, which has in turn influenced the campaign. We looked at the audience in Audiense to try and ascertain if we were we attracting more runners to PUMA through the work that we’re doing. Another point was that we looked at the data in Audiense to see when our audience was online in different regions. This was important to us as we’d been missing our core audience for this campaign by 2 hours in some places, which has helped to shape the best practices of our teams in those regions.


How did Audiense fit within your current mix of social tools?

Towne: Audiense is amazing at diving into a specific audience, which we weren’t getting with any of our other tools. We can then take the users that Audiense has uncovered for us and integrate that list of users into some of our other tools to help improve their performance. It helps to give us an accurate scope of our activity and audience all the way from a micro to a macro level.

From this campaign, what other data and insights have you been able to give to PUMA?

Towne: Individually assessing the performance of content shared by our chosen influencers has been helpful, giving us an idea on how much of the message is resonating on a city-to-city basis. For example, Tweets coming from a person, rather than a branded account means that there’s different things that work for them. Group runs may work really well with some of them, driving a lot of engagement, whereas heavily branded content from an individual may not work particularly well.

We’re also monitoring the larger conversation about PUMA over time within those large geographical areas, and further afield too as we’ve had over 80 countries get involved with the IGNITE(City) campaign. The affinity about PUMA within running conversations is something we’ve been looking at, and if we see long-term growth in specific conversations that our influencers are involved in then then that gives us helpful feedback, which suggests what we’re doing is working.


How are you monitoring the effectiveness of the campaign in terms of shoes sold in stores, or via eCommerce?

Towne: We’re looking to expand on those possibilities as the campaign progresses, as we track traffic that comes from specific platforms. Additionally, we’re looking at retargeting options for some of the people who responded to the campaign in certain regions. We’re currently working through a process that will allow us to drive them to specific landing pages with a stronger PUMA brand message than the influencers could effectively deliver. This will help them get more information about this line of shoes, and hopefully encourage them to purchase the product. Knowing we can reach out to connect with these people via Audiense at a later date is intriguing and we’re keen to discover ways to give the audience the best user experience.

What type of content has performed the best in this campaign?

Towne: Consumers are pretty intelligent, so the more credibility the better. If an influencer is posting something heavily branded that’s clearly not in their voice then their audience would see straight through it, undermining the effectiveness of the campaign.

The people we chose generally have a pretty unique take on the sport of running, and we wanted them to keep that as we entered the campaign. So their content fits really nicely with what they were doing beforehand, and even though there’s a PUMA element during those 21 days it doesn’t feel like their profiles have been interrupted. The ones where that authenticity shines through have tended to be the ones that have got a great response.


Understanding your audience is vital for success in your marketing. In this campaign with PUMA, DigitasLBi have been using Audiense to gain precise insights into both their existing following, and Twitter users that they want to engage with. To see how it could help with your brand, click here to request a demo or set up a trial account.

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