Dr. Pepper, Rosetta Stone Base Ad Campaigns on Facebook Insights

Taylor Korsak

As of today, 9,523,644 Facebook users "like" Dr. Pepper.

Not only is the high number a testament to the soft drink brand’s success, it demonstrates how the 131-year-old company is adaptable to change. Dr. Pepper sees other benefit in social media – namely, customer insight.

Dr. Pepper has found ways to measure its social media venture, testing and tracking the information to "hone its marketing messages," the Wall Street Journal reports. In an environment where companies are still figuring out the best ways to monitor social media interaction, Dr. Pepper has found success.

"We mine the data to understand what is appreciated, and what is not," said Robert Stone, director of interactive media services for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.


In terms of strategy, Dr. Pepper posts two messages daily on its Facebook fan page, and "listens" to how users respond. Then combining Facebook and New York-based software-and-design agency Code & Theory tools, the company is able to measure message views, how many times the message is shared with other users and what fan responses actually say.

Susan Etlinger, an analyst at Altimeter Group, said companies that engage social media are responsible for listening and understanding "the nature of the conversation, the volume and the topics being discussed."

For many companies, engaging social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook has become common practice.

And marketers believe the social media tool’s value – above a brand’s popularity – is in customer insights, according to a 2010 Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic survey reported by eMarketer.com.

Eighty-five percent of World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) respondents saw the "value of a Facebook fan" primarily in the insights he or she could provide to marketers. Those same respondents also checked off "customer loyalty," establishing the consensus that social media outlets are a forum for customer relationship building.

From BP to Polo Ralph Lauren brands, utilizing these new communication tools illustrate a company’s vitality and relevancy. But Dr. Pepper’s recent focus on metrics is just one example of how the practice is moving from simply keeping up with competition and demonstrating a company’s "hip" factor to concentrating traceable, trackable and actionable results.

For example, in March 2011 Facebook released updates to their Insights tool – a tool that uses analytics to help publishers know how content is performing, reports Mashable writer Vadim Lavrusik. The update allows publishers or companies with ads or pages on Facebook to get real-time distribution and engagement metrics on specific content – if the content does well, the publisher will know why.

In addition, the WSJ reports Facebook ads can help companies with demographic market research.

Rosetta Stone, a language-learning company recently engaged this capability and created a new market niche. Previously the company knew its target audience consisted of frequent travelers seeking the product for its practical use. However, based on data collected through social media, they began marketing the product as a "mental challenge," shifting the language focused image of Rosetta Stone to a learning one. The campaign ran and the results were positive.

Through similar research, Dr. Pepper has found customers respond well to "edgy one-liners." For example, the message "If liking you is wrong, we don’t want to be right," performed well as opposed to messages about prices and special offers, the WSJ reports.

The Facebook Insight tool and the response of Facebook fans have garnered Dr. Pepper "free word-of-mouth marketing buzz" and the collected data has even helped the company adapt television campaigns.

"It helps shape what we are," added Mr. Stone.