The digital marketing agency 360i is working to help brands optimize their brands through digital content.
Our class had the opportunity to visit 360i’s London office Wednesday to hear about how the agency works with digital media to find new ways of advertising their clients’ products. Edwina Johnson, production director, and Kieran Bass, SEO director, hosted our visit and spoke to us about some of their programs and operations.
Johnson and Bass explained that one of the main activities of 360i is to look at what is being said through blogs, forums, social networks and video sharing sites to determine what the public is saying about a particular product or brand. They do this with several subscriptions to data-collecting softwares that can track comments and sort them based on topics and types of communication method.
The teams at 360i then conduct human analysis on these comments, searching for positive and negative connotations. Johnson said that this process is particularly crucial to 360i’s research because it helps track sentiment in the comments that are made. She noted that this part of the process can detect whether a comment is sarcastic or insincere, a level of detection that a computer software cannot discern on its own, necessitating the human element to the collection.
These findings are helpful to 360i as it begins to plan strategy for its clients’ advertising campaigns. The agency will first determine the value of a product or brand by taking into account who the consumer is, how the consumer views the company doing the advertising, what category of products it falls under and what type of culture the campaign is targeting.
After establishing this, they can then form a strategy based on what type of “currency” they have with the product. This “currency” is identified as what the brand has to offer that will help sell it to consumers. After that is complete, the strategy can be set into motion, changed for optimization and later be measured based on the results.
Bass commented that many Millennials are more concerned about status than savings. He compared today’s generations to those of the past who would collect coupons to save money at the store. Nowadays, people will be more receptive to something that has prominent exposure on the Internet or through other forms of media because it appeals to our need for self-worth despite potentially high prices.
The agency is also working with search engine optimization (SEO) to try to promote its clients. SEO is the process of making changes to the structure of a website with the use of links or other content that makes the site more visible. In theory, this content could help boost a website’s placement on a search engine results page because the search engine recognizes this abundance of content when making a search and considers it a helpful resource.
I found this topic interesting to hear about from 360i’s perspective because I have dealt with this issue through my internship at the city of Stillwater, Okla. My colleagues and I are often trying to find new ways to raise the city’s website higher in search engine results, while competing for top placement with Wikipedia pages and other cities called Stillwater across America. Hearing 360i explain SEO as a free and effective means of advertising for their clients was a clever and resourceful way of finding more outlets to promote a product.