Driving Actionable Insights

Amy Lamparske from 3M and Kim Yarnell from Macy’s Discuss How Brands Are Using Social Data to Drive Business Impact

Amy Lamparske and Kim Yarnell

Amy Lamparaske, head of global social media at 3M, was joined by Kimberly Yarnell, Vice President of digital media at Macy’s, to provide insights on how social data within the enterprise can be used to drive tremendous business impact.

Amy and Kimberly agree that social data provides a limitless source of value tied to brand decisions that are being made to bring magic to the customer. At 3M, they have just undergone a large project to pull a year’s worth of social data to listen to the shift in conversation and understand how the brand is being perceived. Using these insights, 3M hopes to effectively connect with niche communities that are more difficult to identify and find more engaging ways to insert themselves into relevant conversations to reach consumers. 3M has historically been seen as a house of brands but is now viewing themselves as a branded house. Through the use of social data, they have found that the more the customer knows about the house of brands, the more loyal they are to 3M. Touching the average person’s life at least 100 times per day provides a massive opportunity for 3M to enforce familiarity as a catalyst to drive sales and brand loyalty. At Macy’s, Kimberly mentioned that they are looking to use social data from a predictive perspective to assess what market opportunities are available. While social data provides a limitless source of value, Kimberly fears that there is too much data to harness. The trick is to unlock the data at the right level of granularity so that it is not too overwhelming and can be manifested in a scalable way.

Challenges within Social Data

Many brands in today’s world have experienced challenges when it comes to adopting the use of social data in the enterprise and 3M and Macy’s are no strangers to this obstacle. While there is a huge hunger for social data within the enterprise, Amy and Kimberly agree that it is not about selling the value internally, but rather about making it easily accessible so that it can be used to influence key business decisions. At 3M and Macy’s, partnering with key executives within the organization is crucial to the influence social data has across the company. At Macy’s, Kimberly has implemented a reverse mentoring program in which her team keeps management up to speed on the innovation taking place across the various social networks in order to drive familiarity with the platforms.

At 3M, Amy mentioned that the larger organization has made huge strides towards harnessing insights from social data to institute change, but that it is a learning process. She believes that social data is powerful and what attracts her to the space is the amount of impact that you can have when you are close to the data and allow it to change the way you do business.

Amy and Kimberly unanimously agreed that the biggest challenges they face as internal advocates of social data is the lack of standardization that exists. To socialize brand performance internally is a giant feat. Trying to tell a story takes a lot of commitment and as internal advocates for 3M and Macy’s they posed a challenge to the audience of innovators to help them conquer this obstacle in order to allow them to unlock more spend and propel their brands forward.

Dreams for the Future

Fantasies of a constant feedback loop excites the minds of Amy and Kimberly. They hope that one day it will be easier to aggregate data from social, as well as all other internet sources, into one picture to provide actionable insights. This is where they believe the real opportunity lies. While 3M and Macy’s are both global organizations, they reiterated that their teams responsible for driving the value of social data are small and do not have the luxury of mining data to its full potential.

For Amy, she hopes to leverage social data into innovating products as this would provide 3M with a huge competitive advantage. As for Kimberly, making it easier for marketers who are time strapped to be able to harness the power of the data to drive decision-making would be a dream come true.

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