Trends, Meet Data: Announcing "Trendology"

Today marks the beginning of RTM Tuesdays—a series here on the Spredfast blog where we’ll be posting the best of real-time marketing over the next few months. Every Tuesday we’ll dive into a range of real-time topics—including the performance of RTM efforts, best practices for building a real-time infrastructure at your company, the right way to staff an RTM team, and everything else around the subject.

Introducing Trendology: Building an Advantage through Data-Driven Real-Time Marketing

In my role leading up Analytics & Research at Spredfast, I work with a lot of social data, every day. I look for patterns that aren’t just interesting, but insights that brands can use to learn about the behavior and preferences of their audience to gain a leg up on the competition. Over the past nine months, I’ve become fascinated with real-time marketing (RTM) and how brands are using the practice to jump on relevant conversations where many say they don’t belong

So today I’m very, very excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Trendology. Trendology examines how brands can leverage social trends to build an advantage, and how companies can use a data-driven approach to prepare for the next big moment. This is the first book that looks at the performance data behind RTM— by analyzing social data from over 100 of the top brands in the world—to understand what audiences respond to, what works, and what doesn’t. The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan, and will be available in bookstores everywhere on November 4th.

Why Do We Need This Book?

While I was getting together the book proposal for prospective publishers, this was the question that kept popping into my mind. Luckily, it was a really easy question to answer. 

There is a huge amount of conversation about real-time marketing out there today. Lots of people offering opinions about why it’s a good idea or why it’s the worst thing a brand could do. After every big event (like the Super Bowl, Oscars, or Emmys), people chime in with why brands failed with their attempts to jump on trending topics. To date, no one has looked at the data behind RTM. I cared that there was a rapid acceleration of brands using RTM, but more than that, I wanted to find out if it worked.

If you’ll remember, baseball was in this same spot twenty years ago - the days before sabermetrics took off, and Billy Beane used data to disrupt opinions about what makes a valuable baseball player. Politics was in the same boat ten years ago until Nate Silver disrupted the opinions of pundits with data, and changed election predictions for the better. Opinions matter—but they should be informed with data. And that’s exactly what real-time marketing needed. 

So What Can We Expect?

Over the next few months, Spredfast will be rolling out a LOT of content around data-driven real-time marketing. We’ll be looking at RTM from every angle to give marketers the edge they need in an increasingly crowded space. You can expect: 

-RTM Tuesdays: Weekly blogs on RTM. We’ll cover theory, performance data for different tactics, the different types of real-time marketing, and guest posts from influencers in the industry. The Spredfast Blog will be your center for all things data-driven RTM.

-Conference-palooza: Tell my family I love them, I’m hitting the road. Starting this week at Advertising Week in NYC, I’ll be on the road sharing RTM case studies and strategies that are fueled by data, along with best practices for building a great RTM program inside your organization. Upcoming talks include our own Spredfast Summit, Ad:Tech, and WOMMA.

-The Book - Trendology: Available for pre-order now, to be released on November 4th, Trendology covers the history of RTM, how brands use Twitter today, a look at real-time marketing data from over 100 brands, building out a data-driven RTM methodology, and interviews with top influencers on the future of RTM.

As more and more of this research rolls out, I’m excited to hear your thoughts on how data can drive better social marketing. We’re just at the beginning of real-time marketing, but bringing data into the conversation is what the industry needs to advance the level of discussion. Decisions made only based on opinion amount to guesswork at best. As marketers, data shouldn’t make every decision for us, but it should enhance our understanding of how strategies perform to make better, informed decisions. 

Get ready, the conversation about RTM is about to change— for the better. Let’s go.

Want to preview what I’ll cover in Trendology? Download a free copy of the introduction now.  

Trendology: Download Introduction

Chris Kerns's picture

Chris Kerns

Chris Kerns has spent more than a decade defining digital strategy and is at the forefront of finding insights from digital data. He currently leads Analytics and Research at Spredfast. His research has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today and AdWeek, among other publications.