How Groupon reimagined customer engagement to stay agile and protect its brand during the pandemic and beyond
above benchmark engagement rate for Facebook for 2022 Super Bowl campaign
above benchmark engagement rate for Instagram for 2022 Super Bowl campaign
increase in brand mentions for 2022 Groupon Day
Groupon was founded in 2008 with the mission of bringing people together to create memorable, affordable experiences. For Tricia Higgins, head of global social media operations at Groupon, this emphasis on experience is what makes the company special. “It’s about getting out and doing things with each other,” she says, “and about how much more you can accomplish with the savings we offer.”
But when the COVID-19 pandemic restricted activity, it became more important than ever for Higgins and her colleagues to make the most out of every marketing campaign and customer engagement.
Higgins and her team have always utilized customer data, but the pandemic presented an opportunity to mine insights in a much more robust way. COVID was an accelerant for the ramp-up because it created so much uncertainty to track and elicited such strong feelings for consumers. As Higgins explains, “There were so many more fluctuations in the data, and not only in the external environment, but also in how we needed to react as a business and how our customers felt about those activities.”
Tracking constant change in the marketplace, adapting quickly to that change, and understanding customer needs meant asking more of their customer experience technology. Groupon needed its platform to:
Inform strategic decision making across an internal ecosystem with extensive, real-time insight and unified reporting
Maintain the pace and quality of insights as conditions began to return to normal
Sprinklr Social Listening, part of Sprinklr Modern Research, has long been an important part of Groupon’s strategy. But, as Higgins notes, Groupon is leveraging it in exciting new ways. “We’ve always seen the value of the Sprinklr solution, but we’ve started to really blow it out of the water with the way we’re using it now.”
The social-listening leap has helped marketing and communications at Groupon evolve in several important ways:
Groupon’s business relies on the ability of customers to make plans, and the pandemic was proving quite resistant to long-term forecasting. Even as some reopening began, consumers were concerned about their inability to use the deals they purchased.
Using Social Listening, Higgins and her team were able to understand the biggest challenges consumers face, provide real-time data to their service teams and senior leaders, and speak directly to customers using a single, unified platform. The single platform allows critical data to flow seamlessly among internal teams, so insight can bubble up directly from customers to service leaders, and even as far up as the CEO. This kind of insight allowed both Groupon and its customers to remain agile in the face of uncertainty.
Supercharging its social listening capability helped Groupon weather the storm of the pandemic, but that was only the beginning. “Now that things are a bit more stable, we can evolve the way we apply listening to our campaigns,” says Higgins
When the company launched its first-ever Groupon Day last December, social listening was critical to driving promotion for the event, resulting in a 300% increase in brand mentions over Black Friday the same year. Another campaign, the Super Bowl-themed “Party Like a Player” with Rob Gronkowski, drove an engagement rate that was 60% higher than Groupon’s benchmark for Facebook and 40% higher than its benchmark for Instagram. This was due, in part, to the fact that Groupon’s team of influencers is now taking cues from customer insights gleaned with social listening.
“Social listening helped us promote, but also collect, feedback to unearth those opportunities and amplify awareness of the campaign,” Higgins says. “There was so much buzz, creating exciting opportunities for earned media with press coverage, and we think this is something that can really grow over time.”
Additionally, insight into merchant sentiment has helped Groupon to identify industries in which to focus its partnerships. “One industry that really popped was health, beauty, and wellness,” says Higgins. “Listening helped us understand that, so we can partner with them on future promotions.”
With this reimagined approach to social listening, Groupon plans to stay at the forefront of using real-time data and trends to shape important marketing decisions.
We have done in-depth reporting on things like brand mentions, hashtag analysis, and key drivers for both positive and negative mentions among our merchants. Now we can be proactive when we’re building campaigns and let our partners know, ‘This is what we’re seeing. This is the reaction you’re getting from customers.’ This lets us make a huge impact.”
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