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Tools to use when launching a marketing campaign

Insights are the anchor upon which campaigns are successfully built. Text100 Singapore’s Julian Chow shares his favorite tools for generating data-driven insights.

Insights are the anchor upon which campaigns are successfully built. Text100 Singapore’s Julian Chow shares his favorite tools for generating data-driven insights.

Insights are the anchor upon which campaigns are built. While there are multiple ways to generate insights, they can be categorized into two main categories: quantitative and qualitative. A mix of the two is what usually creates powerful “a-ha” moments.

On the qualitative end, we utilize a powerful methodology called Jobs to be Done, formalized by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen. It speaks to understanding end-user motivations and seeing products and services as a means to get a task done. That way, one focuses on the user need, rather than product and service features.

However, what I’d like to cover is the quantitative end of the spectrum: data-driven insights. Here are my favorite tools to use for gathering quantitative insights that, when combined with qualitative findings, allow you to extract key ideas that can help you plan your next marketing campaign.

Google Trends

I’m a big fan of search-data visualization because it tells you what’s on the mind of the general populace. I use Google Trends to compare competitor search terms, and try to spot recurring patterns that identify something unusual. Case in point: I compared trend data for McDonalds against KFC in Singapore on a daily basis. Spot anything unusual in the graph below? Notice that the peaks for KFC (red) and McDonalds (blue) are different?


Interestingly, the peak time at which Singaporeans searched for KFC was around dinnertime, but McDonalds’ searches peaked past the stroke of midnight. Why? Well, we may answer that question through qualitative research and reveal a big insight into both brands.

That said, one drawback about using search-data visualization is that different keywords may be used for the same topic. Following on from the above example, “McDonalds” as a search string may not represent the real number of searches around the brand, as the fast-food chain may also be searched using the keywords “McD” or “Macs” (if in Singapore). A tool found in the Google AdWords suite, Keyword Planner, helps uncover related keywords and their average search volume. When used in tandem with Google Trends, it can return more accurate results.




Buzzsumo tracks the most-shared content around a particular keyword, phrase, or brand. By ranking the most-shared content, you can very quickly spot patterns in the key triggers that get people talking about the brand or topic. Those, in turn, create a starting point for gathering insights.




 As we know, forums are gold mines of information. People freely laud or shame brands and products (and their competitors!), and you’ll find lots of in-depth discussions around passion topics. Scraping through loads of forum threads can be an arduous task, though.

Enter FAQ Fox, which allows you to scrape sites like Reddit, Quora, and other forum-type sites more efficiently. As can be seen from the screenshot above, you just need to enter a keyword and the name of the site to scrape. Then watch the magic begin.


Outwit Hub

Outwit Hub is a sophisticated (and free) data scraping tool that requires the user to have a bit of HTML knowledge. It’s great for working with data that comes in structured forms, such as listings on sites such as Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and Agoda.com, but is able to return a huge variety of data compared to other tools out there (like Import.io).

That said, data-scraping tools work best when paired with data-visualization tools such as Tableau. You’ll need to perform a few tricks in Excel to manipulate the scraped data into a format that makes sense. Once that’s done, however, data visualization gives you a powerful way of reading data sets and gleaning insights that would have been more difficult to extract had you been working with just an Excel spreadsheet.

While these are my personal favorites, there are many more tools out there to try. Continue experimenting ­– you may even find new ways to uncover insights from data using your existing tools.


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