Social listening has been a buzz word for a while. I was aware that there are several free and premium tools available. I consciously knew a few tools and subconsciously used a few tools. A recent classroom exercise presented an opportunity to use these tools for a real-world situation. I started with a well defined objective and concluded by summarizing my observations. I made a few assumptions too.
On 22nd June 2016, Spicejet launched its Monsoon Bonanza Campaign: “Spicejet Monsoon Bonanza Sale: Domestic Base Fare Starts At Rs 444”. My objective was to measure the overall success of this campaign.
Methodology and Analysis
I started analyzing social media data when the campaign had already ended. In that sense, my analysis is mostly post-mortem, whereas the ideal way is to start monitoring (listening) at the beginning of the campaign launch; continue till the campaign lasts; and measure at the end of the same. However, we all agree that we don’t live in an idealistic world; so let’s face this… the way we face several other real-life challenges.
Because the campaign was launched for domestic travel only, I have analysed Indian context mostly.
Social Monitoring using Google Trends
Social Analytics using Google Trends
As we can see, the trend suggests that web searches for SpiceJet has been decreasing slowly over the past two years. In spite of this fact, due to this launch of low fare campaign, SpiceJet was able to create a spark in the trend during the campaign period and the sharp rise in search pattern signifies that.
In terms of search trend, SpiceJet has been performing better than GoAir and AirAsia. Indigo has been steadily and consistently over performing all of them. In spite of the fact, the launch of the bonanza offer has created such a spark in the search trend, that it not only crossed its competitors’ searches but crossed it by a great margin.
Social Intelligence using Google Trends
- In spite of lowering search trend for SpiceJet, this campaign was able to create a sharp increase.
- The increase in search pattern had crossed that of its biggest competitor Indigo. Though it was not sustained and temporary. Hence SpiceJet needs to revive its image (during 2013-14, its search trend was almost at par with that of Indigo).
- The campaign was launched in low traffic period. Due to this, the usual search was low, hence the campaign’s rise in searches was evidently visible.
- The sharp increase in search trend for this campaign did not last throughout the campaign period, but only during the launch of it, then it again lowered down to its normal level, and again rose during the end of the campaign. Hence we can say that the rise did not last the entire campaign period, but only created, few ripples.
- One thing we should not forget that, the offer could be availed from travel aggregators’’ sites as well, like MakemyTrip or GoIbibo and hence the offer doesn’t necessarily redirect traffic to spicejet’s website.
Social Monitoring using Alexa
Social Analysis using Alexa
- SpiceJet’s global rank got improved by more than 1000 in the last 3 months, but how much improvement of this can be contributed to the campaign in particular is difficult to estimate (for this the rank had to be measured at the time of launch and at the time of end of the campaign). Alexa is silent about improvement in rank in India.
- SpiceJet’s bounce rate increased, and daily page views decreased over the last 3 months, but increase in average times spent on the site showed some positive light. This might be because the last 3 months period falls under low demand time, so lowering may be expected, meanwhile the offer might have been able to hold the downward movement to some extent.
- Significant proportion of the traffic was coming from SpiceJet offer promotion, indicating the surge created by launch of the campaign.
- People visited Google, GoIndigo or MakeMyTrip before coming to SpiceJet. But surprisingly Yatra, Cleartrip or Via.com did not feature on the list.
- People mostly go on book.spicejet.com, which is even more than the parent website spicejet.com, indicating most of the visitors clicked on the promotional offer from some other site where from it directly took them to the booking page.
- Very slow loading of spicejet raises concern. Speically during offer period when traffic is high to the site.
Social Intelligence using Alexa
- One thing we should not forget that, the offer could be availed from travel aggregators’ sites as well, like MakeMyTrip or GoIbibo and hence the offer doesn’t necessarily redirect traffic to spicejet’s website.
- The offer was able to create certain surge inspite of the low traffic period.
- Spicejet’s slow loading of web pages happens to be a bg concern. Mainly due to two reasons:
- The offer period brings in more traffic, and hence the loading time further increases and everyone dealing in this digital era is always running out of time.
- Secondly, due to dynamic pricing, the loading time might have led to change of prices( as in between some other person might have already booked a light thereby changing demand and thereby making the algorithm to adjust price accordingly) creating further exasperation for the customer.
- SpiceJet should have promoted their offer more on other travel aggregators, affiliates’ or partners’ sites as well.
Social Monitoring on Twitter
Apart from this tweet, SpiceJet did not itself tweet much to popularize their campaign. No wonder, the results got limited being a ripple, but not a landslide.
Social Listening on Hashtagify.me
Social Analysis and Intelligence on Hashtagify.me
- Not much tweets from SpiceJet
- People talking less about the offer, but more about the dissatisfactions encountered from SpiceJet.
- Offer terms and timelines not well communicated
- Offer didn’t go viral
- Apart from usual publishers, not much influencers hired by SpiceJet during the campaign.
Representation to top management
In this section, I have tried to represent the same findings in more digestible fashion with the help of SWOT analysis.
- Indian customers being price sensitive, SpiceJet’s target specially being young working professionals, the campaign based on price discounts was able to create certain increase in web traffic and social surge, though the period was low flying period.
- The launch and end of the offer specially witnessed sharp increase in social searches for SpiceJet.
- SpiceJet was able to cross its long term competitor Indigo interms of search trends during the launch and end of the campaign.
- SpiceJet did not itself promote the campaign much.
- It did not engage its customers much.
- Community presence of SpiceJet was almost missing.
- The campaign, or the offers’ timelines were not communicated much or clearly.
- There was no proper segmentation or targeting done specifically for this campaign-resulting in a disaster.
- Spicejet’s negative brand image caused it a lot.
- SpiceJet’s mismanagement minimized the reach of the campaign and shed negative light on it.
- SpiceJet’s bad services further downsized the impact of the campaign.
- It’s negative perception, caused this campaign look like a cover up tactic just to boost sales, instead of real value addition to customers.
- As Indian consumers are price sensitive, and this offer was launched based on low price, so it was able to get at least some traction.
- Launching this campaign ahead of its competitors helped SpiceJet.
- Competitors immediately launched similar campaign, and thereby commoditizing the entire campaign.
- Different negative events took place during the campaign, mostly mishaps, which drew more limelight than the campaign itself.
- The impact was minimal in semi0urban and non-urban areas.
- Competitors’’ like Indigo had better brand image which further minimized the impact.
- SpiceJet’s recent negative brand image worked against it.
- Dynamic pricing and frequent launch of similar offers caused distrust among customers.
Conclusion and Recommendations
- In spite of the low demand period, this campaign was able to create sudden surge, though not throughout the period, but mostly during the launch and end of the campaign.
- The campaign was not promoted enough by spicejet on digital and social media. Customers were not engaged enough.
- The campaign’s reach was minimal, and mostly restricted to metro cities and metropolitans, whereas most tier 1 and tier 2 cities were unaffected by the campaign.
- Spicejet’s bad service, mismanagement took more limelight than the offer itself. So spicejet should really work on these
- Recruiting influencers could have been beneficial, which spicejet did not do.
- Competitors adapted it, and launched offers immediately, thereby reducing the traffic to spicejet significantly.
- Dynamic pricing, and frequent launch of similar offers based on only prices, by Spicejet and other low frill airlines had exasperated customers and got them accustomed, thereby minimizing the impact of the offer even further.
- Overall, the success and impact of the campaign was very minimal and spicejet’s recent negative brand image had fuelled to this.