Hitch is getting emotional – introducing BEAR UPSTREAM

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 by Jon Cornish

Bears Upstream

hitch on tour!

We’re heading across the pond this week for the World Social Marketing Conference, and so we’re getting ready for some culture shock. ‘Sidewalk’ instead of ‘pavement’ etc. But one of the most significant surprises in our preparation was the discovery that David Attenborough is not brilliantly known in the United States – the radio station Z100 New York thought he was a voiceover artist. A bit like calling Da Vinci ‘a doodler’. That said a few people will recognize him. A few will probably think of him as the buzzkill who didn’t change his name to Boaty McBoatface in protest at that nautical nomenclature debacle last year.

because ‘sloth upstream’ wouldn’t sound as good…

But these Attenborough-less Americans are missing out, because anyone who is familiar with Dave’s dulcet tones will have their own memories of him narrating incredible scenes in nature. Possibly my own favourite – other than that randy sloth coaxed into trying swimming by its rampant libido – is the sight of grizzly bears heading upstream for food. They’re counter-intuitively heading against the current, to find food. Because when you see them reach their destination you see that this wasn’t a daft move or a lucky punt – Big Dave tells us they are greeted with the scene of hundreds of salmon, madly splashing, as they head there to lay their eggs. The bears know that this is where they get the most bang for their buck.

If they were downstream they’d have to pick off stragglers, and make do. But instead they make the journey, and lie on their backs in the stream, making salmon-angels (they may not actually make salmon-angels).

At Hitch we think it’s time to start learning from the bear upstream approach. Not that Hitch is becoming slightly feral and staff lunches are becoming more arduous, but more that we’re dead passionate about establishing insight-based, strategic approaches to planning. Ensuring the work is the most effective it can be.

This is the premise behind BEAR UPSTREAM, taking our specialisms to where our efforts have the greatest impact.

So we go upstream, to commissioners and decision-makers, and we offer genuine insight into attitudes, and social context. This in itself is nothing new. Upstream has been around for years, and market researchers are big on understanding qualitative reasoning behind decisions.

and how does that make you feel?

But emotions and how they affect decisions are notoriously difficult to gauge. Polls can be miles off, anyone vaguely familiar with the US election or the Brexit vote will know that people’s decisions are often more visceral than that. It’s not something cold polling in a sterile environment can reveal. But at the same time, for the first time in human history, we have a huge volume of opinionated data recorded in digital form for analysis*.

Through our BEAR UPSTREAM emotional analytics powered by Adoreboard, we are able to show how the public or your stakeholders FEEL about the issues you’re dealing with.

We sift through raw data on social media, emails, interviews, and drag out the emotions behind the comments. The software identifies the sentiments expressed about a particular subject, or company, or issue and produces a scorecard, detailing the emotions associated with it.

This means we can give genuine, actionable insights into how your target segments need to be engaged with, and what their priorities are. Through a tried and tested research approach, offering co-creation, qualitative and quantitative research, we work these insights into briefs and campaigns to ensure your work resonates on an EMOTIONAL level.

time to get your metaphorical paws wet

We’ve been given the exciting opportunity to present this new concept package at the World Social Marketing Conference in Washington DC this week, and we’ll be walking through just how emotional analytics can shape campaigns, engage with the zeitgeist, and go viral. Come along to our workshop ‘Emotionally Intelligent Insights Connecting Better with Customers’ Emotions’ at Studio D, 10:35am on Wednesday and see BEAR UPSTREAM for yourself!

And if this analogy went straight over your head because you have no idea who David Attenborough is, have a look on YouTube, the guy who did the voiceover of Adele’s ‘Hello’ video has produced some cool nature stuff as well.

If you’re ready to start fishing, but can’t come to the conference, click here to register for our free BEAR UPSTREAM webinar.

*Prof Bing Liu





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