Digital Conference

Twitter's Kevin Weil on Real-Time Marketing -- and Showing Results

Pampers, Denny's and Nokia Have Capitalized on Twitter Conversations

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The man who oversees the development of Twitter ads, VP-product for revenue Kevin Weil, weighed in on his favorite recent uses of the platform for real-time marketing and how the company is approaching measurement for advertisers at the Ad Age Digital Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Mr. Weil -- whose team will also be responsible for integrating new acquisition MoPub, the mobile ad exchange -- cited marketers that had jumped in on the Twitter conversation around the birth of the royal baby and the launch of the new iPhone. Nokia piggybacked on the iPhone hoopla, for example, by posting a cheeky photo of its own set of brightly colored Lumia phones with the text "Imitation is the best form of flattery" from its U.K. handle.

"There's an opportunity to enter the conversation in an authentic way," Mr. Weil said.

Now Twitter's challenge is to prove that marketers are actually benefiting from their promoted tweet and promoted trend campaigns. That's why Twitter has teamed up with companies like Nielsen and Datalogix, Mr. Weil said.

Twitter has worked closely with Nielsen to conduct hundreds of brand surveys, posing questions to sets of users who've either been exposed to promoted tweets by brands or not exposed, and comparing the results. (An example of a question asked on Tide's behalf: "What brand of laundry detergent do you most associate with the Miracle Stain?")

In the case of Datalogix, which has access to a vast trove of purchase data via loyalty cards, the focus is on showing that Twitter ads result in more product sales.

Twitter has conducted about 40 studies with Datalogix, looking at sets of people who exhibited similar consumer traits over a six-month period. Some of them were subsequently exposed to promoted tweets or followed the brand at the center of the study. Mr. Weil said that interacting in some way with a promoted tweet -- by replying to it or retweeting it, for example -- resulted in a 12% sales lift on average.

Hear more examples of good real-time Twitter marketing in this brief video with Mr. Weil:

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