Ruder Finn launches its first analytics tool: Beacon

The agency bills the tool as a way for users to "integrate real-time social listening with real-world data."

Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden
Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden

NEW YORK: Ruder Finn has launched Beacon, its first analytics tool.

Beacon allows users to measure social chatter against real-world data, such as sales, calendar events, and the weather. A release bills Beacon as a way to "provide deeper insights into real-world consumer behavior."

"There’s so much data that if we can contextualize it the right way to mine insights, that’s the home run and that’s what we’re going for," said Ruder Finn chief digital officer Scott Schneider.

Applications range from analyzing retail foot traffic and e-commerce data against social impressions, to predicting and influencing behaviors and purchase decisions via weather patterns and geo-targeting. More are under development.

"It’s fair to say we see opportunities around looking at the social landscape and the cultural moments that drive the Internet, such as the Super Bowl and Game of Thrones," Schneider said. "We think there’s a way to look at those things and where they cross with clients’ brand truths. We hope to roll out things around that soon."

Beacon is built on real-time intelligent listening, micro-influencer mapping, real-world data augmentation, and a dashboard that can visualize the data.

Beacon has been in beta for six months and already serves several multinational brands in the pharmaceutical, transportation, and beauty and skincare industries, according to a release.

Schneider noted that competition in the analytics tool space is stiff, adding that there is no industry standard – every agency has a different model. While holding company agencies rely on scale, boutique agencies provide customized social listening, he concluded.

"The playing field is relatively even; every agency has some kind of analytics offering," Schneider said. "We needed to figure out how to be smartest people in the room [and how] to be strategic [to] give us a competitive edge."

The agency is still deciding on how to monetize the product.

Earlier this year, Ruder Finn launched RiskSTAT, a cloud-based reputation risk management system.

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