The Art of Listening: Colgate vs. Crest

To get a greater understanding of online marketing tactics, I decided to focus in on two comparable brands, Colgate and Crest. In doing so, I used listening devices and spied on online activities pertaining to the two comparable brands.
First and foremost, I wanted to get a feel for consumer perceptions on each brand. I used to get an idea of the average rating for products of each brand and to take a look into some of the common reviews.

Colgate User Perceptions:
Average rating of 5/5
Mild flavouring
Great value
Gel Whitening options
Contains triclosan

Crest User Perceptions: 
Average rating of 5/5
Tastes good
Various flavour options
Many whitening options that work
Contains fluoride

Both brands are doing a lot in the advertising sector, with loads of coupons and deals being publicized daily through various online sites. In all of my listening searches, I used the keywords “Colgate toothpaste”, or “Crest toothpaste”, rather than just the brand name. This was done to avoid counting unrelated products.

1.       Twitter

The Colgate account is very timely in replies and seems to take complaints well, from what I’ve witnessed. However, content is less unique and personable, giving a more generic, automated feel. Within 9 hours of following Colgate, they were following me.

The Crest corporate account is extremely personable. They reply to many user complaints and comments in a timely and enthusiastic manner. However, they have yet to follow me.

2.       SocialMention

First off, I must comment that SocialMention is such an awesome site for finding statistics about a multitude of themes in real life time. It is honestly astounding how well this site tracks valuable metrics for marketers! I compared Colgate and Crest statistics on social mentions by analysing the statistics at the exact same moment in time.

According to SocialMentions, Colgate is talked about approximately every 39 minutes. Of these mentions, overwhelming amounts are neutral comments. However, in comparing the good and the bad, the positive comments outweigh the negative, 135 to 24 (6:1 sentiment). Many of the mentions are taken from multiple sites, conveying that Colgate has social leverage amongst many fields. Additionally, it was found that there is a 7% chance that Colgate will be mentioned in social media, and 26% chance that people who are talking about Colgate will repeatedly do so.

A new mention for Crest happens every 29 minutes, most of which are neutral. There are 223 positive comments to the 26 negative ones (9:1 sentiment). Overwhelming amount of twitter mentions. Additionally, it was found that there is an 8% chance that Crest will be mentioned in social media, and 42% chance that people who are talking about Crest will repeatedly do so.

3.       Facebook

Colgate’s Facebook page was set up well, with many interactive outlets. They displayed pictures, videos and continuous updates. However, much of the updated content seemed to be auto-generated, as it wasn’t very applicable to the brand. The company offered free samples to those who `liked` the page, however, many people were posting comments complaining about not receiving these samples. At the time of my search, Coalgate had 47,558 likes and 928 people talking about the brand.

Crest’s Facebook page is not very impressive in content. I did have issues viewing the page at first, as it apparently is not compatible with
secure browsers. However, the page did acquire 107,798 likes. Additionally, 1,070 people were talking about Crest at the time of my search.

4.       Ice Rocket

Using IceRocket, I was able to search for each brand’s appearance in blogs. The results were very close, with Colgate appearing in an average of 37.23 posts per day and Crest appearing in an average of 35.1 posts per day.

It is apparent that both Colgate and Crest are leading brands in the toothpaste market. Both are highly comparable and capture large portions of the market. However, according to the listening devices I employed, it appears that Crest had a greater consumer sentiment.

I used Twitter, Facebook, SocialMentions and IceRocket as listening devices. They each provided me with relevant and more importantly, unique statistics on each of the brands. These listening devices were all fee and extremely useful, which is why it is necessary for companies to take advantage of such tools. There are more specific and greater detailed programs that cost money that can also aid in monitoring ones online company activity, yet using the
free tools it a great start.

I think it’s important that companies begin using free tools to monitor their progress. It’s from this initial information that they can discover their objectives and needs. If greater information is required, then why not ante up for a little extra?

Strategy Analysis
If I were to enter the toothpaste market, I would have a pretty hard time capturing market share as it seems to be an Oligopoly. There are only a few competitors in this market, making entry slightly difficult.

However, with the market structure aside, I would definitely take advantage of many of the tools that Colgate and Crest have already obtained. Contrastingly, I would put more emphasize on my Facebook page, as the two companies seem to have issues with their page content, recency and relevance (Crest more than Colgate).

Website References!/ColgateSmile!/Crest!/ColgateSmile!/Crest


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