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How To Use Meltwater As A Research Tool: Agency Edition

Jess Smith

Nov 26, 2023

What do the most successful agencies have in common? They all use market research for campaign inspiration, business growth and an advantage over their competitors. These agencies are more closely aligned to potential clients when pitching and have a broader understanding of the landscape that helps them develop and maintain meaningful relationships with clients.

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How Is Meltwater Relevant for Agencies in General?

Getting into the hearts and minds of (potential) clients is no easy feat - unless you have the right tools for the job. You’re spread across many high-profile accounts conducting client meetings, creating marketing plans, social media strategies and writing content. But you also have to find the time to research new ideas, potential partnerships and competitor performance to ensure you're staying ahead of the game. When you do find the time, rather than endlessly googling and inputting information into multiple spreadsheets (this can get very messy very quickly!) use a tool like Meltwater for agencies to centralise information into one place and get instant, well-rounded results. All you need to do is identify the keywords most relevant to your brand and business, which can be anything from product names and, industries to competitor brands. You can then filter the searches to run across news and social, geographic locations, interests and much more.

So, with Meltwater, you're identifying user wants, needs and behaviours, in order to create exciting strategies and reports that can inspire new campaigns for your clients.

Meltwater's founder, Jorn Lyseggen, already identified the powerful impact of data back in 2016, demonstrated in his book 'Outside Insights' a guide to breaking out of the ordinary and adopting an external data and analysis fuelled approach to decision making and strategy.

At its core, it is an exploration into finding insights in the data that consumers and companies leave behind online. Using this approach, you’re able to explore new avenues and get deeper insights into your audiences, industry and competitor landscape, as well as more information on where your clients and potential clients are situated. This hugely expands the traditional ‘brand mentions’ model of media monitoring, allowing Meltwater to use the vast amount of data produced across the globe to provide a fuller, rounder and more insightful picture for its clients.

Our suite of listening and monitoring capabilities allows you to garner in-depth audience insights that aid in your detailed consumer research.

Improve your reputation, generate leads, uncover new opportunities and secure more clients

We regularly examine the impact social listening can have for organisations, whether they are: big, small, consumer-focused, B2B, B2C, a nonprofit or government department. Building on this, however, on can also use Meltwater for research, be it market, consumer, competitor or business. Below are six real-world use cases that demonstrate Meltwater’s power as a research tool.

Tip: Are you looking for more information about how to use Meltwater? Visit the Meltwater Academy for courses and more detailed information.

Monitor the Market

First of all, with 10 years of retrospective online news data, 15 months of social data, and the largest global online source base, Meltwater gives you access to a wealth of information. In using the platform, you can quickly and easily gain valuable market insights.

Identify customer pain points that you can support or highlight in your proposals. For instance, if you want to see the public perception of a potential client's new product launch, you can search for mentions over specific time periods and compare these results. You can also highlight where you could help them improve reach or share of voice – perfect for a product proposal. Or identify a new market, compare what is already available and find a gap, or before exploring new regions.

Want to learn more about our media intelligence solution for agencies? Fill out the and get a free consultation.

Deal with Reduced Client Budgets

There is no doubt that many marketing departments were heavily affected by the pandemic. In 2021 marketing budgets have been the hardest hit plummeting to 6.4% of the overall company revenue in 2021. Less than the 11% in 2020. Marketing leaders expected budgets to bounce back in 2021 but this didn’t happen as a result of the pandemic continuing. This meant a lot of previously outsourced marketing work moved in-house over the past 12 months leading to a short decline in agency spend. Therefore, it has never been more important to position your marketing agency as an integrated part of the in-house marketing team, adding intrinsic value, Meltwater can help you do that.

According to Gartner we, as marketers, are at a pivotal point in shaping the marketing of tomorrow. With the ever-changing and more demanding needs of consumers taking centre stage, as well as reduced client budgets for reaching these consumers, marketing plans and strategies need to be as flexible and changing as our consumers are. 

Those companies that rose to the challenges of the pandemic, and upscaled their ecommerce and digital processes are now reaping the rewards of knuckling down and using their initiative. As a result, owned, paid and earned channels – are dominating marketing spend accounting for 72.2% of the total marketing budget.

But many companies did not fare so well. Using Meltwater, you can utilise this as an opportunity to show clients how working with an agency can improve their digital share of voice and in turn increase sales and generate leads. Want to learn more about our media intelligence solution for agencies? Fill out the and get a free consultation.

Monitor Competitors

The Meltwater Media Intelligence Suite is also an effective tool for competitor research. Using the unlimited keyword search functionality, organisations can track competitors, products, individual campaigns and hashtags. Benchmarking client mentions against competitors offers you an overview of the market and the share that your client occupies. This gives you the advantage of a bird's eye view into the full competitive landscape helping clients base their marketing decisions on data and proving your value to them.

Tip: Learn more about competitor monitoring

Once you have an in-depth understanding of competitor strengths and weaknesses you'll have better insight into smart ways to proceed. In fact, by keeping tabs on competitors, you can use these digital breadcrumbs to inform your own business strategy quite specifically. For example, if a competitor lists a high volume of job postings when setting up a new customer insight team, you are able to make an educated decision on what their focus will likely be for the next year. This way organisations can stay informed when it comes to their competitors’ latest products, campaigns, stakeholders and share price – after all, knowledge is power.

A series of shapes moving along the ground in what looks to be a race. Behind each shape is a white trail, giving the appearance of movement. This image is being used as the header image for a blog on How to Build a Successful Influencer Strategy because, like a race, many companies are competing with one another for the most likes, traffic, and engagement on social media.

Listen to Your Clients' Consumers

Helping your clients 'listen' to their customers' needs is the holy grail of any successful business. Using social data, you are able to build up a picture of their audience demographics, learning about the key influencers in this space and areas for improvement. Social listening also helps you identify changing customer behaviours as you can adapt the datasets over specific time periods. 

According to Gartner, 62% of CMOs adapted their channel priority in 2021 – responding to changing customer behaviour. How often do you think your clients review what channels are working best? Where their consumers are online? or which channels those customers are using to consume specific types of content? This is a fantastic opportunity for your agency to deliver real value and answer these questions before the client even knows they have a problem! Find out what motivates and inspires the target audience to interact with their brand.

Research User Behaviour

Find out how consumers behave online - when they're most active, which brands and channels they interact with and what kind of content engages them the most:

  • Audience-Centric Social Listening
  • Instant Consumer Insights
  • Engagement Metrics Across Channels
  • Sentiment

Learn What They Love

Get rich insights into the different segments and communities interacting with your brand across social media, as well as the content and influencers that inspire them.

The insights gleaned from the Meltwater platform will make it easier for you to build more targeted and effective campaigns for your clients and meet KPIs as a result.

Want to learn more about our media intelligence solution for agencies? Fill out the and get a free consultation.

Perform Campaign Research

In discovering more about the consumer, or prospective client, you can target campaigns to different audiences or locations. For instance, if Coca Cola identifies that young people in London (who like their product) have a shared interest in online makeup tutorials, they can seek out appropriate brand ambassadors to maximise the efficacy of a localised campaign.

They may also find that an older demographic of consumers in the UK choose Waitrose over any other supermarket, and use this as a basis to produce promotional material catering to that audience.

Campaign research is applicable to any industry. Even pharmaceutical companies can use social listening to filter and access online forums, where patients turn to discuss their health issues. By creating targeted searches and examining the language customers use in these conversations, they can create relatable and educational content.

Additionally, Meltwater can be used as an internal campaign analysis tool, to demonstrate the effectiveness and prove ROI. Using a number of metrics, such as reach, volume, social echo and many more, you are able to report on campaigns, past and present. This means you can still pull analytics on a campaign even if a prospective client released it months ago, helping you align more closely with the client's brand.

Make Use of Interactive Reporting Options

With the Meltwater platform, you can create shareable dashboards that analyse key analytics from each campaign. These are interactive and allow you to choose which widgets are most relevant for your reporting. Shareability means you can generate a campaign in minutes and send them over to your team or client.

Use Meltwater for Your Own Agency

Market research isn’t just for clients. 

If you’re not conducting research for your own agency you are missing out on opportunities to gain more clients and business.

Conducting market research can also glean insights for the agency itself and understand your place in the digital landscape.

Research for business decisions and new acquisitions can be easily achieved in the platform, whether this is stakeholder research and corporate tracking, pitching or researching a potential sponsor or partner. For example, Banks can use the data in Meltwater to deliver insights to leadership teams on topics that could affect partnerships and investments, identifying the potential risks.

This can also be useful for sales teams, as a form of lead generation. By creating targeted boolean searches for people who have a problem or a need for products or services, sales teams can reach out to warmer leads. For example, a company that produces live chatbots, can identify energy and water companies who are being mentioned on Twitter for having no live chat option or poor customer service and reach out to help them solve this issue.

Get a Free Meltwater Demo for Your Agency

Meltwater for agencies can be used in a number of creative ways. For instance, an insurance company uses Meltwater to keep track of regional news reports of break-ins which they use to inform ad-spend on bus stops, making sure to place their ads for comprehensive home insurance are placed in the most affected areas. Imagine the creative ways you could use the platform for yourself and your clients – what information could help you with your agency needs?

We're happy to help you find out. Drop us a line below if you’d like more information on how Meltwater media intelligence can improve the quality of your research.