Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

3:50 —’s Megan Uithoven introduces Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL, TX, OK, NM, MT’s Senior Director of Digital Communications, Lynde O’Brien.

3:51 — Lynde: This is an internal-facing case study about how our organization changed our views about how we’re approaching social media. At the beginning, our C-suite thought of social media as more of a “nice to have.”

3:52 — Lynde: We created a hypothesis: Transform from social media to the direction of social commerce. We wanted to move beyond social as a marketing tool and into the use for business operations.

3:53 — Lynde: This roadmap I’m sharing here is basically what happened in retrospect. Our journey map to success: Identify the need > Talk the talk > Walk the walk > Do it now/get started > Create alignment.

3:54 — After the first open enrollment, we were really excited to get social media involved in marketing communications. However, social media wasn’t mentioned by our executives. We needed to identify the need for social:

  • We had varying channel methodologies to measure lead cost
  • The data was often missing or unconfirmed
  • There were multiple sources reporting different social attribution numbers

3:55 — Lynde: Overall, social needed a seat at the table. And we needed to talk the talk about why social was necessary for our organization.

3:56 — Lynde shares some questions they explored:

  • Who is doing it well? We took a step back and aligned with more advanced channels.
  • What is being measured? We asked questions like: What metrics influence decisions? What defines a lead in social? What elements build a good story?
  • How is it measured? A lead is a lead is a lead. We established definitions and more accurate tracking.

3:58 — Lynde: Next, we had to walk the walk. We had to take different data sources and put it into a report that executives could understand. We implemented an integrated tracking system using Adobe Campaign Manager, Webtrends, and Shoutlet. We also created internal processes: campaign tracking creation and tracking IDs repository. Lastly, we segmented our data per social channel, per campaign, and per state location.

3:59 — Lynde: One issue we ran into was not knowing how to track data on our sub-domain, and therefore all the work we were doing there wasn’t being translated correctly in the tracking data.

4:01 — Lynde: We still weren’t getting the full backing we needed from executives, so we finally decided that if we can’t affect the enterprise attribution model, we can create our own! We identified current resources and created a compelling story.

4:03 — Lynde: We created alignment:

  1. Published our own attribution dashboard
  2. Grabbed the right attention and achieved acceptance
  3. Prove the value of our data and the power of social
  4. Obtained the seat at the table!

4:04 — Lynde: Even though we had won social a seat with at the table in the organization, we had to be honest with ourselves that our numbers were not where we wanted them to be just yet.

4:06 — Lynde shares their roadmap to the future: Measure, test, reassess, segmentation

4:07 — Lynde shares steps for your journey to success:

  1. Start with a Hypothesis: What is your value proposition?
  2. Align your Definitions: Make sure you are using the same vernacular as the rest of the marketing teams
  3. Adopt the Best Measurement Practices: Find a template for existing attribution models
  4. Create a Pilot Project: Make it manageable, make it scalable
  5. Communicate: Share your outcomes


Q: How did you align your own attribution model with your organization’s model?

A: Lynde: We had a lot of discussions about the “happy path” our customers would go down to purchasing. But it turns out there was no real “happy path.” Since we knew people were coming to our social channels for educational information, we made the case to demonstrate that if people were coming to our social channels, they were more likely to purchase with the information they had obtained there. We were at least able to show that social was a part of the buyer’s purchase experience.

Q: Did you pull any insights in particular out of the dashboard you created for executives?

A: Lynde: We first got a lot of executive input to see what insights and KPIs they were looking for and added footnotes to explain certain data points. We also contributed soft KPIs like crises avoided, video views, etc. to resonate more with our executive audience.

Q: What was the hardest step in hindsight?

A: Lynde: The hardest part was since we are an old, boring insurance company with legacy systems, a ton of random data, etc., we needed to get reconciliation with updating the way we do things and getting executive buy-in for social.

Q: On the creative side, was your agency able to help you with the creative content across channels?

A: For a while we worked together on creating images and other content for our educational component in social media. But now, our agency is creating content for global campaigns that can be integrated across all channels.

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