Amanda Jeppson

Senior Marketing Manager, Research & Insights

Fetch Rewards

Winner 2023

Amanda Jeppson

How did you get into social intelligence? What was your career path to your current position?

My path to social intelligence was serendipitous!

While in graduate school, I discovered a passion for research after taking lots of methods courses. My early career leveraged those qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods to study faculty, students, and the college to workforce transition. From that academic role, I transitioned into using those skills at a local school district.

This is where the “leap” happens.

My personality is very collection-driven when it comes to knowledge. I love learning new things, applying traditional techniques in novel ways, and gathering new methods to more completely answer questions about the world around me. I essentially collect research methods.

One day I came across a Social Media Data Analyst role at Campus Sonar, a social listening agency that works with colleges and universities. I didn’t know what social listening was, but it sounded like an interesting approach to research and answering questions. I thought my skill set would transfer, and fortunately those working at Campus Sonar agreed. There I learned the true power of online data and cut my teeth on social listening.

Ultimately, I wanted to go deeper–to intimately understand a brand and leverage social intelligence to drive action in service of specific goals. The irresistible challenge of lifting the social listening capability off of the ground at an up-and-coming startup, Fetch, led me to where I am today.

What do you think makes you successful in your work?

I’m a curious person who enjoys searching for knowledge, identifying patterns, and uncovering anomalies. This inquisitiveness motivates me to creatively approach research questions. Empathy is my superpower and is important not only for evangelizing social listening within a brand, but also when using data to tell a meaningful story. Additionally, I’m comfortable in ambiguous situations. Social intelligence is relatively new compared to more longstanding research methods. We are in an exciting position to be the giants whose shoulders others will stand on in the future of social intelligence.

Fetch’s culture also inspires me to keep elevating and innovating with social intelligence. They trust me to think bigger and bolder with the approach, they give me space to be playful, they grant me time with key players and leadership to talk about the power of the capability, and they allow me flexibility to build and explore in my own way.

Finally, a world-class social listening partner (Brandwatch for us) goes a long way. With so many online mentions, a good technical solution is priceless.

What are the key skills that have contributed to your success?

Relationship-building is critical. I frequently meet with teams to understand their unique goals, provide education about social intelligence, and brainstorm ways to use social data to move the needle. Early on at Fetch I did “roadshows,” meeting with members of almost every department at Fetch–this was only the beginning of that bridge building!

Communication, especially tying social data to insights, actions, and outcomes, is equally important. I need to distill findings from social intelligence into a digestible form that leads to action by isolating key takeaways and suggesting viable actions, all while supporting those insights with quick bites of data.

I’m a planner, but also open-minded. At Fetch I’ve operated within a Build-Refine-Grow-Innovate Framework. I started with quick, high impact projects to immediately prove value (e.g., brand health measurement, campaign tracking, etc.) and then expanded those projects, eventually taking social intelligence in exciting new directions. This scaffolding allowed me to think about projects, outcomes, and how to prioritize the work.

What motivates you in your work? What makes you want to keep working in social intelligence?

I love a good challenge. Working in social intelligence is hard, but it’s darn exciting. Social data rapidly changes because people change, platforms change, trends change, and I get to see all of that daily. People live so much of their lives online and most information is digitized – I can’t
imagine NOT wanting to always work in social intelligence, especially from a consumer insights perspective. We need to meet people where they are…and people are online.

What makes social data special compared to other data sources?

Social data is FAST. Other data sources take more time to prepare, but there is a speed to social intelligence that makes it incredibly efficient.

Social data is authentic and there’s a lot of it. People may be more personal online compared to a more manufactured environment. I appreciate that I can observe people’s conversations about their experiences–that’s really meaningful. Furthermore, social data goes beyond what is being said. We can learn who, where, when, why, and how those conversations happen.

Social data is also another research approach to be mixed with other methods! We can use social intelligence to inform our understanding of quantitative data and to guide surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

What does being a social intelligence evangelist mean in the context of your work?

Being a social intelligence evangelist at Fetch is multi-pronged; it is educating others across the company about the capability, responsibly leveraging it to impact business goals through actionable insights, and inspiring new and innovative ways to unlock its potential.

It is about believing in the approach, knowing its strengths and weaknesses, elevating it to the same level as more long-established research methods, and fearlessly pursuing its use throughout Fetch to benefit the brand, our users, and our partners.

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