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Twitter and Marketing Research: How High Is United Airlines Flying?

Case 9 10 2018 003
Languages : 
  • English
  • Social media,
  • Twitter,
  • Sentiment analysis,
  • Service crisis,
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • Marketing research
Year of production : 
Registration date : 
Teaching notes included : 

The question asked in this exercise is how United Airlines (United) can use social media/Twitter metrics to measure customer sentiment and brand engagement. United has recently been at the centre of several customer service crises that have no doubt impacted its level of customer satisfaction. The airline must take steps to address its major weaknesses and restore its competitive advantage.

By using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in a social media environment (Twitter), United can collect several types of data regarding customer satisfaction, engagement, and preferences. Gaining additional insights into its major weaknesses will help the airline develop more impactful strategies and improve its performance.

Primary domain : 
Marketing  - Sales
Secondary domain : 
Not available
Sectors : 
  • Transportation and warehousing
Source : 
HEC Montréal
Type : 
Traditional case (Descriptive or analytical case)
Type of data used in the production of the case : 
Factual data that is public and free of potentially litigious content
Event location : 
Year of start of the event : 
Year the event ended : 
Business size : 
Large enterprise
Main themes covered

AI in managerial and marketing research

Teaching objectives

Used in conjunction with the accompanying technical note (“Note on the Contribution of Twitter to Marketing Research”), this exercise gives students the opportunity to do the following:

  • Discuss the applicability of AI in business settings: learn about the application and uses of AI in managerial research in general and marketing research in particular.
  • Understand the contribution of Twitter to marketing research: identify tweet metrics and how they can help managers improve their social media strategies.
  • Present their conclusions and make recommendations: Answer a set of five questions using results collected by an independent consulting firm and make implementable recommendations.
Concepts and theories related to the case

Sentiment analysis