Brand Tracking to Measure what Matters
Elevate performance with brand tracking research by connecting to the right target audiences
What is brand tracking for business-to-business organizations?
Brand tracking is the continuous process of measuring what matters in your business and typically what matters is brand awareness, loyalty, satisfaction, and where you stack up against the competition.
If you are reading this post then chances are you have more than a casual interest in and responsibility for the growth and reputation of a business or a brand.
You might also appreciate a deeper understanding of the possible answers to the following questions…
- How do customers and prospects regard your product or brand when comparing you with your competitors?
- How important then is brand perception to your growing business?
Creating and sustaining a vibrant B2B business and brand awareness has never been more challenging. It requires a data-driven strategy to maintain that competitive edge and build brand equity to weather the rapid pace of market-force changes.
A B2B tracking study will monitor, reveal, and measure the impact of new competition, shifting consumer demographics, and technological innovation in your marketplace. It’s essential for brand positioning to stay ahead of the curve with a strong marketing strategy and your finger on the brand health metrics pulse. Now more than ever.
Being responsible for the brand strategy, you already know having access to customer experience and awareness data is crucial. A brand tracker is a great option to consider for elevating your decision support game, and here is why…
How do brand tracker campaigns help in tracking key performance indicators?
Brand tracking studies permit B2B marketers to measure brand awareness, brand image, and brand growth across product categories. Tracking provides the brand manager and marketing teams with critical key metrics about brand campaigns that affect perception:
- An Advertising Campaign
- Marketing Activities and Marketing Campaigns
- Product Announcements
Brand tracking metrics also provide tracking data on brand experience and brand identity. The brand tracker helps you manage your reputation by leveraging your strengths and managing your weaknesses.
One of the more important tracking tools would be that you can model a Net Promoter Score. But, at the same time, you also get a read on many other Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which help you understand the brand, customer loyalty, and awareness metrics.
What are some key brand tracking measurement checklists items?
- Overall Satisfaction for your Brand
- Likelihood to Recommend (NPS Score) for Products/Brand
- Likelihood to Switch to the Competition
- Test your Marketing Messages
- Rate the Competition
- Collect Ratings for Products and Services
- Brand Awareness, Usage & Attitudes
Brand tracking campaigns measure your brand performance from the viewpoint of
- the customer
- your prospects,
- suppliers, and
Because you collect data on an ongoing basis and at regular intervals, you can
- accurately detect and measure changes in the marketplace.
Tracking creates actionable feedback, which has significant implications for your
- marketing strategy,
- marketing efforts, and
- your business.
” Becoming number one is easier than remaining number one. ” – Bill Bradley.
What tools can help you with brand tracking?
If you are building actionable insights or measuring your
- company’s performance,
- custom brand,
- or services or,
you want to target the right audience: you are in the driver’s seat
It’s essential to leverage several data sources and channels where your target audience and customer create engagement along the customer journey.
For B2B buyers, the path to purchase typically looks like this:
Google Search → Website Visits → Content Downloads → Reviews → Referrals → Sales Interactions → Trial → Buy
With web analytics tools, you can create listening posts and data collection to measure your company and brand performance. Then, deploy Google Analytics to measure the performance of your paid, organic, direct, and referral traffic sources and the respective conversion rate.
Listening to your social media mentions at the brand, company, or product level is simple with modern SEO analytics tools. With a media analytics platform like SEMRush or BuzzSumo, either is an excellent app for listening and alerting you to all mentions of the brand tags you define.
You are now ready to capture (at the moment of mention) all the positive (and negative) social buzz and brand associations on:
- LinkedIn and others, or the
- Press and other media
You can start building attribution models from media monitoring, understand who your influencers are, track engagement, and glean qualitative, rich data from acting quickly. You can integrate Data with quantitative brand tracking and social web analytics data.
Given your audience is now exposed to your company and brand via:
- Referral websites where you have placed product or thought-leadership content
- Organic search with Rich Snippet Data
- Paid search ads or by
- directly entering your website (via brand recall)
By leveraging web analytics again, you can monitor and act on metrics like your target audience click-through rate and track the conversion rate and sales.
You can trigger short customer experience event surveys after these conversion events by triggering an email invitation to the customer at the various stages of the customer journey by…
- Landing on the site and bouncing
- On downloading content (after some time has passed)
- Completing a Contact Form and being contacted either by email, phone, or in-person sales visit
- At purchase ( and key touchpoints) to track customer retention
- Managing your social media platform daily and deploy social listening for audience engagement on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook for opportunities to create content via customer testimonials or even mentions of dis-satisfaction with a sales experience
How do you measure brand success?
While monitoring social media and tracking your website visits and conversions is essential, these tactics alone will never provide you with rich attitudinal insights synchronized with your markets and benchmarked with competitive data. Designing a survey that tracks your brand performance accurately is critical to success. So also is building the best market research methods for sampling…
Market research professional services firms are great resources to help guide you through the steps of what works in practice vs. theory when it comes to executing a brand tracking study for your industry versus one that comes from a template from a software tool service. In addition, they will have experience developing real-life practical “operationally-efficient” online sample designs and questionnaires that will serve you well and save you time and resources in the long run.
How to create a brand tracking survey for high customer engagement
Thinking about what you want to ask is a crucial goal to design a questionnaire. In addition, you must consider respondent participation and quality when programming your online survey to collect data, where planning is vital.
Important survey considerations when deploying for brand tracking research
- Surveys should be engaging – the survey should be focused and on point, the organization should try hard to refrain from asking every question they can think to ask.
- Surveys should be relevant for the survey audience – the survey should be targeted to the audience whom you are sampling. Don’t throw spaghetti on walls to see what sticks.
- Surveys should load fast on any device – Survey should be mobile optimized and use modern tools and platforms that have sufficient resources. Use survey tools with creative optimized survey question types.
- Surveys should take no longer than 10-12 minutes – Seriously, you can get overall brand, purchase intent, awareness, brand health, and messages in there. All of it. You’re going again in a week/month anyway, right?
Survey tools like Decipher (www.focusvision.com) give you the ability to create lightning-fast surveys with question types that engage the participant. It is important to move the survey along, especially when you have several purchase-intent, brand attributes, and a brand awareness section to complete.
Like Decipher, many of today’s online survey tools have built-in analytics and reporting to provide quick access to marketing research results and for running analysis on key metrics.
The great thing about all these cloud tools is that while they pack the power to provide analytics to fuel a large global enterprise, they are equally affordable for most small businesses.
How does brand tracking work?
To effectively have your brand tracked depends on many factors:
- Designing a questionnaire that measures what matters is the first step.
- Taking action to monitor and understand the data as it is coming and calibrating and,
- Making adjustments to your business as you understand and interpret the data from the brand tracker and other important benchmark sources.
Building the right sampling plan for your brand tracking research is also critical, which includes understanding your B2B customer personas and building appropriate audience targeting. Your options for surveying a subset of your target market are:
- Using a list source service,
- Your company CRM database like Salesforce or Hubspot, and sending surveys out via email campaigns or,
- A market research panel for your sample source for survey participants, mainly if you are doing brand positioning and require non-customers for competitive data.
No matter which way you go, it is essential that you get the targeting right, and you are inviting the right people to engage with you in the brand tracking program.
If you are using an online panel as part of your solution, your market research panel provider should work with you to validate their panel members with your customer records. Do this whenever panel members are willing to provide you their personally identifiable information (PII) during a survey, or as part of a focused campaign.
Online sampling and it’s targeting for the precise audience, whether they be a consumer or B2B audiences, have never been more available, reliable, and practical for continuous metrics tracking requirements. To create continuous tracking campaigns with the precise B2B audience online is today both realistic and affordable across a broad spectrum of industries, job functions, and titles.
When is B2B brand tracking a good idea?
Basically, whenever you feel the need to be a data-driven organization where your innovation, marketing, and performance management is all driven by real-time customer and marketplace insights and dynamics. If you would like to know more about improving your brand tracking programs and audience targeting:
Jim Whaley is a business leader, market research expert, and writer. He posts frequently on The Standard Ovation and other industry blogs.
OvationMR is a global provider of first-party data for those seeking solutions that require information for informed business decisions.
OvationMR is a leader in delivering insights and reliable results across a variety of industry sectors around the globe consistently for market research professionals and management consultants.
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