What are the goals of brand tracking?
Whether you start a business this year or manage a global brand, marketers engaged with feedback and insights can surely attest to how vital brand reputation is now. Consumers are “LinkedIn” and all a Twitter on social talking about brands. If you are a business that also has B2B goods, social doesn’t just imply LinkedIn as your sole listening post. B2B brands are alive and well on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the list goes on.
If you are reading this post the chances are you have have more than a casual interest and responsibility for the growth of your business or brand. You might appreciate a deeper understanding of the possible answers to the following questions:
How does your audience regard you? → How important, then is brand perception to your growing business?
To create and sustain a vibrant business and brand has never been more challenging. We require a strategy to maintain that competitive edge and to build brand equity to weather the rapid pace of market-force changes. Changes like; fierce new B2B competition, shifting consumer demographics, and technological innovation.
It’s essential to stay ahead of the curve with a strong marketing strategy and your finger on the pulse of brand health metrics. 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 elevating your decision support game, and here is why…
How does tracking targeting campaigns help measure brand awareness?
Brand tracking studies permit B2B marketers the ability to measure brand awareness, brand image, and brand growth across product category. Tracking provides the brand manager and marketing teams 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. Which helps you manage your reputation by leverging your strengths and managing your weaknesses better.
But probably the most significant of the tracking tools would be that you can model a Net Promoter Score while at the same time you also get a read on many other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which help you understand metrics about the brand customer loyalty and awareness:
- Overall Satisfaction for your Brand
- Likelihood to Recommend Score for Products
- Likelihood to Switch to the Competition
- Test your Marketing Messages
- Rate the Competition
- Collect Ratings for Products and Services
- Brand Awareness, Usage and Attitudes
Brand tracking campaigns measure your brand performance from the viewpoint of the customer and your prospects, suppliers, and stakeholders. Because you collect data on an on-going basis and at regular intervals, you have the ability to accurately detect and measure changes in the marketplace (both obvious and subtle). 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.
Keep Your Tracking Program On the Rails - Go with Global Audience Experts
What tools can help you with brand tracking?
If you want to build actionable insights and measure the performance of your company, custom brand, product or services or if you are trying to tune the program you are running today by honing in on more precise target audiences, you are in the driver’s seat.
It’s important to leverage several data sources and channels where your target audience and customer is creating 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
You can create listening posts and data collection to measure your company and brand performance with web analytics tools. 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 or company or product level is simple with modern SEO analytics tools. With a media analytics platform like SEMRush or Buzzsumo, either is a great 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 to build attribution models from media monitoring and understand who your influencers are, track engagement and glean qualitative, rich data to act on 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 keep track of 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.
This can be done at the various stages on the customer journey:
- 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 after usage interval periods) 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 it is important to monitor social media and track your website visits and conversions, these tactics alone will never provide you with rich attitudinal insights which are 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. 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
You will need a marketing research survey product platform to design a questionnaire or online survey to collect data, and this is where planning is key. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind for a survey that will be deployed 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 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?
This may seem like a tall order but many modern survey tools like Decipher (www.focusvision.com), give you the ability to create lightning-fast surveys with question types that engage the participant and move the survey along, even 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 that 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 personally identifiable information (PII) during the survey, or as part of a focused campaign.
Online sampling and it’s targeting for the precise audience, whether they be 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 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 market data. If you would like to know more about improving your brand tracking programs and audience targeting:
Jim Whaley is CEO of OvationMR and posts content frequently on The Standard Ovation and other marketing industry blogs and media.
OvationMR is a global provider of first-party data for marketers seeking solutions that require insights for informed business strategy. OvationMR is a leader in delivering marketing research and reliable results across a variety of industry sectors around the globe consistently for market research professionals and management consultants. Visit: https://www.ovationmr.com.
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