As a marketer, you’ll be familiar with the traditional methods of measuring the success of your campaigns.
But while metrics like ‘return on ad spend’ (ROAS) and ‘reach’ tell you in the broadest sense how your ad performed, they don’t actually provide much insight. Wouldn’t you like to know how the campaign changed consumers’ views about your brand? Whether it prompted them to try your products for the first time, or return after moving to a competitor?
Imagine if you could find out how your ad campaign had positively influenced brand loyalty or increased the share of mind your brand enjoys. Wouldn’t that be a great way to prove the value of your team to your CEO?
Say hello to brand tracking
Brand tracking lets you go beyond the nuts and bolts of campaign measurement to find out if the assets really resonated with consumers. You start by defining a core set of questions to ask consumers, designed to measure the health of your brand. The survey is run prior to the launch of your campaign to take baseline measurements.
Once the campaign is live, or after it has completed, you run the survey again to see how the metrics have changed. Here are the six core KPIs you can measure with brand tracking:
This metric helps you understand how deeply your brand is embedded in the consumer psyche. Let’s say you’re a snack brand, when people think about snacks, how often do you come to mind? Survey respondents are asked to give free-text answers, meaning their responses are not influenced. It can be very hard for challenger brands to win share of mind from well-established incumbents, but small gains here can be meaningful.
Even if your unprompted recall is low, this next metric can help put things into perspective. By asking consumers, ‘Which of the following snack brands have you heard of?’ for example, and then providing a list including your own brand, you can see if your campaign has succeeded in increasing this prompted awareness.
A big part of building a brand is achieving visual recognition. Consumers are shown a selection of brand logos in one category and asked to select all that they recognise. This metric will tell you how likely your products are to be recognised on-shelf and associated with your advertising.
It’s great if people recognise and remember your brand, but, as a marketer, what you really want is for that to translate into purchases. For this, you need to ask consumers about their likelihood to buy. You can qualify your survey respondents by asking whether or not they have bought your brand before (purchase history), allowing you to compare results from existing customers and prospective first time buyers.
This metric comes from putting purchase history together with purchase intent. Looking at how likely those who have bought from you before are to buy from you again helps you start to measure brand loyalty. Are customers planning to stick with your brand going forward? What impact has your advertising campaign had on that?
Net Promoter Score
This metric gives you an instant snapshot of the general sentiment towards your brand. Respondents are asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your brand to a friend. Based on their rating, customers are then classified as either brand detractors, passives or promoters. The Net Promoter Score is determined by subtracting the percentage of customers who are detractors from the percentage who are promoters. The results are expressed as a number, which can range from -100 to 100. An uplift in this number is a good way to know if your advertising campaign was received positively.
Gain added insight
By replicating a template survey each time, any of these six KPIs can be consistently measured, providing quantitative data to assess the success of your campaigns. However, you can also take the opportunity to gather qualitative data for even greater context.
You can ask consumers to provide free text answers to questions such as, ‘What words would you use to describe X brand?’ or ‘What do you think about X brand?’. The answers given to these questions can tell you if the messaging in your advertising has landed. How have sentiments changed in comparison to the survey you ran before the campaign?
It’s also possible to gain this insight in a way that can be more quickly analysed by using fixed choice answers. For example, you might ask respondents to choose traits they associate with your brand from a list, or select what they think your key brand message is.
Keep on measuring
While you can measure metrics simply before and after an advertising campaign, the true value of brand tracking emerges when it is carried out regularly. Many leading brands run monthly or quarterly surveys that let them keep tabs on KPIs throughout the year.
Plotting out data can enable you to see how the needle moves in relation to key events on your calendar. It’s not just advertising campaigns that can make a difference; receiving positive or negative press, an influencer tweeting about your brand, or your product starting to be stocked in a big retailer could all have a knock-on effect.
Having this level of visibility helps you understand when you most need to deploy advertising. If metrics take a dip, for example, then you need to take steps to raise awareness or rebuild any reputation damage you may have sustained. If, on the other hand, you enjoy a sudden surge, you can act to build on that and keep the momentum going.
There are lots of different ways you can use brand tracking data to benefit your marketing efforts, for more information download Attest’s Complete Guide to Brand Tracking.