Since the origin of marketing as a science, marketers have acted as brand stewards. No matter what program marketing is executing, it’s (hopefully) being viewed, and if it’s being viewed it’s affecting the perception of your brand.
Traditionally, brand health analysis was a strictly manual, time-consuming process– think over-the-phone and in-person focus groups and targeted surveys. And while these tools are still crucial for in-depth brand health analysis (and nowadays much easier to facilitate), the digital revolution in marketing has enabled far more ways to monitor and affect a brand’s public perception.
From media spend and sales tracking, to sentiment analysis around a variety of topics and products through social listening and keyword research, to mention tracking providing a safeguard against the next PR faux paus, every level of marketing can benefit from brand health analysis. Because ultimately, the perception of your brand is a result of all your marketing combined. Today, measuring that perception can be real-time– putting brand marketers in control like never before.
Brand Health Data is Everywhere
Your sites, SEO strategy and social pages form a critical set of connection points for customers to find you, interact, purchase, and share their voice. And wherever customers can share feedback, marketers can collect data.
Below are just a number of data sources for brand health analysis:
- Real-time paid media spend across your always-on digital channels like search, social and display as well as offline advertising in key markets via OOH, print, radio and spot TV– so you can correlate your investments against returns in buzz, traffic, and sales
- Real-time cross-channel campaign performance data to measure your KPIs, trends and goal thresholds for reach, engagement, conversion and amplification across digital platforms
Sales trend data, distributor depletion reporting or your ecommerce system for established brands to measure market share and challengers to measure awareness
- Social data from across all your platforms– Instagram, Snap, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit – so you can easily measure what your following and engagement across every post
Social listening tools, for understanding sentiment analysis based on your brand and products, or current conversations, topics, and relevant cultural movements.
- Branded keyword search traffic by keyword to measure unaided brand awareness
- Search research across organic and even paid SEM to understand trends in what people are searching for and bidding for relative to different periods of time
- Influencer, PR and event buzz – so you can see which programs and partners are best at bringing your brand to life with target audiences
- Competitive intelligence across search and social platforms for performance context and consumer insights.
- Focus groups and surveys, if applicable to your brand, to methodically evaluate specific questions of awareness, perception and sentiment by target audience.
- Aggregated customer feedback via email, surveys and social– one of the most useful sources of information for how your products, services and customer experince can be improved.
Gaining an overall measurement of brand health, sentiment analysis or share of voice is not possible from any one medium. It’s crucial to be able to free your data from siloes, and unify brand health data in centralized reports, dashboards and insights.
Challenges in Measuring Brand Health
94% of senior marketing decision makers consider a connected and personalized omnichannel experience to be critical to achieving their organizations’ business goals. At the same time, only 4% of marketers believe they are consistently delivering rich, robust, data-driven, customer-centric experiences across all touchpoints. So what experiences are consumers getting? It’s a disconnected one, and that adversely affects the perception of brands.
This giant divide is caused by:
- The inability to efficiently connect digital brand health inputs into a real-time, holistic dashboard
- Lack of time– necessitating more than data visibility, with real-time alerts and insights that put brand marketers in the driver seat to proactively manage their agency and internal partners
- Adapting to fast paced cultural shifts and demographics, leading to changing marketplaces and different requirements for products and services
- Determining ROI of brand health improvement efforts
- KPIs that bias the loudest sources of feedback, rather than the most valuable
The reality is that there are more –including many new and emerging– ways to analyze brand health than marketers realize, at each customer touchpoint. In future posts, we’ll discuss trends in brand health measurement, as well as brand health KPIs and actual dashboards you can emulate to track the health of your brand.
Measuring brand health is crucial, because all marketing affects brand health– and brand health is key indicator of sales and market share growth. If you’re not yet taking advantage of your brand health data, it time to start tracking it.