The most popular brands have better brand recognition and awareness than their rivals, can demand a premium price, and typically have happier and more loyal customers.
According to McKinsey, robust B2B brands yield a higher EBIT margin compared to other brands, performing as much as 20% better. Evaluating your brand with brand tracking helps you understand more than just its financial value. It allows you to track socio-cultural shifts and optimize your brand identity strategy.
Defining Brand Tracking: What is it and How Does it Work?
Brand monitoring is a longitudinal study that analyzes awareness and attitudes toward a brand over a specified period. It encompasses what customers think of a brand, their behavioral patterns, the brand’s market position, and its future growth potential.
Regularly assessing your brand enables you to monitor important indicators over time and figure out what drives improvements. Many businesses conduct brand monitoring studies every quarter, but it is advisable to bump up the frequency if you run new campaigns frequently. This helps you determine their impact on your brand in a timely manner.
Brand monitoring could be defined as the continuous evaluation of your brand-building activities against essential metrics like awareness and reputation. Trackers enable businesses to better understand brand health and make informed decisions. This boosts sales, generates greater returns on marketing investments, and secures market share.
Getting Started with a Brand Tracker
Conventional brand monitoring projects can be extremely laborious. Once you recognize what to track and the best way to get to your intended audience, however, carrying out these studies becomes much more manageable. New marketing technology tools also make it easier to monitor brand metrics, collate them into reports, and visualize them as long-term studies that require very little manual effort.
1. Set clear brand tracking goals
Before launching a brand monitoring study, it is important to set up distinct objectives. What are the primary goals of the study? For instance, you intend to track the general state of your brand and assess the success of a particular marketing campaign. Having distinct objectives can help you concentrate your study and ensure the insights you gather are useful and pertinent to your business targets.
2. Delineate your customer base
Identify the target demographic for your brand tracking project. This should be the consumer demographic most applicable to the brand and your marketing objectives. This can involve existing clients, potential customers, and even the patrons of your competitors. Be as precise as possible and refer to your existing B2B buyer personas. This will let you design a more efficient study and yield more accurate insights.
3. Narrow down the metrics and KPIs to measure
After defining your goals and target audience, choose the indicators that are best suited to your objectives. As explained in the parts that follow, there are a range of essential brand monitoring metrics from which to choose. Based on your goals, you can zero in on just a handful of important metrics or track several key variables. In any case, all metrics must be measured regularly and over a defined period.
4. Using martech tools to implement your survey
The survey must include queries that determine your preferred brand monitoring metrics as well as any other data that may be pertinent to your goals. Make the questionnaire or survey as concise as you can to reduce respondent exhaustion and ensure high-quality data collection. Tools like customer experience management platforms (CXMs) can make it easier to design and roll out surveys that elicit the required response.
5. Analyze the data to uncover insights
Again, depending on your goals, you can gather data at periodic intervals (for example, monthly or quarterly) or run an annual study. After gathering your data, analyze it to discover patterns, trends, and findings that will guide your marketing tactics and help you strengthen your brand. Martech solutions with deep analytics capabilities can provide you with dashboards, reports, and other tools – artificial intelligence (AI) augmented software can even surface natural language insights on their own.
6. Conduct regular monitoring and update your strategy
Tracking a brand is a continuous process that calls for constant monitoring and adaptation. Use the insights from data collection and analysis to enhance marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions. Also, it is recommended to routinely review and amend the research findings to guarantee their continued relevance to business goals. Martech tools ensure that you do not have to start from scratch and can benefit from reusable templates to make this an ongoing process.
(Also Read: Benefits of Branding for a Successful Business)
Which Brand Tracking Metrics Should You Measure?
Brand impact is often considered an unquantifiable effect and, therefore, hard to measure. Great brands, however, can distill the value of their brand identity into more than just a feeling of customer goodwill. They work on and improve the following metrics that capture a company’s success as a brand:
- Preference: This metric represents the number of customers who would choose the brand’s product over a comparable one from a competing brand.
- Loyalty: Loyalty evaluates the likelihood of a customer purchasing your product or other product variants from your brand. Another way to measure loyalty is through brand net promoter score or bNPS, which asks the client how likely they are to recommend the brand to others.
- Awareness: Brand awareness is the speed and simplicity with which a customer recognizes your brand. There are two categories of brand awareness: aided awareness and unaided awareness. Aided awareness is when buyers recognize the brand when prompted, like when they come across a logo.
- Associations: This encapsulates a customer’s experiences, emotions, and connections with a brand. Instead of being only positive or negative, the metric will help you sharpen your brand identity and make sure your target identity aligns with buyer perceptions.
- Channel recall: Adding these metrics to brand monitoring studies may be useful in determining whether brand communications are relevant, and impactful, and can cut through generic messaging clutter. It aids in determining if and to what extent campaigns impact brand health and whether a specific media channel fosters more exposure.
- Market share: Market share is a strong indicator of how well you’re doing in contrast to your competitors. Unlike metrics like brand awareness, which can increase uniformly, market share growth indicates a drop in numbers for your competitors.
What Are the Potential Challenges Around Brand Tracking?
Brand monitoring is an important marketing tool, but it does have its challenges. The data under investigation can be affected by survey predispositions like social desirability bias or response bias. To mitigate this, create survey questions that are straightforward and impartial towards your company’s brand.
Additionally, unsatisfactory data quality will prevent you from generating actionable insights. Look into using data validation methods, like data cleansing and data authentication, to find and rectify any oversights or discrepancies in brand tracking datasets.
Finally, to reduce survey fatigue, the questionnaire must be as concise and focused as practicable. Moreover, you can use survey logic, like skip patterns and branching, for a more customized and compelling experience.
Most martech tools come equipped with such logic templates – for example, if you picked ‘a’, move to number 4, and if you chose ‘b,’ move to the next question.
Leveraging Martech to Drive Brand Tracking Success
In conclusion, here are a few examples of brand-tracking questions to inspire you:
- Which businesses come to mind when you think about <product category>?
- Which adjectives best define a <product type> that you wouldn’t purchase?
- Which of these products have you purchased within the past X years? Followed by a listing of rivals
- How inclined are you to purchase the brands listed below in the future? Followed by a listing of rivals
- What is the probability that you will suggest brand X to your peers?
Unlike short-term campaigns, brand initiatives reveal their impacts over time. That is why brand tracking is such an important capability in the B2B marketer’s toolkit. Modern technologies like text analytics embedded in CXM make it easier to capture and quantify brand sentiment.
Clients can share verbatim feedback without prompting, allowing you to get a clear picture of how they truly feel. With appropriate martech apps, you can analyze and categorize these comments according to theme, topicality, and sentiment – to find the most relevant and actionable insights for your brand.