After two long years, Nepa live events are back! Last week Finnish MD Eeva Karhu hosted a hybrid event in Helsinki on the theme of Brand Tracking, and how to make the most of your data. But why is this important?
What should you know before starting your Brand Tracking?
Brand Tracking isn’t a secret ingredient – it’s used by many companies. However, are they doing it right? Our experience is that companies are often under-using their brand tracker and aren’t taking full advantage of the insights being uncovered.
In a tumultuous economic environment, brand tracking is more important than ever. It can help CMOs and marketing teams quickly spot and address the challenges of an ever changing landscape. Additionally, with consumers now being able to compare brands online in an increasingly competitive environment, companies need to nail their positioning and establish new digital business models.
Differentiation is important, but it’s not easy. To stand out, brands need clear, actionable insights. You want to know what consumers think (about you!), and if they change their minds. That’s why tracking is so important.
There are two different types of Brand Tracking formulas, The Report Card and The Business Tool.
- The Report Card is best used when a client is focused on just a couple of KPIs. It’s mainly used to keep track of the marketing department’s decisions on brand. These are used to measure a brand, target groups, and attributes connected to the brand strategy.
- The Business Tool does all that and even more! It aims to understand the wider market and the ‘why’ behind consumer decisions. Brands can identify new business opportunities as they arise, answer the questions posed to your business, and choose the right outcome. This type of tracking is used daily, and it involves people outside of marketing and insights; the C-suite, the finance department, and customer services.
What is the best practice for Brand Tracking?
We believe that a successful brand tracking should not only be used as a Report Card but also serve as a Business Tool, with continuity being key. Continuous brand tracking can assess marketing efforts and measure both media efficiency and long-term brand building. However, the key brand tracking factors include:
- Proactivity This covers competitors and consumers beyond your target group. This is how your company can learn and see what competitors are doing right and wrong, and what consumers are being swayed toward.
- Longevity This allows for Brand Tracking to withstand changes in the market. Even when your brand strategy changes, your Brand Tracking can stay on course.
- Engagement This aspect will create questions from all levels internally and boost the usage of the data within the business.
To understand how to get the most value out of Brand Tracking, some fundamental questions must be answered first: What is playing on your stakeholders’ minds? What are your business goals? Where are you threatened? Where are the opportunities? Think about your planning cycle, when do budgets come out? When do decisions on media plans happen? With this knowledge you know exactly when certain insights are needed.
There are several different Brand Tracking modules to consider. If you’re focusing on communication, you should consider aspects such as your brand funnel to know whether your brand is moving in the correct direction, demographics to understand if extra work is needed to regain or bolster the targeted audiences, and media habits to decide which media channels are most successful. This is used best in a company with high media spend, as it monitors communication effectiveness, whilst offering the ability to optimise the media and develop new, more effective creatives.
If your brand wants to focus on positioning, brand tracking is best. It can monitor exactly where both you and your competitors sit in the landscape, alongside how everyone’s marketing activities are affecting your brand image. The best modules for looking at brand positioning include the brand funnel and demographics, as well as drivers to understand what the brands main associations should be. Brand Touch, on the other hand allows you to recognise if your brand is developing according to the positioning strategy, whilst Willingness to Pay shows you how much a consumer would pay for the service and to find out the real value of the brand. It’s best practice to look at your metrics before and after the campaign.
Getting the correct technical set-up is just the start; you also need to grow a sense of ownership and engagement to guarantee that your organisation uses your Brand Tracking to its full potential and makes the most of the investment. Get everyone on board, with start-up meetings and workshops, keep it simple with a dashboard designed for marketers, and keep it interesting with meetings around challenges the brand faces. Don’t just present the data.
For more information on our Brand Tracking, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMING SOON: Nepa Originals report: ‘A view from the future – Outlook on what the future holds from foresight experts.’