Brand Tracking

In this article we'll be covering :

  • Brand Tracking as a Concept
  • Tracking Key Metrics
  • Significance and Value of Tracking
  • Social Data for Brand Health
  • Challenges of Social Media Intelligence
  • Brand Tracking at Course5
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Brand Tracking – Analyzing Digital Data and Building a Better Brand

In today’s digital age, no enterprise can afford to wait for months for a brand survey that informs them about the health of the brand. Even a few weeks between surveys can result in the loss of existing and potential customers, and business opportunities that could have been profitable.

Organizations are coming to the realization that monitoring brand health throughout the year, is the only way to properly track their performance, and how their consumers are responding to their marketing and sales strategies.

And even though data privacy is becoming increasingly important, consumers are constantly offering a steady stream of data of their own accord. Consumers take to social platforms and to reveal their interests, purchases, positive reviews and pain points. You can easily gauge their brand awareness, brand perception and brand usage, by simply listening to them and carrying out your analysis with efficiency.

In this article we will take a deep-dive into brand tracking, and understand its importance, the challenges faced by enterprises, and how to overcome them.

Understanding Brand Tracking

To put it simply, brand tracking is the continual monitoring of brand health over time. It helps to understand how your brand is performing, what is the perception of your brand among your target customers, and how they react to the brand messaging.

Other than just consumer data, it can enable you to track competitors, compare performance across markets, identify new business opportunities and potential customers.

Tracking can also aid in pinpointing shortcomings of strategies, where effectiveness can be enhanced.

Traditional brand tracking, due to the lack of the right tools, was often susceptible to restrictive data, inadequate sample sizes, and lacked real-time insights. Now you can depend on cutting-edge technology that leverages automation, and offers accurate tracking and high-quality insights to base decisions on.

Major Brand Tracking Metrics

These are some key metrics you need to keep track of while conducting your brand building efforts.

  • Brand Preference is one of the primary metrics you need to measure, as it determines the number of consumers opting to purchase your brand’s product, over an identical product from a competitor.
  • Brand Purchases keep a track of what your customers last bought.
  • Brand Loyalty tracks how probable a customer is to purchase from your brand again, whether it is the same product or multiple.
  • Brand Awareness measures how well a consumer can recognize your brand. Aided awareness is when an existing or potential customer recognizes your brand from an external prompt, like brand logos, or taglines. Unaided awareness, aka Brand Recall, is when a customer can remember your brand from memory.
  • Brand Usage tracks how often a customer uses your product.
  • Brand Experience metrics are integral to your brand equity, as it measures the emotions and thoughts your consumers have regarding your brand. The experience a customer has while interacting with your brand across channels, forms Brand Associations, determining what customers associate with your enterprise. Brand Warmth and Brand Momentum refer to the emotional bond formed with your brand, and if customers feel that your brand is developing in the marketplace and with the times.

Importance of Brand Tracking

For building an effective marketing strategy and elevating your brand equity, tracking brand health has become a crucial element. It is at the heart of being able to justify time and money being invested into your brand marketing campaigns.

The following are a few ways that the tracking solutions can deliver more than just insights into your brand health and benefit your marketing strategy development.

  • Accurate Data Tracking
    Unlike marketing campaigns, brand measurement can be a little tricky to quantify and assess. But these solutions are customized to track brand health and brand performance, and update you on the brand equity based on reliable data analysis.
  • Efficient Customer Tracking
    You need to have an in-depth understanding of your customer-base, before you start developing campaigns and communication targeting specific customer segments. The brand tracking solutions help you to define your audience, analyze data on how they are responding to your messaging, and reconfigure marketing communications based on the insights. Firsthand feedback from customers is an added advantage, as it is invaluable to marketers, sales teams, and stakeholders. Now you can adapt strategies and budgets, improve CX, boost customer loyalty, and minimize customer churn.
  • Quantifying Marketing ROI
    With data that enables you to quantify your brand’s Return on Investment, you can justify marketing budgets and campaign expenditure. With accurate campaign tracking, you can effectively gauge the performance of campaigns in near real-time, and can adjust where needed to maximize the ROI.
  • Customized KPI Tracking
    Certain tracking tools can be customized to analyze core KPIs such as brand perception, brand awareness, and brand associations. These helps to best understand your customers’ preferences, purchase habits, their knowledge of the marketplace and how they feel about your product. These metrics are key to building a robust brand strategy, effectively communicating with your customers, and have a successful campaign.
  • Effective Competitor Tracking
    Monitoring the performance of your competitors within the same market ecosystem, allows you to measure your performance against them and make improvements wherever needed. If you have no visibility into your competitors, you cannot gauge if you are under or over-performing. Reliable insights based on data analysis can let you judge the effectiveness of your campaign, how you can improve on it, and build brand loyalty over time.

Now let’s look at what brand measurement is aimed at, and how you can use the data.

Brand Tracking Studies and Leveraging Brand Data

Brand tracking studies are conducted to gauge the efficacy of brand campaigns. The studies look into brand building campaigns, based on the impact of the initiative on both the business and the consumer.

Studies that are aimed at analyzing business impact, mostly focus on the brand’s financial metrics such as sales, profits, customer retention, market shares and price premiums. These help to determine ROI and keep building the brand.

Brand tracking studies aimed at consumer impact, look into consumer intentions molded by brand campaigns. Here, metrics such as brand perception, association and loyalty, become important. To access this data for analysis, marketing teams would typically tap into customer research surveys, or brand impact surveys, and intelligence gathered by survey-based tracker tools.

The ideal brand tracking study will usually consider both consumer impact and brand impact, for a holistic view of the brand and its customers.

The intelligence gathered through this data analysis offers value in various ways.

Customer Segmentation

You may find unexpected data points pointing you towards a new customer segment that you were unaware that your brand caters to. Now you can optimize your marketing strategies to gain new consumers in said segment.

Brand Preference

Identifying the section of your audience with the highest brand awareness and brand preference metrics, can help you position your brand better through targeted campaigns and sales activities.

Brand Usage and Loyalty

Data can help you understand your strongest set of consumers, who have regular interactions with your brand, and how to serve them better. Similarly, you can identify your weakest audience, and target brand campaigns to increase conversions from that segment.

Social Listening for Brand Tracking

Market research studies are integral to efficiently tracking your brand performance and customer engagement. With social media platforms pervading the online market ecosystem, they have also proven to be a valuable source of brand data.

Due to the continuous influx of social data, brands have been feeling that social listening can completely replace Primary Research and other market research studies. Even at Course5, our brand tracking studies would closely resemble primary research. But we have inferred from our experience managing large-scale market research studies, that social data needs to be integrated into the broader research program. Our latest brand equity measurement models now account for social media metrics.

Social Brand Equity Framework

No matter the contribution social data makes to total brand data gathered, it’s not a one-stop-shop. We have illustrated below, how social listening contributes to a percentage of market research activities, collecting insights for a complete view of your brand health metrics.

Social media contribution to brand studies

Social data used for brand measurement studies include all texts, audio clips, visuals, animations, videos, emojis, memes – basically any kind of mention about your or competitor brands. This data could be gathered from a wide variety of digital forums including social media, consumer forums, review websites, blogs, intranets, and others.

A robust analytics platform can sift through your Social Listening data using AI, ML, and NLG technologies; and offer curated insights that can aid your brand development. The following are some of the critical insights you can gather from your brand’s awareness, experience and perception metrics-

Insights gathered from brand tracking metrics

During the insight gathering process, the social data can be interpreted in different ways.

Interpretation of brand tracking data

Accurate interpretation of social data offers crucial insights, but there are concerns around the reliability of social data. It is only when you recognize the pitfalls that you can find ways to circumvent them and find value in the data.

The following are some challenges associated to leveraging social media intelligence for brand equity measurement and brand building initiatives.

Social Data and its Challenges

Privacy

As we move to a highly regulated social data environment, privacy compliance is becoming more of an imperative than an ethical best practice, even though social data used for brand tracking is often publicly expressed and freely available.

Validity of Social Expression

Factors like social desirability often impact social media conversations and people may not always say what they mean or truly think. But a combination of Linguistics, NLP, and contextual constructs can enable advanced algorithms to interpret data correctly and draw fairly accurate inferences.

Representativeness of Data

Target Population Level: Social data is not representative of the people who are not online. Also considering the limitations of publicly available data, complete demographic representation may be difficult. This factor needs to be acknowledged while using social data insights for strategic decisions.

Individual Level: Unobtrusive (and legal) tracking of social conversations means that all data points for one individual might not be available. More granular studies using other methods can be used when detailed analysis of individual behavior or sentiment is required.

Brand Tracking Case Study

Course5 helped a US-based multinational technology company develop an end-to-end analytics platform for enhancing their brand management program, by integrating social media data at different stages of the program.

The client needed a solution that would collate data from disparate sources like social media aggregators, blogs, forums, and review sites; internal systems like CRM and Salesforce; and third-party data from social media sources.

We delivered the platform and collected insights using quantitative, qualitative, and advanced analytical methodologies, helping to drive business strategies on a near real-time basis. We also set up a feature for customizable insights as per “user role”, so that end users could monitor and track the metrics of their interest on their respective homepages.

Course5 developed and deployed the advanced brand measurement program across two phases, and achieved the desired objective.

Brand tracking case study- Phase-1

Brand tracking case study- Phase-2

Following the successful development of the platform, Course5 was able to ensure that the deployment was quick, and the client was receiving relevant business insights from their brand data analysis. The following is an example of how the client can easily view their purchase consideration factors for the US market, through a simple dashboard.

Brand data analysis dashboard

Brand Tracking with Course5

Course5 Intelligence offers a comprehensive approach to brand measurement and facilitates the seamless integration of multiple data sources such as primary research and social media intelligence.

Our proprietary ‘Brand Potential 360 Model’ covers consumer and brand metrics to offer unique insights market conditions, consumer behavior and your brand health. Experience near real-time insights, with easy to understand data visualizations on customized dashboards.

Get in touch with us and experience a seamless transition from brand data to brand value.