Back to Basics: Brand Tracking
In Marketing Week’s “six superior forms of marketing intelligence”, Mark Ritson suggests that “only about 20% of Australian so-called brand managers actually conduct annual [brand] track[ing]”. It’s not surprising that a statistic like this precedes many brands not knowing what their most pressing brand challenge is – or indeed, how to fix it.
Research is the first tool in getting back to basics – specifically, ‘Brand Tracking’ – a crucial starting point for any marketing strategy. Determining potential problems or brand challenges can be difficult without conducting research. Brand managers can be unaware of pressing issues that stakeholders have and with some well constructed brand tracking these problems will be unveiled.
Conducting some statistically significant quantifiable tracking could be the most profitable next step for your business. Brand Tracking offers insights into potential problems, measures campaign success, and helps assess competitors, both known and unknown.
McDonald’s Australia, a brand that conducts regular tracking studies every quarter – is constantly measuring the customers’ point of view. Through both qualitative and quantitative means, McDonald’s customers are asked a variety of questions and the brand has been able to adapt and evolve their marketing campaigns due to customer insights.
Reasons to Conduct Brand Tracking
Conducting research – getting back to basics – with brand tracking allows marketers to:
- Compile your customer funnel and identify pressing challenges for the brand where consumer drop-off is at its heaviest.
- Measure campaign efficacy across Aided, Unaided and Top of Mind Awareness.
- Assess competition in your category against your own brand attributes.
- Determine the customers’ buying behaviour & how they interact with your brand
How To Run Brand Tracking
Step 1: Understand Business Goals.
Your Marketing Strategy should have identified your customer funnel, and now you need to determine the unique goals of your business, and the marketing team. Knowing if you want to focus on brand recall over brand recognition, if you want to improve the perception of your brand or increase overall brand awareness for a new launch is a critical component of a successful marketing strategy.
Step 2: Determine your unique brand attributes, target audience, and competitor set.
To aid in creation of your survey questions, you need to ask respondents how your desired brand attributes are perceived by consumers. Brand tracking will determine if your target audience and competitor set is aligned with your brand and it’s position.
Step 3: Select your method and collection of data.
Selecting your survey method – qualitative or quantitative, and platform you use, online surveys, focus groups, or ethnographic research, will help determine the timings and structure of your survey questions.
Step 4: Analyse results.
Analysing the results of the survey against any hypotheses, or what you assumed would be the results is a time consuming element, but likely to be the most important part, as it’s in this stage you’re able to identify any correlating factors, differences, and results of your survey.
Step 5: Modify and adjust marketing efforts to suit data results.
Using the insights from your data analysis modify and adjust brand strategies to suit the results of your target market. This can be adjusting messaging, creative or the overall campaign strategy.
Brand tracking research is fundamental in getting back to basics. If you’ve never done it, don’t presume that you know what your biggest problem is, or what your customers want to hear. You don’t really know. Follow in the footsteps of well structured brands that do consistent tracking like McDonalds and determine your brands potential problems, competitors’ analysis and overall campaign performance.
Invest in brand tracking; it’ll make you a better marketer, and your brand more profitable.
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