Brand managers are in the distinct position of managing how a brand is perceived in the marketplace. To successfully assess every active brand campaign, you must gather large amounts of data and analyze “the big picture.” If you’re unable to utilize your data to see the overall narrative, it will be difficult to guide your future branding decisions and you might lose out on opportunities to engage with your ideal brand persona.
Without a bird’s eye view of all of your data across several marketing platforms, you may miss the mark with your brand persona and not connecting with them in a way that brings value to the service or product you are branding.
It is your data that will help you to move forward and connect with buyers through your brand campaigns. When your many sources of marketing data are analyzed together, the story of your buyers’ journey, their preferences, activity, and even their real-life feedback of your branding becomes much clearer.
There are several vital data points to measure in any given marketplace, but there are five that spread across several platforms and are imperative to creating the narrative necessary for future branding decisions. By keeping these five data points top of mind, you’ll have a better understanding of how to bring your data together and get a jumpstart on shaping your future brand strategies this year and next.
1. Consumer Behavior
This first data set could be considered a simplistic view of consumer behavior. Without directly interviewing a consumer, you can monitor your key consumers’ behavior by bringing together clicks and conversions across multiple data sets.
Through clicks, you can monitor consumer engagement, no matter the platform. For example, clicks on social media could mean positive feelings towards your brand, excitement about the latest announcement, curiosity about the links posted, or maybe your consumers liked your latest image or graphic. In Google Adwords, clicks could mean that your call-to-action is relevant and enticing.
Conversions tell an even richer story – while clicks show general interest, if you combine clicks with other details such as bounce rate, you might see that your customers are visiting but not quite connecting. Conversions show you if you’re successfully meeting your consumers where they are. Conversions are proof that you’ve presented to your consumer at the right time, in the right funnel and therefore that consumer has acted accordingly and you’ve completed a goal. By ascertaining conversions across platforms, you can see which customers are converting on which platform and start to piece together the “why."
In order to make future branding decisions and allocate your resources accordingly, you have to understand what’s working and what’s not: analyzing how consumers are engaging with your brand, and why some consumers are converting in one platform and not another is a great place to start.
2. Brand Data (Impressions, Reach, Awareness, Demographic Data)
Another data set that is key to your future strategy is your brand data. Under that umbrella, you’ll find impressions, reach, awareness, and other crucial demographic data.
Impressions, Reach, and Awareness
These three points essentially let you know if your brand is being seen. Since a brand manager is responsible for media, print, and other digital marketing efforts, plus their coinciding budgets, it’s imperative to know what sort of return you are receiving on your investments. There can be no ROI if your brand distribution and promotion is failing due to an unaware audience.
Demographic data is can be a powerful benchmark to determine your brand’s performance. With demographic data, you can start to identify the gender, age range, and location of your true brand persona as well as gain a panoramic view of your most active and engaged audience with each brand. You can compare and contrast with the original brand persona you built for each brand and make the necessary adjustments. You can also start to notice trends for each marketing platform – is your print audience older than your digital audience? What does that mean for your brand campaign? By understanding who your true audience actually is and gaining a clear view of what’s trending with that audience, you can shape your brand strategy more successfully.
3. Marketing Productivity
Tracking the productivity, essentially the cost, of a new brand campaign is crucial to….. comparing your output to your input. As you’re learning about your brand’s audiences and behaviors and making adjustments, you need to be aware of the cost per click, the amount of competition in a particular locale, and the initial response to each deliverable.
Plus, cost tells you more than just the marketing price tag; it can also tell you the temperature of the market in general and force you to allocate your expenses, time, and labor appropriately. It’s one of the most important metrics to be presented in a wide view, across all platforms and marketing efforts. You need to see cost and how it fits within the big picture to allocate successfully amongst your team and resources. The last thing you want to do is to put time and effort into a medium or campaign that just isn’t returning the response you want.
4. Comparing Overall Cost and Revenue
Cost and revenue paired together in a collective narrative is the strongest way to view these two data points. These two data points can truly tell the story of how well the brand is performing in the marketplace. Revenue is the axle of the previously discussed data points; for example, perhaps conversions or transactions seem low, yet your revenue is skyrocketing month after month. This situation will cause you to investigate the data and find that there are fewer transactions, but they are of a higher dollar amount and a higher quality. Or the opposite could occur. Either way, you now have a clear view of what’s actually happening at the conversion level. Maybe you’ll find that your highest marketing costs are being attributed to a low revenue producing campaign, and be able to quickly make an adjustment and reallocate your current spend.
The comparative view of cost and revenue allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of the brand campaign and therefore you will make important decisions faster and see better results over time.
5. Consumer Comments
Lastly, a data point that should help shape your brand strategy this year is consumer comments. Consumer comments are important data that is often overlooked as it falls under the “mis-matched metrics” category. Because it’s not generally quantifiable, it can be difficult to identify potential pitfalls and opportunities in what your consumers are telling you. The real-life feedback is an invaluable resource that can be ignored when it doesn’t fit into the entire narrative you’re trying to create.
So how do you transform consumer comments from a virtually unusable statistic into a comprehensive view of your threats and opportunities? There are intelligent marketing platforms that can ingest this data and transform it for you into a narrative that makes sense with the rest of your collected data. For example, perhaps there’s an ad that’s getting a lot of engagement but not a lot of conversions; you go to investigate why this is happening and your consumer feedback is telling you this product in the ad is close to what they’re looking for, but they’re choosing brand B instead because it has a feature they really need. This could show you an opportunity to make some adjustments. Say you do offer the feature brand B has but were not highlighting that benefit in your ad copy. By spotlighting that benefit, you could win consumers who weren’t sure your brand had what they needed. In this way, you can meet your consumers exactly where they are and subsequently do comparative analysis on your marketing funnels and the brand personas and goals you initially created.
The Challenge of Collecting 5 Data Points
Gathering and inspecting each of these data points and tying them together in a collective narrative can be an enormous challenge for many brand managers. Most of the time, all of this data is accrued separately, in their own data silos - or even by different departments or agencies. This data is generally collected in different marketing platforms or even manually in spreadsheets. Because of the data silos, you are left with mis-matched metrics and therefore in the dark about a variety of external factors. Without the entire picture, you’re missing the true customer journey and their motives behind their decisions. In order to utilize these data points effectively and in conjunction with each other, you need to connect everything.
Solution for Siloed Data
Implementing cloud-based marketing intelligence platforms can smooth out the edges of reporting and bring mismatched data together into one complete, useful picture. These types of platform allow brand managers to make use of the data they’re receiving and turn usually wasted data into calculated, and increasingly successful, decisions or ideas. These intelligence platforms also include automated reporting which allows for a clearer “forward view” picture as opposed to collected data that is already in the past. Brand managers need true insights and foresights when guiding their campaigns and a marketing intelligence platform can make that a reality.
Successfully tracking data points is more than just ingesting standalone data.
It’s about bringing everything together into a single narrative and seeing the overall picture and how it aligns with your high-level goals. By implementing a marketing intelligence platform that can seamlessly gather, organize, and compare data points across all sources, mismatched and otherwise, you can make your job as a brand manager much easier. It can be that simple. Leave the gathering and real-time reporting to the platform so you can do the important and vital work of making decisions for your brand campaigns and the business’ future success.