Why are brand tracking studies so useful for companies?

Brand tracking studies are a vital tool to marketers and brand managers alike. By collecting quantitative data from consumers on a regular basis, marketers can not only monitor their brand’s health, but amend their strategy to compensate for weaker areas. Because the nature of each company differs greatly, all tracking surveys need to be customised to suit the campaign. But, as a general rule, there are a few key components of any survey that should be tracked…

Brand awareness

Recall and recognition are the two components that make up brand awareness. Recall is the ability to draw of past experiences, to recall the brand from memory.

Recognition is the ability for the consumer to recollect the brand when faced with a product, such as in a store.

Usage measurements

Usage measurements allow marketers to get a better understanding of consumer behaviours and market share. It can be measured though total spending in brand as well as frequency of use and recency.

Brand attitudes

Perhaps one of the most critical insights that can be gleaned from tracking studies is brand attitudes, or perceptions. Over time, consumers develop perceptions about a brand and the questions must be designed to coax this information from them. It is important to note that these perceptions and attitudes will often reach beyond the brand and include the company as a whole.

Purchase intent

The likelihood that a customer will buy your brand or consider switching to a competitor is a key measurement of brand health.

The key is the question

While these are the generic metrics that can be measured, it should be noted that the key to successful brand tracking is in the question design. By using a combination of marketing expertise and an understanding of behavioural sciences, questions should be designed to get a full picture of the brand’s position in the market.

How often should brands be tracked?

There are different methods for implementing brand tracking, but the most important thing is that it is done in regular intervals, whether that is quarterly, bi-annually or annually. Without regular measurements, there is no way to benchmark performance and thus, no way to monitor successes or failures.

Where do brand-tracking surveys fall down?

Great care should be taken when designing questions. One of the problems with quantitative surveys is that it asks the respondent to be deliberative, when purchasing behaviour is actually much more instinctive. Surveys must therefore be created in such a way as to scratch away the deliberative response that questions are likely to invoke.

While brand survey data is critical to the success of marketing efforts, there are many surveys that have been over-engineered and are not achieving the desired results. There is no consumer on the planet that can honestly say that they enjoy filling out surveys. Surveys often ask the same question fifty different ways and the result is low completion rates and inaccurate results.

How can you use SMS as a survey channel?

Low completion rates can be overcome by utilising communication channels that have high open rates. Text messages have an open rate of more than 95 per cent and the short and responsive nature of SMS can yield very high completion rates. Rather than the consumer feeling as though the survey is inconveniencing them, the use of SMS can provide them with a quick and unobtrusive platform to feed their thoughts back.

Is brand tracking still underutilised by businesses?

Some studies suggest that up to 90 per cent of marketers are not utilising brand tracking which, given its benefits, is a shocking statistic. By using low cost technologies such as SMS and email, marketers can quickly take the pulse of their consumer base and, by doing this on a regular basis, can gauge their performance over time.

All good marketers will tell you that the key to successful marketing is in the measurement.