Capturing an audience’s attention is a significant challenge for marketers. The proliferation of mobile devices has allowed consumers to become more connected than ever before, with the ability to socialize, shop, watch TV, or even take a language class anytime, anywhere.
But attention isn’t a finite resource, and it’s no secret that our mobile devices can bombard us with more information and messages than we can handle.
With this in mind, brand managers must understand how their target audiences are perceiving their brand and whether their campaigns are even able to cut through the noise to make the desired impression. By using brand tracking software, you can do exactly this.
With access to real-world data on how your brand is performing, you can leverage key insights to optimize future campaigns and catch your audience’s attention or — if they’ve already heard of your brand — shift their perceptions.
Why is Brand Tracking Important?
To understand why brand tracking has become so important, it’s essential to talk about the Attention Economy. This is a theory based on the idea that consumers only have a limited attention capacity, which becomes harder and more costly to capture as more and more brands enter the market.
The basic economic theory behind this treats consumer attention as a resource or commodity, sold by those that own advertising space — whether that be on the latest social media app, connected TVs, or a billboard on a busy street — and bought by advertisers eager to connect with consumers. Because attention is the commodity being traded, it’s the channels that catch consumers’ eyes and drive engagement that can command the highest price.
With advertising opportunities in abundance, getting your brand message out there and in front of consumers is no longer the key challenge. Instead, the most difficult obstacle is being noticed at the right time, and then remembered by your target audience.
To overcome this challenge, marketers need to ensure that their message doesn’t get lost in the crowd — but even more importantly, it’s imperative that they use brand tracking to gauge who’s taking notice and what their perceptions are, to inform future campaigns.
Defining Brand Tracking
Bringing a brand to life with a compelling new campaign is one of the most creative aspects of marketing. However, while many in the industry have embraced data analytics to inform their campaigns and improve performance, branding is sometimes still perceived as an art form — driven by gut decision and blind-guesses, rather than an informed understanding of what does and doesn’t work with the target audience in question.
Brand tracking bridges this gap, providing brand managers and marketers with the tools to measure how their branding campaigns are performing.
Many of you have probably already heard of brand tracking, but Latana's software takes traditional brand tracking one step further. By using a form of data science called MRP, Latana provides a more accurate analysis of your brand’s health, drawing on a wider range of audience segmentations to give you insights on a variety of key demographics such as age, gender, income, education, and geography.
Therefore, brand tracking is best defined as a means of continuously and precisely measuring brand health via audience brand metrics by using advanced data science and large data sets.
The use of MRP, or Multilevel Regression and Poststratification, is critical in giving you a detailed picture of your brand’s health. But what does this look like in practice?
When you first log in to the Latana platform, you’ll land on the Brand Insights page. This features a dashboard that allows you to visualise insights into your chosen brand KPIs, with time toggle, competitor benchmarking, and audience segment features allowing you to see how these KPIs are performing over time, against your core competition and with different audiences.
The main KPIs that are vital to track are:
Brand Awareness: This KPI measures what share of your target audience knows about your brand. Brand awareness tends to move slowly and it’s unlikely that you’ll see big jumps over short periods of time. However, it’s worth remembering that the numbers involved can be so large, that an increase of just 1% could translate to hundreds of thousands of people.
Brand Associations: This measures the attributes that people connect with your brand, for example, whether your product or service is perceived as high quality, innovative, or sustainable. Measuring brand associations reveals whether your desired positioning matches how your brand is actually being perceived by consumers and can show you where you should direct your marketing resources to help shift these perceptions.
Brand Consideration: This KPI examines whether consumers would consider purchasing from a brand they are aware of. While some brands can have a high degree of awareness, with desirable associations, it does not necessarily indicate that consumers will purchase the product or service in question. For example, many famous luxury brands will simply be out of the price range of many consumers. Brand consideration ultimately measures whether a certain target group would actually consider buying from that specific brand and can indicate how many potential customers you have — plus how this is evolving over time.
Brand Preference: This KPI reflects a consumer's desire to use a particular company's product against equally priced and/or equally-available alternatives. Brand preference is an important metric because it provides an indicator of your customers' loyalty, the success of your marketing tactics, and the strength of your brand.
To find out more about our brand tracking platform, check out our guide.
How To Improve Your Marketing Campaigns Using Brand Tracking Data
Data can be just as pivotal in informing a branding campaign as it can for any other marketing activity. By receiving insights into audiences’ perceptions of your brand, you can understand how effective your messaging is at reaching different types of consumers and influencing their purchasing decisions.
By measuring brand associations, you can get a better picture of whether your brand is being received the way you intended or not and if certain associations still need to be worked on in future campaigns.
You can use these insights to tailor your marketing campaigns more effectively. For example, if a large proportion of your target audience is already familiar with your brand, it means you can prioritize lower-funnel campaigns — concentrating on messaging that attempts to convert consumers with details of promotions or offers, new product ranges, or just an in-depth look at your core product or service.
However, you may discover that your target audience has a low awareness of your brand. If this is the case, you still need to work to capture consumers’ attention with brand awareness campaigns. By charting consumer perception of your brand over time, you can see the progress you’re making with target audiences — so you can be sure you’re heading in the right direction before reinvesting in a particular channel or continuing with a particular message.
Information regarding brand associations can also be extremely useful. First, you can assess the positive terms your target audience identifies with your brand and then incorporate these associations into future campaigns to further build up your relationship with this segment of consumers.
On the other hand, by reviewing any negative associations your target audience might have, you can understand why consumers are less likely to purchase your product or service and address these issues in future campaigns.
While coming up with a creative campaign idea can still be something of an art form, it’s important that all marketing activities are informed by data if you want to drive your brand towards growth. The first step when bringing a new campaign idea to life should always be a thorough assessment of past data to understand what has and hasn’t worked before. After all, no campaign is really complete until you have analyzed its performance.
Marketing Insights Are Only as Valuable as The Actions They Inform
The ultimate goal of brand tracking is to have your finger on the pulse of consumers’ perceptions — with an ability to recognize which campaigns are breaking through the noise and raising your brand awareness and with which target audience.
With the right campaign, you should notice growth in awareness over time or a shift in perception. But even if there are no significant changes, you’ve still gained important insights about how to engage with your target audience in the future. In these cases, we advise that you return to the planning stage and consider reworking your existing strategy and campaigns.
It’s also important to know that the insights you get from the Latana platform don’t just have to be in relation to your brand. With our brand tracking software, you can see how the competition fairs too or improve your understanding of the marketplace, to see what different segments of your audience want from brands in your category.
For example, you can drill down to a specific region to get insights like the things that consumers want from their brands.
Increasingly, modern marketing is about iterating until you find what works and then scaling it up. Marketing insights are only as valuable as the actions they inform, so once you have the data make sure you’re using it to guide your brand in the right direction.
Brand tracking software is now an essential part of any good marketing strategy if you want to be competitive in the Attention Economy_ _and be heard or seen by your target audience. It’s really about tuning into and respecting consumers’ thoughts and opinions — that way you understand what your brand means to them and where it fits into their busy lives.
And with advanced brand tracking data at hand, you’ll be empowered to start speaking directly to your target audience rather than bombarding them with messages that simply don’t resonate.
Updated by: Ashley Lightfoot, 21.01.22