Brand awareness is a term that’s thrown around a lot in the marketing community, but what does it actually mean? And how can it be measured?
Like most metrics related to branding, for many years it was nearly impossible to accurately assess its performance. After all, how did you pin down something as ambiguous as “awareness”?
Thankfully, we’ve made great strides in the last few years, and today’s brand managers have a huge advantage: access to advanced brand tracking software. With the ability to track the awareness, consideration, associations, and more of customized target audiences, brand tracking software allows you to measure and improve brand awareness campaigns.
In our fast-paced world of modern marketing, you can’t afford to pass up a tool that will make your life simpler. In this article, we’ll explain how using brand tracking software to track campaign performance will help improve overall brand awareness.
How Can You Track Brand Awareness Campaign Performance?
With brand tracking software — a simple question deserves a simple answer.
Essentially, brand tracking software is a brand marketing tool that helps measure the success of your campaigns via important brand KPIs. It allows you to make sure your campaigns are actually doing what you want them to — increasing brand awareness.
After all, most brand managers don’t have the time or the expertise to accurately measure brand awareness on their own. While you could try DIY surveys or social listening tools to get a general feel, these options offer limited data reach and no statistical significance. But that’s where brand tracking software comes in.
With the ability to track KPIs that actually matter for your campaigns, brand tracking software provides reliable data in an easy-to-understand format.
Why Track Brand Awareness?
First, let’s discuss why it’s so important to track the performance of brand awareness campaigns. After all, there are easier things to track — so why go through all the trouble of trying to nail down awareness specifically?
While some might think that seeing increased traffic to your website and/or increased sales is enough to call it a win, others know that brand awareness is about more than just profit — it’s about consumer perception.
Brand awareness doesn’t just refer to how aware people are of your brand. It also relates to important topics like your reputation, perception, market niche, and more. Your brand is competing with dozens — if not hundreds — of similar brands, both online and offline. Your brand awareness levels let you know if you stand out from the crowd and whether your marketing activities have been successful.
What are some additional benefits of tracking brand awareness?
You can learn more about your target audience
You can determine whether or not the right audience is exposed to your campaigns
You can decide if you’re spending your marketing budget on the right activities
You can gain a better understanding of your customer’s journey
You can make smarter marketing decisions in the future
When it comes to boosting your brand, all of the above matter. After all, you can throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at your marketing campaigns — but it won’t mean anything if the wrong audiences are seeing your ads.
As a brand manager, it’s your job to track brand awareness so you can strengthen your current and future marketing campaigns. While there’s no such thing as a “future-proof campaign”, tracking brand awareness and using the data gathered does allow you to build the strongest foundation possible.
Case Study: Culture Trip
To better understand why tracking brand awareness campaigns is such a valuable undertaking for brands of all shapes and sizes, let’s explore an example.
Though it’s been around since 2011, Culture Trip is still a relatively small brand in the UK tour booking & travel niche. Within the general population, Culture Trip has a brand awareness of just 2.3% — that means that only around 2 out of 100 people will likely recognize Culture Trip in the UK.
Because that’s not the most impressive number, we felt the need to dig a bit deeper.
While Culture Trip could continue to target the general population with their campaigns, this probably isn’t the most effective way to grow. As the saying goes, if you’re talking to everyone, nobody’s listening.
Simply put, Culture Trip is in need of some more powerful tools to harness the brand awareness they do have and put it to good use. So what could they do?
1. Use Brand Tracking Software to Improve Awareness
Now, if Culture Trip were to use brand tracking software, they would be able to see how their brand is performing in more audiences than just the general population — they could also target the niche audiences that make sense to them as a business.
Using brand tracking software, it would be possible for Culture Trip to:
Learn which niche audiences react best to their brand
See how their performance compares to the competition
Automate data collection and simplify the process of analyzing brand KPIs
Create stronger campaigns that lead to better results in the future
While it’s true you can keep track of your brand awareness via metrics like website traffic, search traffic, social engagement, storefront foot traffic, and more — these measurements all require a good bit of time and money. Plus, they’re difficult to analyze on their own.
Why is that? Well, when your gathered metrics are scattered and incohesive, it’s nearly impossible to identify real-life insights. What’s more — they only tell one side of the story.
While you might know that 1000 visitors landed on your website last week, do you know how many of them were in your target audience? Or perhaps your social reach plummeted. Is there a competitor’s campaign that might be attracting your audience’s attention instead?
These are the kinds of questions brand tracking software can help you find answers to.
To bring things back into perspective, let’s revisit Culture Trip. With brand tracking software, they would be able to narrow their focus to more specific target audiences, which will allow them to grow more efficiently.
For a travel company, this means focusing on the audiences that matter — like young frequent travelers or those with the time and money to afford luxury travel opportunities. By focusing on these types of audiences, Culture Trip will likely find more success when it comes to increasing its brand awareness.
Using our own brand tracking software, we tracked Culture Trip’s brand performance in 2020 to see how they were faring with different niche audiences. Here’s what we discovered:
We found that for highly educated men aged 26-45, brand awareness increased to 4.1%. Similarly, male Millennials reported 3.3% brand awareness, and all Millennials reported 3.2%. Though small percentages in the grand scheme of things, these levels are still a bit higher when compared to the 2.3% brand awareness within the general population.
So, what does this information reveal?
It shows the power of identifying and focusing on niche audiences. By monitoring your brand awareness with brand tracking software, you can see this growth for yourself in real-time — allowing you to learn more about where to spend your money and which niches to focus on.
2. Use Brand Tracking Software To Analyze Their Competition
This might come as a surprise, but to get the most of your brand tracking data, you need to look beyond your own brand’s performance — you also need to track and analyze your competition.
Some may ask: Why should I spend my precious time tracking how my competitors are faring within my niche audiences?
The answer? Because it not only pays off to keep an eye on the brand awareness campaigns your competition is running —it can also help you refine your own brand strategy.
Let’s once again look at Culture Trip. In our opinion, this brand could take its strategy to the next level by tracking its competition. In this case, the smaller company is falling drastically behind big-name travel brands like Expedia.
Of course, this makes sense. Expedia is a well-known, popular brand that’s been advertising for years. But, by using brand tracking software to dive deeper into Expedia’s brand awareness, Culture Trip would be able to see how they compare to one of their biggest competitors.
In the UK alone, Expedia boasts the following brand awareness:
These levels of brand awareness mean that almost all of the UK’s population recognizes Expedia. And if someone is planning a trip, they’re much more likely to use a platform like Expedia than Culture Trip.
However, don’t lose hope! Culture Trip has the opportunity to analyze the strategy of powerful travel brands like Expedia and use their insights to improve their own strategy going forward.
For example, they might notice that Expedia ran interactive social media ads recently and that these ads drove high engagement rates. This would show Culture Trip that any overlapping target audiences would likely respond well to similar social media ads. So, they might want to consider testing this type of campaign in the near future.
Also, Culture Trip can see which types of travelers respond best to a different brand’s marketing campaigns, giving them greater insight into their own audience. For example, if younger travelers are likely to book through a platform like Expedia, then this is a strong indicator to Culture Trip that they should consider targeting a younger audience.
At the end of the day, it pays to keep an eye on the competition — especially in a world that’s moving as quickly as ours. While you shouldn’t necessarily copy another brand’s strategy, learning from what they’re doing right can prove to be a huge asset for brand managers.
One of the most influential ways brand tracking software makes a difference is by helping you better understand your competitors’ strategies and audiences.
Now that you know how powerful brand tracking software can be, what’s stopping you from taking a closer look at your own brand awareness? While it might seem hard to measure something like “awareness”, with the proper tools it’s easier than you think.
Using brand tracking, you can leverage your niche-specific data and insights to make the most of your marketing budget. But to do that, you need a flexible brand tracking tool that allows for customization. From customized audiences and KPIs to an intuitive dashboard, the right tool will make all the difference.
Want advice on how to choose the best brand tracking software for your brand? Check out our recent article which outlines the five markers of trustworthy brand tracking software.
Updated by: Cory Schröder on 29.10.21