November 13, 2019

Can Marketers Trust Brand Tracking Software?

by Sam Tetrault

Can marketers trust brand tracking software? Past answers have been a resounding "no". But times are changing and so is the software. Find out how in this article.

After years of disappointing results, brand tracking software has earned itself a lackluster reputation in the marketing world. With so many brand trackers promising an all-in-one magical solution, it’s no wonder they sent brand managers running for the hills.

Until recently, it was difficult to find an actionable solution that converts into real results. Brand managers today are right to be skeptical about whether to trust brand tracking software.

The cold, hard truth is that brand trackers of the past were flat out bad.

Even worse, some still are.

Luckily, like all tech tools today, times are changing. Many brand trackers have turned their backs on outdated methods, leaning into the latest technology and research. Now, the right brand tracking software is an effective way to increase brand awareness, learn more about your competitors, and target the right audience.

Yet, one big problem still exists. How can brand trackers build up trust with brand managers again? It’s quite easy: steer clear of the fluff and flimsy results and give them a tool they can actually use. In this guide we are reaching out to both brand managers and brand tracking providers to show why there are new, advanced brand trackers than can be trusted, and what the old-school brand trackers can do to catch up.

Can Brand Tracking Software Lead to Real Results?

There are a number of ways to measure brand awareness that translate to real results. Yes, even with a brand tracking software.

Yet, the unfortunate reality is that too many marketers have been burned by poor experiences with these tools in the past. You might have tried your hand at brand tracking surveys only to doubt how honest the results were. Perhaps you launched an entire awareness campaign only to be left with a huge margin of error.

It’s understandable why brand managers are hesitant. They’ve wasted too much time on unreliable data, poorly designed spreadsheets, and limited audience reach. None of these things drive real results. They’re all signs of poor brand tracking practices, not that brand tracking software isn’t effective and powerful.

Some of the biggest names in the business use brand tracking software to help them grow. For example, Headspace, one of the most well-known mindfulness apps on the market today, uses brand tracking. With the help of the right software, they now know how successful their campaigns are within niche demographics.

The key lies in knowing what brand trackers can be trusted. It’s true that not all software and platforms are accurate or effective. Some rely on outdated practices. Others try to sell you add-ons you don’t need. Brand managers need to learn what to look for when it comes to finding the best brand tracking software for their marketing goals.

Why You Can Trust Brand Trackers (And What Brand Trackers Must Do to Gain Trust)

The brand trackers you’ll encounter today are a new breed - well, some of them at least. They’ve come a long way since the old methods of the past. They’re backed by research, technology, and the latest marketing practices.

The key is to know what sets some brand trackers apart. While it’s true many platforms are still living in the past, it’s easier than ever to find the right tool for your needs. We’ve narrowed our list down to 5 key characteristics trusted brand trackers all have in common.

Once you see these features for yourself, you’ll recognize why these tools set themselves apart. The right brand tracker can be trusted because they bring you all of the following:

  • Fast speed

  • Easy delivery

  • Measurable KPIs

  • Reliable sampling

  • Customizable audiences

These are the things that matter the most when it’s time to turn your data into action. Let’s uncover once and for all how they work together to optimize your campaigns.

1. Fast Speed

In the marketing world, time really is money. If you’re taking too long to learn about your audience, you’re at risk of being left behind.

Unfortunately, speed isn’t a priority for many brand tracking platforms today. They often become just another cog in the wheel, slowing down your turnaround time significantly. What’s the use of data if it takes 6+ months to get your results?

After several months of waiting, how trustworthy are those results? As you know, audiences change quickly. A large gap in turnaround time leaves a lot of room for error.

If a brand tracker is taking months or longer to gather their data, it’s time to ask where that data is coming from. Either way, you likely can’t afford to lose that time in your marketing strategy.

2. Easy to Understand Delivery

Delivery matters when it comes to your data. If you can’t understand your data efficiently, how can your team turn it into action? Simply put, they can’t.

It’s hard to trust a brand tracking software that delivers data in PDFs, confusing spreadsheets, Excel files, and so on. This type of delivery feels weirdly outdated in a digital world where real-time platforms and dashboards are so commonplace.

Wouldn’t it be better if your data was delivered through a simplified dashboard like Google Analytics? Having this information displayed in a way that’s easy for anyone on your team to understand leads to greater insights. This is why it’s important to question those outdated PDFs and spreadsheets. They might look impressive at first glance, but there’s no substance underneath.

3. Focus on KPIs

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is especially true for brand trackers.

In this day and age, we’re constantly bombarded by ads from software and so-called entrepreneurship gurus who offer us the moon and stars. They have the answers to all of our marketing problems. You only need to download 5 lead magnets, join 2 mailing lists, and sign up for a 10-year subscription. Then all of your problems will magically disappear overnight, right?


The right brand trackers know that it’s essential to focus on the most important KPIs. By using shorter surveys that target the ideal user, it’s easier to discover exactly the data you’re looking for. Also, these metrics are much simpler to integrate into your existing strategy.

Don’t forget that branding is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t ask one question to your audience one week then change it the next and expect to receive groundbreaking insights. Think about a TV campaign. How can you measure the overall impact if you change your survey questions every few weeks? You won’t be left with any real answers about your KPIs. TV campaigns can take weeks or months to create a noticeable impact on your target market. You can’t expect clear results by customizing your survey every week.

With brand trackers, sometimes less is more. Focus on the key metrics that matter to your marketing team. From there, you can always expand as needed. Don’t fall for shiny object syndrome. These excessive metrics are only distractions that keep you further from your goals.

4. Reliable Sampling

Traditional methods of survey research simply don’t work anymore. These outdated processes usually involve collecting a sample from the general public. From this group, surveyors make conclusions about the opinions of specific niches from within that sample based on the answers given.

This might make sense at first, but you’re sacrificing research quality.

The closer you zoom in to a specific audience group, the lower the quality of your results. Let’s look at an example to see why traditional brand tracking is often flawed. Say a new app launches a campaign targeting tech-savvy college students. To track whether this campaign is successful, they conduct a sample with 1000 people.

Herein lies the problem.

Of those 1000 people, they determine 300 are college students and 400 are tech-savvy. Ultimately, only 40 are tech-savvy college students or their target niche. From this number, they might be able to claim that 30% of their target audience is aware of their brand. However, their small number of respondents makes this statistic unreliable. Over time, it’s even more challenging to track this progress.

In this day and age, there needs to be a different approach. Instead of relying on the 40 tech-savvy college students within their sample, brand trackers need to focus on respondent characteristics rather than individuals. That’s what we do here at Latana. This process, known as MRP, will lead to more effective and reliable brand tracking results.

5. Customizable Audiences

Traditional brand tracking software that relies on outdated sampling methods is also limited when it comes to your audience. Many of these platforms only allowed you to segment by things like age, gender, and demographics.

Luckily, this is changing. Today, brand tracking platforms give you the freedom to choose between thousands of segmentation options. More options mean more accurate results.

Let’s say you’re a maternity company and you want to target first-time mothers. You need to be able to trust your brand tracker to not only understand your niche but to help you monitor it successfully. This simply wasn’t possible before, but it is today with the right tools.

By relying on the latest approach to brand tracking, you can trust that your audience is at the focus of your brand awareness campaigns. In this day and age, your company can’t afford to waste time on the wrong audience.

Welcome to a New World of Brand Tracking

We’re officially in a Brave New World of brand tracking. Not only are more companies of all shapes and sizes relying on brand awareness data to make stronger decisions, but it’s one of the best ways to get ahead in today’s competitive world.

Today, when you use a brand tracking software, it’s about more than getting a spreadsheet that forgotten in a week. Instead, you access real-world insights that matter to your business. It’s a way to pull back the curtain on your niche to see what they’re interested in and what they’re responding too. undefined

Whether your goal is to measure your offline campaigns, learn more about your audience, or see how you stack up against the competition, brand tracking software can get you there. How does your target audience see your brand? Are you making an impact where it matters most? These are the questions you’re asking as a brand manager. Brand tracking software is the best way to not only get the answer, but also to do something about it.

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