Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Measuring Brand Campaigns – For Real Impact

We all ask the same questions about how to measure online media for brand campaigns, but I rarely hear about any possible answers! I was always taught that if you pose a question you should also pose a possible solution, but unfortunately not enough people were raised in that way. I recently spent some time with some of the top global marketers and listened to them discuss how they read online ad a part of the overall media mix. I listened and didn’t speak up because I wanted an unbiased opinion of how they do what they do. I wanted hear what they had to say.

The feedback was valuable and I took away some powerful points, but it all came down to two concepts; brand recall and “brand love”, as one of them put it.

Brand recall is easy to understand and not too difficult to carry out. You can do it with simple polling and surveys, and although no-one has it 100% correct, there are a few ways to execute this measurement. The standard way is to use a custom research study, such as Dynamic Logic and Insight Express. There are also less customized ways to do it and a number of companies exist to supply these; one of the ones that I liked the best is called Vizu and their Ad Catalyst product (no relation to my company, Catalyst:SF). They do a simple one question recall message and the response rates are pretty high. You can poke holes in all these methodologies, but the bottomline is that they are a great place to start.

The measure for Brand Love is more difficult and is more akin to brand loyalty in my mind. This is something that I don’t think can be measured without two primary components; a custom brand research study and a tie-in to sales. Sales are as direct a correlation to brand loyalty and love as you can achieve. If you spend money and sales go up, then the brand is creating loyalty. If you fluctuate the spend against advertising and marketing and the brand stays up, then you did a great job. If the sales decrease at any point, then loyalty and brand love are a problem because either there is no loyalty or the product is simply ineffective.

Don’t get sucked into the debate too deeply; there are lots of ways to track brand impact, awareness, loyalty and love. You just need access to the information and a partner that you can trust.

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