As marketing and research professionals, we are many things. We are innovative. We are resourceful. We are savvy. But above all else, we are goal oriented. Whether the company we work for is big or small, goals drive every aspect of our work.
It is no accident that every strategic marketing plan ends with an “evaluation” section. We know that it is crucial to look-back at the effectiveness of a campaign to evaluate if the strategic choices that were made truly accomplished the plan’s goals.
Throughout the lifespan of marketing there have been various ways to gather information on the effectiveness of a campaign, but with the advent of the Internet and other technologies everything has changed. Today, businesses have the ability to gather overwhelming volumes of information on their consumers and their behavior. This increase in available information has been revolutionary, yet it has come with challenges. It is increasingly important for marketers to be aware of the opportunities and challenges associated with data in order to thoughtfully navigate decision making, and to understand when more specific market research data is needed.
The importance of data and analytics
Data collection and analysis is essential for avoiding future business development mistakes. Comprehensive market research allows businesses to have information on consumer perception year-over-year, month-over-month, or even week-over-week—which provides valuable insight into a company’s consumer base. This helps to guide effective strategic marketing choices because patterns can help predict future consumer behavior.
Tracking brand health with data and analytics
Brand health is a term used to describe the overall perception and stability of a brand as it lives in the mind of consumers. One way to better understand the importance of brand health and brand health tracking is to look at its parallels with medical health.
A typical rule of thumb is to go to a physician when you are sick or at least once a year for a check-up. At a doctor’s appointment, physicians use their base of knowledge to look for what signs may indicate an unhealthy body, however, when a stethoscope is simply not enough to diagnose a problem, more tests need to be run. The same is true for brands. It is typical for brand health to be evaluated once a year at the end of a marketing plan, but when a dip in revenue or brand perception arrives it is important for brands to look deeper into data in order to attack the problem.
Essentially, if a brand is like a body, then marketers are like physicians—and data collection is like blood tests. Physicians use blood panels to gain insight into which portions of the body are functioning well and which portions are not functioning well. Marketers use data in the same way. After data is analyzed by professionals, various metrics come together to determine overall brand health. Marketers, like physicians, dive deep into numbers to gain insight. Physicians look at nutrients and hormone levels, while marketers look into revenue and customer loyalty. Just like low levels of iron in a blood screen can indicate problems in a body, low levels of brand awareness can indicate problems for a brand. In medicine, this is called diagnosis; in marketing, it is called analytics.
Brands that do not regularly collect data are like people without access to healthcare. Without ongoing data collection, if a crisis arrives there will be limited access to information that can help fix the problem. For this reason, it is imperative that businesses conduct brand health tracking research on a regular basis so they can act immediately when a problem arises—or before a problem arises.
One of the keys to maintaining a profitable and well received brand is to actively combat a dip in metrics before that dip becomes a significant issue in overall performance. It is a best practice to intermittently analyze brand health data to watch out for potential problems. As soon as there is a concern regarding the perception of a brand, action should be taken. Brands may run surveys, conduct focus groups, or sift through large quantities of past data to understand why their performance is lagging. However, if too much time passes by without action it is typically difficult for brands to accurately assess what went wrong.
GeoPoll works with leading brands to provide them with fast, high-quality brand health data at regular intervals. Using our unique mobile survey methodology, GeoPoll can reach extremely targeted audiences and survey them weekly, monthly, or quarterly to demonstrate the health of your brand over time. Don’t wait to track brand health until it’s too late; contact GeoPoll to set up regular, custom brand tracking metrics today.