Understanding Data Analytics to Improve Your Brand
When it comes to marketing, creating and launching campaigns is only half the battle. We also need to measure our performance, review, refine, and start again. While some metrics might be black and white, for instance, website visits, click-through rates, or transactions, others present more of a challenge.
This is where brand awareness comes into it. In isolation, this term may not tell us much: how can we quantify how ‘present’ our brand is? Should we be focusing on other metrics instead? Ask 70% of brand managers and they will tell you no – in fact, seven in 10 brand managers consider building an audience more important than making sales.
So, how exactly can we turn a marketing concept into specific, measurable figures? It all comes down to data analytics.
Your brand and the customer journey
Brand awareness isn’t a fluffy marketing term – it’s an incredibly valuable measure of overall business performance, audience perception, and potential for long-term growth. By applying brand tracking data to the customer marketing funnel, we can expect better results at every stage.
Here’s how that funnel works.
At this stage, customers have no idea your brand even exists. They might have a problem that you can solve, but without the right marketing tactics, there’s no way you can reach them. In brand tracking terms, we would refer to this as the ‘discovery phase.
We might use ‘push marketing’ tactics to get our brand in front of people. For example:
- Influencer marketing has been proven to be particularly effective with Generation Zs and Millennials, with 61% of consumers aged 18-34 claiming an influencer has “swayed their purchasing decision”.
- Partnering with more established companies can foster trust. Almost half of all brands (45%) said that brand partnerships were “central to growth”.
- Social media advertising has been cited as “second only to search engine marketing” in terms of customer engagement. It can also be a reliable quick win while you work on SEO in the background.
So, what kind of data can we measure at this stage? We can cross-reference campaign launches with data on visitor clicks, purchases, likes, comments and shares to get a better impression of how these new customers are discovering and interacting with our brand.
At this stage, your customer is more familiar with your brand, so it’s time to engage in a little introspection. How is your brand perceived by this customer, and what can you do to sway his or her decision?
From a brand tracking perspective, this is still part of that crucial discovery stage, where we’re learning more about our customers. We might use a tool like heatmap tracking to determine how our customers are engaging with the brand based on user segments. For example, we could break audiences down into age groups, gender or education level.
Also, Read: How To Calculate And Measure The SEO ROI?
We might also conduct primary research to get feedback from our prospective audiences. For example, we can use surveys to ask our audience questions about the product. Even better, we can ask them what would make them choose our product over a competitor’s.
It might seem underhand, but monitoring a competitor’s performance is absolutely crucial to gain a better understanding of your own. You could consider tactics such as:
- Consumer perception analysis: determining whether feedback on a brand is positive, negative or neutral. On a larger scale, we can use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to look for ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ language and find out more about how our competitors are perceived. So, if hundreds of customers are complaining about slow delivery times on social media, that’s a weakness we could exploit by examining elements of building an effective strategy.
- Keyword analysis: by looking at what keywords they rank for in search engines, and more importantly, where they fail to rank, you can guide your own organic or PPC strategies.
With better awareness of both your customers’ sentiments and your competitors’ failings, you can build trust and guide people through to the all-important purchase phase.
At this point, the customer is ready to make a purchase. Your brand is on the radar and it’s all about delivering the right product or service that will solve their problems.
Campaign data really comes into its own here. For example, you might have a vast product range that suits multiple audiences – sports clothing for children, men and women, let’s say. You understand that a ‘one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it: an adult male’s wetsuit isn’t going to attract a female tennis player.
User segmentation helps us to drill down and create more targeted campaigns that influence purchase decisions. But in a broader sense, brand tracking can also offer some pleasant surprises – you might discover new audiences you’d never considered approaching before. Again, we return to the whole review, refine and redo methodology, taking insights and turning them into actions.
If you thought the buying stage was valuable, then the retention stage is even more so. Did you know that it can cost up to five times more to acquire a new customer than it can to retain an existing one?
This is why it is so important, as brand marketers, that we consider this an integral part of the customer journey. We might consider monitoring ‘spikes’ in brand awareness campaigns and drilling down into those audiences. What led them to a successful purchase, and how can we convince them again?
At this stage, it’s all about taking big data and applying it to the individual. So, if you’re an office stationery supplier who gained 100 customers off the back of one campaign, it’s time to nurture them and re-engage when they might need to re-order. We can analyze metrics such as new and returning users to calculate buying cycles, then send out targeted campaigns, such as email promotions, to encourage loyalty.
Nothing could outvalue purchases and retention, right? Well, advocacy could certainly take it one step further. At this stage, not only are our customers retained; they are brand evangelists. They will happily talk about our brand without incentive; they will wear our labels and recommend our products to others.
This is where brand association really matters. What do our customers think about when they hear our brand name out loud? Amazon might be associated with speed or convenience, for example.
We can use brand preference tools to analyse what makes our product stand out against our competitors, and play on this to foster even greater loyalty. It could be anything from enhanced UX to a quirky design or an ethical focus. Once we understand why our customers buy from us, we can use it to power advertising campaigns, build up affiliate marketing, and improve the quality of our product.
Every stage counts
While you might not be targeting everybody, every customer counts. One individual could provide insights into your brand perception, your strengths and weaknesses, your campaign performance and your growth potential.
What’s essential to remember is that brand perceptions vary at every stage of the funnel, so we need to leverage data analytics to get the best from our customers. Brand tracking never really stops – it’s an ongoing process that evolves with your audience. Using data analytics ensures you’re always one step ahead.