Best Practices

How External Data Can Enhance Brand Measurement

 2021/10/girl-is-taking-photos-of-breakfast-245.jpg Girl is taking photos of breakfast, chia pudding with berries to mobile phone. Social media, instagram concept. Copy space, top view
Girl is taking photos of breakfast, chia pudding with berries to mobile phone. Social media, instagram concept. Copy space, top view

Primary market research offers the best single approach to analyzing a brand’s position in the marketplace. But when research is combined with external data, a brand can add considerably to the power of that learning.

Bringing customer data, social media, and other secondary sources into the mix offers the opportunity to create a more comprehensive and holistic view of your brand. In this regard, being data agnostic when assessing your brand’s status and performance can lead to powerful results. The key is to evaluate data sources with the business objectives of the brand measurement program in mind.

Customer data

This can involve looking at many different metrics such as financial data, product and service ownership, behavioral information, and potentially, data from other surveys. When customer data metrics such as these are integrated with survey-based brand measures they afford brands the opportunity to do several meaningful things:

  • Build clearer characterizations and profiles of those who are more closely aligned with the brand
  • Develop predictive models that allow for more powerful and relevant outreach initiatives based on demographic and behavioral data
  • Create more effective campaigns and targeting efforts

In many cases, these efforts can extend to non-customers by integrating other external data sources.

Social media

An organization’s owned social media channels can also significantly enrich a brand’s understanding. It can serve as an early warning of potential issues, allowing you to follow up with survey-based research to delve more deeply into the topic and better assess the full impact of the situation.

It can also provide external validation for primary brand measurement, acting as a proxy in between brand tracking waves or producing topics for new questions to include in a primary brand measurement program.

One of the most powerful sources of input for a brand is User Generated Content (UGC) that can be used for guiding brand positioning decisions.

Ad Spend and Marcom Activities

When we have brand tracking data on a quarterly or more frequent basis, this data can be merged with advertising spend or other data that is indicative of marcom activities. This allows us to create “Time Series-Intervention Models” which can:

  • Help us understand the impact that ad/marcom activities have on various Brand Key Performance Metrics (e.g., awareness, consideration, overall Brand Health, etc.). That is, which activities are most impactful.
  • Allow us to measure how ad spend influences brand perceptions across time in terms of brand Build, Lag, Decay and Wear Out.
  • Predict how various levels of ad spend or marcom activities are likely to impact brand measures over time.

Case in Point

A large media client was seeking to understand their unique brand value and proposition. To do so, we started by reviewing thousands of UGC that were posted online, and using textual analysis to code these comments across a variety of different dimensions. We then conducted survey research in which we tested mathematically-generated comments in a conjoint analysis to understand which UGC was most valuable in building the brand.

By fusing both survey data and UGC data, we were able to help this client enhance their business and marketing understanding to strengthen their brand and build loyalty.

Want to learn more about enhancing your brand measurement through external data?

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