Market Analytics Platform

27 September, 2023

Brand pulse checks: Tracking consumer awareness doesn’t need to cost the earth – The power of real-time qualitative + quantitative.

Brand measurement is a critical component in understanding and influencing performance over time. Yet, defining one overarching metric to monitor and assess brand health, awareness, and success remains a challenge with so many different metrics forming part of the overall definition of brand “success”.

The challenge of accurate measurement, combined with fear around cost and expertise mean that despite 96% of companies believing that brand perception impacts revenue, some studies show just 44% of brands have been successful in adopting brand tracking.

However, with the right tools, frameworks, and approach, marketers can leverage a new “always on” approach to brand measurement, such as Brand Pulse Checks to effectively track consumer awareness in a cost-effective and scalable way, whilst also improving the overall accuracy and reliability of results.

Tracking brand awareness and evaluating brand health through a combination qualitative and quantitative metrics provides a holistic approach to brand management, leading to better decision-making and an increased understanding of the needs and wants of the target audience, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

So, why aren’t more brands actively monitoring brand awareness and perception? Despite the benefits of combining these approaches, many marketers struggle to implement and interpret brand tracking studies, meaning where useful insights are collected, they frequently fail to be turned into tangible actions.

Overemphasising lower funnel metrics alone, ignoring the value of brand across the upper and mid funnel can be misleading , stunting long-term growth and leading to an over-reliance on direct conversion channels alone whilst failing to grow market share and build brand equity.

Combining both qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure awareness mean marketers can measure the success of their campaigns whilst also gaining valuable insights into how their brand is perceived. Combining this with critical, commercial performance indicators give brand tracking a central role in informing strategy. 

Why brand tracking matters and its challenges

Without brand tracking, marketers are essentially operating in the dark, unable to gauge the impact of their efforts or understand how their brand is perceived by their target audience. Moreover, they lack the strategic ability to influence other, parts of the marketing and acquisition funnel in the longer term.

Robust brand tracking looks not only at awareness, but also encompasses perception and association. This includes factors such as consumer attitudes, opinions, and associations. By monitoring perception, you can identify any gaps between your intended brand image and how consumers perceive your brand.

However, brand tracking does come with its challenges. One perceived obstacle is the cost and expertise associated with conducting brand surveys and collecting real-time qualitative and quantitative data. For example, traditional methods of brand tracking, such as phone surveys or focus groups, can be expensive and time-consuming. Many marketers hesitate to invest in these methods due to limited resources.

Another challenge is scalability. As a brand grows and reaches a larger audience, it becomes increasingly difficult to track consumer awareness and perception effectively. Traditional brand tracking methods may struggle to keep up with the pace and scale of a rapidly expanding brand.

With BoldLens, we evangelise the concept of ‘always on’ Brand Pulse Checks: a combination of near real-time qualitative and quantitative consumer data that can address these challenges and provide cost-effective and scalable solutions for brand tracking.

What are brand pulse checks and how do they work?

Our approach to brand tracking, ‘Pulse Checks’ are a streamlined, scalable approach to collecting real-time qualitative and quantitative data to measure brand awareness tracking and brand perception tracking.

In addition to brand awareness tracking, Brand Pulse Checks also include brand perception tracking. This involves gathering information on how consumers perceive the brand and their attitudes and opinions towards it. Marketers can ask questions about what values or characteristics they associate with the brand, how they feel about the brand compared to its competitors, and whether they would recommend the brand to others.

These checks involve conducting regular surveys or polls with a sample of the target audience to uncover insights with targeted questions that map across the consideration and purchase funnel.

  • Track their knowledge & awareness of the brand.
  • Uncover their perceptions around the brand.
  • Understand context of where & how they engage with the brand.
  • Assess their likelihood to choose or purchase from a brand in future.

By collecting this qualitative data, marketers and brand owners can gain a clear understanding of how their brand is perceived in the market and whether their marketing efforts are effectively reaching and resonating with the target audience across any point in the funnel and, by combining this with other KPIs, understand the impact of this on commercial metrics.

The insights gained from brand pulse checks can then be used to shape brand strategy and make informed decisions about marketing campaigns.

Benefits of qualitative brand tracking and measurement:

  • Provides insights into customer attitudes and behaviour towards the brand.
  • Allows for a more in-depth understanding of brand perception.
  • Provides a holistic view of the brand’s emotional and psychological impact on customers.

Challenges of qualitative brand tracking and measurement:

  • Lack of objectivity can lead to biased results.
  • Difficult to measure the effectiveness of brand communication and marketing efforts.
  • Small sample size may not be representative of the larger target market.

Examples: Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and online surveys.

Benefits of quantitative brand tracking and measurement:

  • Provides statistical data for easy comparison and analysis.
  • Allows for large-scale measurement of customer perception and behaviour towards the brand.
  • Provides accurate measurement of the impact of brand communication and marketing efforts.
    Challenges of quantitative brand tracking and measurement:
  • Can lead to a lack of understanding of the underlying reasons behind customer behaviour.
  • Limited insight into the emotional and psychological impact of the brand on customers
  • May not be able to capture the subtleties of customer perception.

Examples: Web analytics, and social media monitoring.

When used together, qualitative, and quantitative methods can provide a more comprehensive understanding of brand perception and customer behaviour. Qualitative methods can help to uncover the underlying reasons behind customer behaviour, while quantitative methods can provide statistical data for easy comparison and analysis.

For example, brands can conduct a qualitative study to understand the underlying reasons behind customer dissatisfaction with their brand, and then use the insights gained from the study to design a quantitative survey that measures the effectiveness of the solutions implemented.

Benefits of using real-time qual + quant for brand tracking

Brands leveraging the powerful combination of real-time qualitative and quantitative data unlock key advantages and gain competitive advantage:

  • Immediate insights: Real-time data collection allows marketers to gain near instant insight into consumer awareness and perception. With traditional brand tracking methods, such as focus groups or surveys, there is often a delay in data collection and analysis. However, real-time qual + quant data provides marketers with up-to-date information, enabling them to make timely decisions and adjustments to their brand strategy.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Real-time qual + quant data collection methods, such as online surveys and social media monitoring, can be more cost-effective than traditional approaches. With online surveys, marketers can reach many respondents at a fraction of the cost of conducting phone surveys or focus groups. Additionally, social media monitoring tools allow marketers to gather qualitative data at no or minimal cost. By using these cost-effective methods, marketers can allocate their resources more efficiently.
  • Scalability: Real-time qual + quant data collection methods are scalable, making them ideal for brands that are rapidly expanding or reaching a larger audience. With online surveys, marketers can collect data from many respondents in a short period. This scalability ensures that as a brand grows, tracking consumer awareness and perception can still be done effectively.
  • Richer insights: By combining qualitative and quantitative data, marketers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of consumer awareness and perception. Quantitative data provides numerical measurements, such as brand awareness metrics or ratings, while qualitative data offers valuable context and depth, such as consumer opinions or reasons behind certain perceptions. The combination of both types of data allows marketers to uncover deeper insights and make more informed decisions.
  • Actionable recommendations: Real-time qual + quant data enables marketers to generate actionable recommendations for their brand strategy. By analysing the data, marketers can identify key areas of improvement, make necessary adjustments to messaging or targeting, and develop strategies to enhance brand awareness and perception. The deeper, yet structured nature provided by brand pulse checks can also be combined with automated A.I analysis tools to provide fast automated insights and recommendations.  

Tips for effective brand tracking with limited resources

  • When it comes to brand tracking, limited resources can pose a challenge for marketers. However, there are several tips and strategies that can help you effectively track consumer awareness and perception even with limited resources:
  • Prioritise key metrics: With limited resources, it’s important to focus on the key metrics that are most important for your brand. Identify the specific brand awareness and perception metrics that align with your brand goals and prioritise tracking those. This will allow you to allocate your resources more efficiently and gain valuable insights in the areas that matter most. Here’s our guide to some of the most important metrics.
  • Use free or low-cost tools: There are many free or low-cost tools available that can help you track brand awareness and perception. Utilise social media monitoring tools, online survey platforms, and data analytics tools to collect and analyse real-time data without breaking the bank. These tools can provide valuable insights and allow you to track consumer awareness and perception at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
  • Leverage user-generated content: User-generated content, such as customer reviews, testimonials, and social media mentions, can provide valuable insights into brand perception. Monitor and analyse user-generated content to understand how consumers perceive your brand. This data can be a cost-effective way to gain insights and identify areas for improvement.
  • Continuously monitor and adjust: Even with limited resources, it’s important to continuously monitor consumer awareness and perception. By consistently tracking brand metrics and analysing real-time data, you can make timely adjustments to your brand strategy. This proactive approach ensures that you stay ahead of any shifts in consumer perceptions and can make informed decisions to enhance brand awareness and perception.

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