The musical Rent asks a difficult question: How do you measure a year? In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee? Measuring brand awareness is equally as difficult as measuring a year.
Our company is constantly interacting with people through our online, print & video content. We know how to engage to niche and large audiences across the state, and it all starts with brand awareness.
Below, we’ll look at why brand awareness matters, the flaws in popular measurement methods, and how to measure the immeasurable.
What is brand awareness and why should I care?
Brand awareness is the act of letting people know your brand exists. Awareness is different than being seen. Like the difference in hearing and listening, your brand can be seen but if no one remembers it, they won’t be aware of it. Why does brand awareness matter? If someone doesn’t know you exist or remember you exist when the time comes for them to make a purchase, then they won’t buy from you. Every brand wants to be successful and usually that means selling products or getting individuals to take an action. Consistent brand awareness leads to selling more products and more action.
Fun Fact: In 1997, when the Mars Pathfinder landed on the red planet, Mars candy bar sales skyrocketed here on Earth. Why? Because more people were hearing and thinking about Mars, even though the candy was named after its founder, Franklin Mars.
I ran an ad, so I’m finished with brand awareness.
Brand awareness is intangible, so many of the “measurement” theories for digital brand awareness are flawed, such as measuring clicks, or just not measuring at all.
Only looking at clicks from a digital display campaign is similar to counting hole-in-ones during a round of golf. With an industry average click through rate of .07%, it’s safe to say that most people will not click on your ad. But, that is okay. Brand awareness is all about making people aware and consistently staying in front of them. Just because you don’t shoot a hole-in-one doesn’t mean you’re not closer to the green.
Some businesses will dabble with brand awareness but not do it continuously. Would you remove the sign in front of your store? Then why stop brand awareness and top-of-mind advertising? People purchase cars or refrigerators at various times and frequency, so not being in front of individuals when they are making a purchase decision is costing your business money.
Why measure at all?
We measure what matters and brand awareness matters. Returning to the golf analogy; if clicks are hole-in-ones, then measuring brand awareness is equivalent to finding the right swing and the right club to get you to the green as quickly as possible.
I’ve worked with businesses who know they need to advertise but don’t care about performance. If you know running is good for you but don’t pay attention to the distance or pace, why do it? Measure what matters.
Measuring the immeasurable
While most customers won’t walk into your store and say, “I’m here because I saw an advertisement,” analyzing store traffic is one way to measure effective brand awareness.
Wait, I thought you said we shouldn’t measure hole-in-ones? A hole-in-one is getting a sale directly from someone clicking on a digital display ad or walking into your store with a newspaper ad in hand. It’s great when it happens, just like a hole-in-one, but if you are getting to the green faster or getting more shoppers in the store or on the lot, then your brand awareness is working.
Another way to effectively measure brand awareness is by looking at your website analytics. Has your website traffic increased? Are more people going to your website by searching for your business name or brand? Setting up goals and events to track website activity important to you will help guide how marketing tactics need to be optimized.
Finally, a brand can partner with a marketing company for access to various advertising metrics. For example, advertising on a reputable website, such as AL.com results in higher click through rates than advertising on joesrandomsportsblog.net. Individuals trust and spend more time on reputable websites, so they inherently trust and spend more time looking at the advertising.
Finding a marketing partner to share and interpret data in relation to a business’ goals can save a business time and money spent in measuring the wrong things or not measuring at all.
Brand awareness is messy. Data is messy. But, it’s still important to measure because it matters. Don’t only focus on the hole-in-ones and ignore valuable branding that can help your business. Work toward your goal and find a brand awareness strategy and marketing partner that can help you achieve those goals. Now tee-up and get to the green!