Marketers know that building and maintaining brand engagement is an important part of overall marketing success.
However, understanding the true impact of branding efforts can be difficult.
In fact, a recent study conducted by Visual IQ found an overwhelming majority (80 percent) of US and UK based marketers find measuring the impact of branding efforts more challenging than measuring the impact of direct response efforts.
While the rise of digital marketing, the availability of granular, user-level data, and the advent of advanced measurement solutions have paved the way for quantifying direct response marketing efforts, it’s much more difficult to quantify brand marketing success.
Unlike direct response, branding metrics aren’t inherently baked into programs since they often don’t elicit an easily identifiable “conversion” response – such as a sale or a lead.
Instead, marketers are tasked with measuring “engagement” activities, such as video views, landing page visits and whitepaper downloads, which don’t directly correlate to a conversion activity.
Yet it’s no longer enough for marketers to report that the outcome of a major marketing initiative was an increase in website visits or Facebook likes without any connection to how those initiatives drive incremental brand lift and influence down-stream conversions.
With branding budgets accounting for a significant portion of overall marketing spend, it’s essential that marketers make informed decisions about where to invest their branding dollars.
So what should CMOs do to ensure brand teams are making data-driven decisions? Asking tough questions is one place to start.
Here are three questions today’s CMOs should be asking their brand teams:
What is the true impact of branding channels and tactics for driving engagement with our brand?
Flawed last click measurement approaches handicap marketers by giving all the credit for a brand engagement activity to the last touchpoint.
Accurately assigning credit to each branding channel and tactic that drives a desired brand engagement action is an underlying key to success when it comes to brand building.
Are we using the right mix of placements, keywords and creatives? Once you have an accurate understanding how each marketing channel and tactic impacts brand engagement, you can then use that information to effectively optimize your marketing mix.
With a clear understanding of what’s working, you can make more informed decisions about where to invest your branding dollars.
Which publishers drive the most unique reach for my branding campaigns?
Ultimately, publishers are your partners, but they still must be evaluated. In addition to understanding total reach, the ability to compare and contrast each publisher’s ability to deliver impressions to unique audiences is critical for determining the publisher(s) with whom to invest your budget.
How CMOs can get answers
Although branding measurement can be a complex process, technological advances have made quantifying the impact of branding campaigns much easier, and much more accurate.
Using advanced measurement solutions, like attribution, is one way that CMOs can answer the questions above and bring the same degree of measurability and accountability to branding efforts as their direct response initiatives.