The last two years have been difficult times for businesses across the globe with the impact of the recession and economic downturn. Marketing departments within leading businesses had to work harder to ensure that their brand remains strong and maintains its market share during such turbulent times. Some businesses however, suffered due to the lack of investment in marketing and had to lose staff or even cut budgets. Is this a wise thing to do? I don’t know and I don’t think there is a definitive answer but what I do know is that a businesses ‘brand’ must work harder now than ever before.
Brand campaigns are on the top of many marketers lists at the moment as they try to gain market share or maintain a market leading position. Marketers are investing thousands of pounds on brand advertising and brand campaigns to get their company name in front of as many people as they can and have ads seen everywhere and on every site. Whilst this is a great thing to do and an easy task to set out, it is not so easy to measure if those brand campaigns have worked or not. I mean, how do you know more people have heard of you now then yesterday? How do you know more people remember things about your brand now than 6 months ago? How do you know your brand advertising campaigns have actually had any impact at all?
I wrote a while back about how to find your ‘brand power visitors‘ by using Google Analytics to segment those who enter your site via your brand name, spent more than 2 minutes on your site and viewed more than 4 pages. These are your ‘brand power visitors’ and they are the ones who know of your brand name or company name and then go onto engage with your site, let’s just say these visitors are the ones who want a long term relationship. Very important to know this in my opinion.
So, how do you go about measuring your online brand campaigns and measuring if your campaign had any impact whatsoever?
Before you launch an online brand campaign you need to know where you stand at this moment in time or a snapshot of where your brand sits over the last 3 months. You need to establish how many visitors visit your site via a search engine (as most do) and search by your brand name or company name. If they are searching for your website via your brand or company name it means that they already know of you right?
To do this you segment the visitors to your site via keyword ‘brand name’ or your ‘company name’ from the last 3 months or 6 months. In this example, I have used 3 months.
The above segment tells me that 87 visits out of 2,089 visits over the last 3 months came to my site via my ‘brand name’. Not many right? And this also tells me now that I need to do something about raising my online brand profile and presence.
So, I go away and implement a 3 month online brand campaign consisting of large banner ad’s across many wonderful, high traffic, relevant websites and you I even support my online brand campaign by sponsoring a big football team and have my brand name and web address plastered on their football kits. I am getting my brand name and website out there!
My campaign ends and I come back in 3 months time and I do the same exercise again with the same segmentation process. But this time things have changed.
After 3 months of an extensive online brand campaign supported by a sponsorship deal I notice that the number of visits to my website in the last 3 months via my ‘brand name’ through a search engine has now shot up to…….531!
That’s 531 visits via my ‘brand’ or ‘company’ name through a search engine. 3 months ago it was 87. That’s an increase of 510%!!
I also then need to see if there has been any change in ‘loyalty’ of my visitors. If someone likes your brand and recognises your brand then they should and want to keep coming back for more. By measuring visitor loyalty I can see how many times visitors visit my site over a period of time. If a brand campaign has worked then I expect to see an increase in the number of times visitors visit my site compared to prior brand campaign launch.
So, I go away and view the ‘Visitor Loyalty’ report in Google Analytics.
The ‘Visitor Loyalty’ report (I love this report) above tells me that I have reduced the number of visitors returning to my site just the 1 time (reduced one night stands). Great! I also reduced the number of visitors returning twice, or 3 times.
I can see an increase in the number of people visiting my site 9-14 times in the last 3 months (building long term relationships) and the biggest increase is the number of people visiting 26-50 times!! Great! I have increased the loyalty of visitors and they are coming back on many more occasions and not just the once or twice and then never come back again.
You should also check to see of your ‘direct’ traffic report has seen an increase too, these are the visitors who know of your web address or have bookmarked your site. These are also brand visitors.
So, after my brand campaign, I saw an increase in visits to my site via my brand or company name. Over the course of the campaign I also saw an increase in loyalty from visitors as they are now coming back on more occasions. Did this online brand campaign work?
I think so.
The objective was to increase the awareness of my brand and the number of people who have heard of my brand right? What better way to measure that then by segmenting those who come to your site via a bookmark or entering your brand name in a search engine? And then viewing how the campaign has got people coming back for more and visiting your site more often. I think it’s about reducing the number of one night stands with your visitors and more about building a longer term relationship.
I’d love to hear how you have gone about measuring your ‘online brand campaigns’ and ‘brand power visitors’ as opposed to just viewing and reporting clicks, visits from banner ads, time spent on site and page views etc.
Also, please feel free to leave a comment on any other types of segments which can be created to understand how your online brand campaigns can be measured.
Great article, I feel this outlines some very important points when we discuss brand awareness. That being direct knowledge of your brand name, but little about the impact of understanding a brands values.
I’ve always been a fan of brand values being driven through your campaigns and would encourage businesses to raise awareness of both brand name and brand values.
I think campaigns like “Save Today, Save Tomorrow” currently being run by EDF go further to build brand understanding and long term loyalty.
In terms of monitoring, using analytics is very important, in addition I’d use social media monitoring and press cutting services to monitor external buzz happening away from your website.
Great thoughts on ‘brand values’, in my opinion, some brands completely forget about their brand values and what they mean to the customer and to their employees.
The good old ‘value for money’ and ‘Quality Service’ is a beaten drum and one that I am against but brands who live by other values, how do they measure those brand values? If it is to offer a low cost service then can they prove it and do they live to deliver low cost services?
100% agree with the EDF example to build loyalty and what a great example it is.
Thanks Ian for your comment.