5 tips on using brand analytics to bring brand to the boardroom
Lots of brand managers share the same frustration: How do I get the brand on the agenda for the next board meeting? The brand being an intangible asset makes it difficult to measure its performance and value, and the board expects hard data to justify investments in brand. According to Brand Finance, your brand represents 18% of the value of your organisation. It deserves top level attention. These five tips will show you how to use brand analytics to bring your brand into the boardroom.
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Tip 1: Use real-time metrics to measure brand performance
There are several options to measure the performance of your brand. A research agency could do an annual analysis, which results in an extensive report to show the status of your brand. A disadvantage of this approach is that your brand performance will only be analysed once or twice a year. Another – and in my opinion better – method is to use real-time metrics. These metrics are increasingly available, but are not yet used much to measure brand performance. Real-time measurement enables you to make quick choises based on facts to ensure that your brand stays on the right track. It also makes regular updates possible on the status and performance of the brand to inform the boardroom and the rest of the organisation. This makes sure that the brand continues to live among people.
"The advantage of real-time brand metrics is that you can make fact-based choices on a daily basis to keep your brand on the right track."
Tip 2: Organise brand metrics in one dashboard
I would recommend to collect all relevant data and brand metrics in one dashboard. You don’t have to look at different tools (Google Analytics, social media platforms, backlink tools, etc.) separately and it will give you a clear overview so you can quickly see what needs attention. Also, it will help you to make connections between the data. Through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) it is possible to collect data from different sources – ERP, CRM, DAM and brand portal systems – in one dashboard. You combine these different data sources into data ‘visualisations’, which leads to more insights and interesting correlations. A single view of all brand analytics data will give direct knowledge on how your brand performs. There are various dashboard tools available to connect data and make your brand performance tangible in a simple way.
Tip 3: Use a model to measure brand performance
Via Google Analytics, social media, email marketing tools and backlink tools it is relatively easy to get real-time brand analytics. But how to interpret all this data? A data model helps to connect the data from different sources and translate it into an overall score to measure brand performance. VIM Group created a brand funnel for this purpose. The brand funnel can be used to map the full brand lifecycle; from the visibility of your brand to your relevancy for your target groups. The funnel consists of five phases and each phase is linked to multiple data points that ultimately provide an overall score for each individual phase.
Brand funnel phases:
|1. Brand Presence||Shows where you are present as a brand and therefore visible, e.g. ‘social reach’.|
|2. Brand Interest||Displays data that shows that people are interested in your brand, e.g. ‘newsletter click-through rates’.|
|3. Brand Appreciation||Shows how people appreciate your brand, e.g. ‘service satisfaction’.|
|4. Brand Loyalty||Shows peoples loyalty to your brand, e.g. ‘number of social media subscribers’.|
|5. Brand Engagement||Shows how your brand is being promoted by others, e.g. ‘number of content shares’.|
Tip 4: Share brand performance data with the board and others
Sharing is caring. When people are aware of the brand performance, they will pay more attention to the brand. You can share your brand KPIs and results with the board and the rest of the organisation. You could give relevant stakeholders login credentials so they can view the dashboard at any time. Maybe the senior management team will not really take a look, but my advice is: make access to the data as easy as possible for them.
"Do you want to encourage your organisation to enhance brand performance? Make your brand KPIs and results available to the organisation in a central place."
Dashboard tools make it possible to automatically share specific data insights every week or month via email to a select group of people. Share the brand results with top management at a regular frequency, for example, in the monthly marketing and communications update. Do you want to encourage your organisation to enhance brand performance? Make your brand KPIs and results available to the organisation in a central place. Do this by embedding the dashboard in your intranet or create an special smartphone app for internal use.
Tip 5: Make sure your brand gets attention on a continuous basis
Brand management is a continuous activity. It’s not a project, but a process. Ensure brand improvement has continuous focus. This can be achieved in several ways:
Frequently check if new metrics are available for the brand dashboard to further improve data and KPI relevance and reliability.
- Keep the brand on the board agenda by discussing the brand funnel scores every month.
- Make sure someone (on the board or senior management) has final authority or feels responsible for the brand.
- Make brand KPI and brand performance data available in a central location where everyone in the organisation can see it.
Your brand is not static. The world is changing and to keep your brand up-to-date it needs continuous investment. If you can prove to the board the importance of the brand and its value to the organisation, you have taken the first important step. After that, it will be easier to get funding for your brand activities. And, maybe just as important, it is more likely that senior management will become brand ambassadors and support and lead by example in your organisation. Both are needed to make your brand a success, now and in the future.
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