How does data and tracking effect brand strategy and efficacy?
When rebranding a business, as an SME there are some steps that are commonplace such as redesigning a logo and updating your website. What SMEs often miss that can really set your brand apart and drive growth is using data captured from the customer journey, analysing it, and using it in your new brand strategy to set KPIs and goals.
Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an uplift in time spent online. A 94% increase in silver surfers was seen on supermarket sites, and with generally more people online and more data being collected and tracked, there are more actionable insights to use in your marketing and brand strategy.
The key is to use this data to ensure brand strategy efficacy.
What are the steps to building a compelling brand strategy that is led by data?
Step 1 – Research
You first need to understand your customers and other audiences. This is done by capturing data at every single step of the customer journey, collecting data from multiple sources, then analysing it and using what you learn to define your brand.
Leveraging data when defining your brand positioning, identity and even your products and services helps you to tailor your brand to meet the known and quantifiable needs and wants of your audience, giving you confidence in your brand.
Whilst collecting and analysing your data, keep your customer front and centre in your mind:
- What are their pain points?
- What are the perceived benefits of your product or service over the competitor?
- How do they feel about your brand?
- Does it reflect your brand image?
- What are they saying about you on social media?
What data should I be collecting and analysing?
First-party – data you have collected and own. Your registered users, newsletter sign-ups, purchase history, your website users, and social media followers.
Second-party – data from other companies in the same industry (their first-party data). You can often buy this data from market research companies, or social media platforms.
Sales Tracking – Take a look at purchase quantity, value, plus the locations and time at which purchase occurred. Review which devices customers are using, and the journey through your systems they take to purchase, as well as the length of time to purchase. These statistics may show you where problems occur for your customer, and where optimisations can be made.
Brand Experience – The Net Promoter Score tracks your customer experience against baselines and competitor data. Your Customer Satisfaction Score can be found by asking your competitors to rank satisfaction with your brand from 1-5. Simply put out a short survey to your customers to ask for their input.
You could run one-on-one interviews or focus groups with customers or potential customers; remembering that open questions can help describe certain areas of interest which can help with segmenting your audiences.
Brand Reach on Social Media – Social Media growth and engagement rates can give you an understanding of your brand awareness (don’t forget to remove any bot followers!) Have a look at responses to your content; do you gain followers by posting videos, or do they prefer long blogs? Look at the demographics of your followers as this may influence your content.
Website Analytics – Google Analytics is a free tool which gives lots of insights into your web visitors. It is important to know the source of your web traffic; are people searching Google for your brand name (we wish!) or are they clicking a link in your social media bio or maybe through an email campaign.
The number of pages a visitor views and which pages are most visited are imperative statistics to look at for web conversions. Plus, your bounce rate will help you understand how many visitors are leaving your site without taking any action.
Your SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), Google Analytics branded search volume and AdWords reports can help you understand how you are ranking, what keywords people are finding you under and how many people are searching for your brand name.
Hotjar can give you even more insights; you can record the screens of your web visitors and create heatmaps to see which buttons and areas of the site are most frequently engaged with.
Return on Investments – Marketing Campaign ROI and Customer Acquisition costs are hugely important; why spend money if you are not making sales in return? Calculating your cost per lead, and return on Ad spend.
You could spend all your time tracking, collecting, and analysing your brand and web data.
But the important thing here is to ensure the data you are collecting is useful and relevant to your brand strategy.
Step 2 – Clean and Segment Data
As businesses grow, collect data and followers on social media, first-party data sets can get large, out of date and out of sync.
It is important to clean the data collected on CRMs to ensure it is useful to you, but also for GDPR compliance.
Examples of data cleaning could include deleting contacts who have unsubscribed from your newsletter, updating contact fields to ensure data is relevant and each record contains all fields, or running a campaign to collect engagement data and remove un-engaged followers and subscribers.
Segmenting your data (dividing it up into groups with similar demographics or parameters) can improve customer experience and give a personalised feel to your customers, this also helps with up-selling and cross-selling potentials.
Track your data graphically, and in an easy-to-understand way.
Data from a Crisp Digital marketing campaign for a start up business.
Step 3 – Brand Redefinition
Now that you have a clean set of data and have analysed your audience from initial brand engagement through to purchase and customer satisfaction you should start to use this research to define your goals, KPIs and ultimately your brand.
Think about each persona that may interact with your brand, not only potential customers, but journalists, champions, suppliers, possible investors, and other brands who may be competitors or potential partners.
Your brand definition should include what your long-term and short-term goals are, for marketing and sales, but also operations. From your research you should be able to define each persona within your audience and how they prefer to interact and buy from you.
You may have identified areas within the business, sales and marketing process that need improving, and what success in these areas looks like to you – don’t forget SMART goals!
Think about what you want your audience to feel and think about your business and use those descriptors and your audience demographic to define your brand messaging, tone of voice, and even colour palette.
Step 4 – Implementation
Get started with your new plan to build your brand and sales, continuing to track the data and KPIs.
At this point you could create and test new hypotheses. For example, the click-through-rate (CTR) on an email campaign may increase for a data segment of under 25-year-olds if emoticons are included. Sending an email as such and tracking CTR will help you understand if this is true of your audience and therefore change your content in the future.
Step 5 – Performance Measurement
Now that you have clean, clear data with precise goals in mind, you should regularly check the performance of your marketing campaigns and the growth of your brand using your selected KPIs to check the efficacy of your implementation and strategy and see where any optimisation is needed.
Data from a data cleaning email campaign delivered by Crisp for one of our clients.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to all of the above data, its analysis and pulling it altogether into your brand strategy, and that is why we have a team of experts at Crisp who each specialise in an area of the above.
Our SEO team are experts at analysing website visitors, our brand experts can help you redefine your brand as well as complete the market research for you, and our technology and PR strategists can analyse the past data to devise KPIs and marketing plans to drive growth across social media, web presence and online media.
If you are looking for some guidance on strategy or looking for someone to put the tracking in one easy place for you, then get in touch with Crisp Digital today.
Measuring Market Penetration with Brand Tracking, Erica Schneider, CXL, Oct 2021. https://cxl.com/blog/brand-tracking/
Rethinking Brand Strategy With Technology and Data, Dr J. Honerkamp, Capgemini, February 2022. https://www.capgemini.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/CMO_Brand-Strategy-POV_2021.pdf
The Most Important Marketing Metrics Every Small Business Needs to Track, Julia Cummings, Buffer. https://buffer.com/library/the-most-important-marketing-metrics-every-small-business-needs-to-track/