Marketing used to be the preserve of the few; think high-rises, board rooms, and Madison Avenue-style offices. The rise of the internet not only blew the roof off such notions, it took down the remaining walls and set about building something new that levels the marketing landscape.
This democratization of marketing is undoubtedly a positive thing, but it also poses a problem; many small firms and independent businesses find themselves cast adrift online, with a little focus and no cohesive aim. The issue wasn’t so much a shortage of targets, as too many.
The key to getting noticed, acquiring web traffic and then converting leads into sales, is to know which metrics to target. Developing a clear understanding of what to analyze prepares marketers ahead of the battle in the online marketplace, and provides the tools, not only to survive but to thrive online.
The term ‘brand lift’ gets thrown around too easily. What should be a valuable weapon in the online marketer’s arsenal, has become another buzzword, devoid of meaning and substance. Brand lift, in a nutshell, is a concerted marketing effort that targets the areas most critical to brand success and reaches the customer base at the right stage of the buying cycle.
For example, analyzing social media shares might be a good way to examine the buzz around your brand, but these shares count for very little unless they are leading to direct conversion opportunities. Referral traffic from advertising partners can be similarly misleading; while such traffic can boost the number of website visitors, it doesn’t shed any light on what brands can do to make the conversion funnel more effective and reach the right audience.
Approaching a successful brand lift campaign involves examining the vital brand metrics as progressive components of your acquisition funnel. This provides marketers with a vantage point over which to oversee acquisitions procedures, and gives a clear indication of what is working and what is not.
Awareness: Do potential customers know about the services? Are they able to find brand presence on the web, and easily get in touch with a sales team or sign up for more information? This is the metric to use when analyzing the immediate efficacy of social media and online marketing strategies.
Attitudes: Gauge the attitude potential consumers hold in regard to the product or service. Are they satisfied with the service they receive? Are they satisfied with the relationship between product/service quality and pricing? Answering these questions can help a brand turn one-time buyers into faithful regulars who buy upsells and new products and services.
Favorability: How does the brand fare in direct comparison to the competition? Are offers and deals implemented by competing retailers and service providers harming conversion rates? Returning customer percentages and market surveys can help you get to the bottom of this.
Intent: Analytics software is great for measuring intent to purchase. For direct online retail sites; how many visitors are abandoning their shopping carts? For other marketing initiatives; are significant numbers of prospects leaving the funnel after receiving quotes, previews or free content? Examining this data can give you an idea of what needs to be changed.
Preference: Are prospects able to connect with the right auxiliary products or add-on features? Optimizing sales via upgrades is key to online marketing success, and this can only be accomplished by examining consumer behavior throughout the entire process, including post-sale.
An exact formula for quantifying digital brand lift does not exist, but successful marketers are following the prospect journey, and capitalizing on the data that turns leads into faithful brand customers.
By integrating a funnel metrics with brand lift initiatives, brand marketers can keep up with larger brands and capture their fair share of the marketplace.