Every company in your industry is competing to occupy a place in your prospective customer’s mind. You have worked hard to put your brand out there and are confident that everyone you are targeting has at least heard about your company once. Like most of Web Development Company in Hubli, they making people aware of your brand isn’t always enough. To make your marketing efforts worth their while, you have to ensure that the impression formed on their minds are positive, and are willing to part their money to avail your products or services. A proper brand auditing will help you determine where your company’s name stands in your industry and position it occupies in your customer’s mind with respect to your competitors. And also determine the strengths and weakness of your brand.
Brand Auditing is essential for coming up with a coherent strategy, and in addition to that, it will also help in revealing new opportunities for your business such as Mobile App Development Company in Mangalore, the perceived value of your brand and how effective you previous marketing campaign has been. Running a marketing campaign without any prior brand auditing effort is akin to shooting darts in darkness. Sometimes it may hit the intended target, but most likely it is going to miss by a large margin.
Marketing is a continuous process and even large, established brands and brand audits on a regular basis. Complacency is never a good thing and one can never be sure what the next big thing is going to hit them. A proper brand audit puts you in a position of strength, rather than weakness, as it helps you discover the next upcoming trend and take appropriate actions to ride the wave. There are various ways to audit a brand but in this age of data, data analysis has taken a centre stage to determine the brand positioning of a company. You can take the following steps to perform an effective brand strategy:
1. Set a purpose and create a framework:
Before starting a brand auditing process, you must consider what you would like to know at the end of the auditing process. Without a proper purpose and framework in place, the whole process will tend to go haphazardly leading to wastage in time and resources, and at worst, fail to derive any proper insight and conclusion. To determine a purpose we need to create a list and summary of all the information we already have. The purpose of a brand audit may include the following which you may like to find at the end of the process:
- Value proposition you provide to your customers.
- Emotions your customers associate with your brand.
- What your brand means to your customers.
- Traits associated with your brand.
- The brand story or what your brand is known for.
In addition to the purpose, you must set a framework on which channels you are targeting and how you are going to approach your target sample base to derive the necessary insights. The channels may vary according to your target demographics and availability of resources and time.
2. Use Online Data
Data analytics is a new trend in the field of market research and has completely transformed the brand auditing method. The data available is usually highly accurate and has enhanced the lean marketing approach for small business and startups. Sometime in the future, it may render other forms of collecting data, like surveys, less important. But in the current scenario, the combination of both methods is necessary to obtain the best results for brand auditing. Analytical tools such as Google Analytics and social media platform are excellent for determining target demographics and other personal data of the customers. It is advisable to create a user persona using the information collected from these analytics reports and target the sample size which matches the set user persona.
Data available from these analytical tools help in creating a profile of your customers but fall short in understanding what they think of your brand. At present we can utilise social media data to understand brand perception with the help of various third-party apps and performing sentiment analysis on them, but the quality and depth of information received still falls short of other methods such as surveys. You can also use other offline information available such as sales data to broaden the understanding of the customers. Research on your competitors and their customers to know your potential client base as your company may not have necessarily captured all the target market.
3. Surveying your customers
Before sending out the survey forms through various means, you must have a set of questions prepared which will likely answer the purpose of the brand auditing efforts set at the first step. The questionnaire should not contain questions which can be answered with the help of analytical tools and must target answers which are of more qualitative in nature. The questions should be balanced which should provide an array of insights at the end of your auditing efforts.
Once the questionnaire has been set, you can utilise any of the surveying methods to get insights from your intended audience:
- Online Survey: This is the easiest to set and is the most widely used survey method. You can create online surveys with the help of various third-party survey apps such as Survey Monkey and Google forms and place it in a location where your customers or users are likely to visit. The response rate of online surveys are highly varied and there are no guarantees on the quality of answers provided. To improve the response rate, many companies provide some incentives to the survey takers. But providing incentives are also known to have increased insincere takers leading to drop in the overall quality of responses
- Email Survey: Surveys sent to customers via email are known are email surveys. The customers are much more inclined to answer email surveys and usually has a higher response rate as compared to online surveys. It is better to send survey emails to send to the target user persona customers to paint an accurate picture of the opinion of your customers.
- Telephonic Survey: Telephonic surveys can be done through cold calling or having a preset arrangement for the calls. Arranged calls have a much higher response rate than cold calling, and survey takers are not usually receptive of cold calls and some incentives need to be provided for them to take the survey sincerely.
- Personal Survey: There are a variety of ways in which personal surveys can be conducted. Street surveys are the most popular personal survey but pre-arranged face to face surveys and focus groups are known to provide the best results when it comes to quality of responses.
4. Make adjustments to your marketing Strategy and Monitor results:
Brand auditing is a continuous process and it doesn’t end after all the required user data has been collected. You can make use of all the statistical tools to gain insights and create a report from the collected data. It is absolutely essential to maintain the integrity of the data, as incorrect data provides false insights which can cause much more harm as you chase down the wrong rabbit hole, wasting precious time and effort which can be utilised elsewhere.
After completing an brand audit process, it is an excellent time to establish a set of metrics to measure your future campaigning efforts and monitor progress. Setting up the metrics help you reduce efforts of your next brand auditing process and provides a direction on which information gap to attack. A good brand auditing must reveal clear deficiencies in marketing strategies and display gaps in the market which can be exploited. The audit must provide a sense of direction which the next marketing campaign must take.
Vinayak Rao, a part of digital marketing initiative at Site Galleria.