As we dive into the idea of brand, it is important to remember that if brand value is measured the right way, it will enable marketing and product development results that far exceed any investment made in the brand measurement process. The first of these resulting benefits is improved audience engagement.
Audience engagement is such a loosely defined, elusive topic. It’s a nebulous mixture of involvement and action on the part of the target audience member. It speaks to both the act of the audience responding in the way the marketer desires, and that of the audience walking away with what they themselves desire. And it depends entirely on context.
So, for our purposes in discussing brand research, let’s narrow the scope a bit and define audience engagement as the aspects of brand which garner interest and attention, yield conviction and desire, and cause further and continued action on the part of your audience.
Garnering Interest and Attention
Grabbing the attention of your audience is one of the single greatest challenges in marketing today. In a world bombarded with a constant stream of visual, written, digital, and audio messages, making your brand stand out from the cacophony and get noticed is no easy task.
Imagine walking through the world’s largest, loudest bazaar. Your senses are overloaded with the colors of the tents and their wares, the competing aromas from the food stalls, the multi-lingual beckonings from the vendors. What catches your eye first? Where does your gaze linger? Where do you stop and shop? And which stalls do you walk by without lending a fleeting glance?
Properly positioning your brand to garner interest is a combination of getting the right message to the right audience, in the right way at the right time. Brand research is essential in assessing the strength and identity of your brand, and the optimal way to convey that message to your target audience. It allows your brand to be noticed and considered.
Yielding Conviction and Desire
Being noticed, of course, is only the first step. Holding onto that interest and converting it to conviction and desire must come next.
Conviction is born from consistency - a consistent message from both sales and marketing which reinforces your brand, its qualities and benefits. The right words, consistent with the experience of the company and its products, can evoke an emotional response. When your message has the right focus and is repeated often enough and the right media, it will plant the seeds of conviction in its hearers.
And just as seeds properly planted and nurtured will naturally grow, the conviction that builds in your audience through these messages will turn to desire for your company and its products or services, to share their discovery with their friends, to become part of your brand family.
Causing Further Action
If you have successfully garnered interest and attention to your brand, and have generated conviction and desire in it as well, the result should be further continued action on the part of your audience.
What do we mean by further continued action? It can be anything that your audience does to further your brand or your business. Buying your product, referring or recommending your brand to friends or family, clicking through your website, replying to an email, including your brand and products in their social media relationships (linkbacks, follows, likes, mentions, etc.), providing customer service feedback.
These are all ways your audience demonstrates that they are engaged with you. And each has its own merit. A referral or a like today can mean a sale tomorrow.
Increased Audience Engagement through Better Brand Understanding
The important takeaway is that increased audience engagement is measurable; typically, marketers measure audience engagement in terms of campaign success - clicks, opens, replies, web traffic. Sales managers are looking at financial metrics – revenue per customer, overall customer value, revenue increase. CEO/CFO segments are looking at the big picture - profitability and profit margin.
Brand measurement is an enabling methodology which allows actions to be taken in marketing and product development which demonstrably increase audience engagement. The most important outcome of brand measurement is to have actionable results; that is, brand research results that, when reviewed, point to clear actions that should be taken by experienced management.
Actionable Research is a customized research house. Every project is undertaken with an understanding of our clients’ unique needs. Actionable Research excels at leveraging their methods, in a customizable way, for your research needs, offering effective brand measurement research that enables audience engagement and yields actionable results.