Linking advertising campaign performance to brand KPIs can teach you some valuable lessons
Today’s marketers are constantly challenged to create new and effective advertising campaigns that engage their customers and drive brand growth further. But how can you even tell if an idea was great, or just good, if you don’t know in advance what impact you want to see and how you plan on measuring it. As important as the spark of genius is, the ability to accurately measure its marketing impact is a vital part of any campaign and needs to be considered for successful media planning.
Knowing your KPIs ahead of time, you can ensure that:
- Your communication contributes to building a strong brand;
- Your experience helps inform and improve future activities;
- You have established benchmarks to assess progress against strategic business objectives.
What’s in a wow? The correct way to evaluate campaign success
Many marketers rely on data provided by media agencies, such as gross rating points (GRP) or click-through rates (CTR). Although these are a good start, they are far from enough. Simply put, what you ideally want to know is the impact of your campaign on your brand/products in three key areas: REACH, RECALL and ENGAGEMENT.
Monitoring and measuring each indicator, you can determine whether your campaign is losing some of its potential along the way. Observing the conversions between each level of interest and the elements driving these conversions can help you pinpoint when you lose momentum.
Media planning indicator. Measures how many people were exposed to the campaign. The conversion rate from campaign Reach to Recall indicates how memorable and distinctive your campaign is.
Message efficiency indicator. Evaluates your campaign’s memorability. Helps you identify channels with the highest contribution to overall memorability. Serves to improve media planning for future campaigns and refine your communication strategy.
Actionability indicator. The more engaging your campaign is, the higher the chance to boost awareness of the brand, strengthen brand preference and expand the pool of loyal users. Identifying the behavioral differences between Engaged and non-Engaged groups gives you deeper insights about your core target group to inform future communication.
These three pillars of a successful market campaign are driven by the right channel mix, strong campaign execution, and a clear and catchy key message.
Great, but how? Choosing an evaluation method for your KPIs
Once you have an idea of the KPIs you want to measure when evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign there are two main methods to apply: initiate an ad-hoc measurement or explore the research vehicles that you already have in place. Ad-hoc surveys and dedicated campaign measurements are recommended when your goal is a deep and through assessment that studies all elements – from creative and execution to channel mix. However, in times of budget constraints cost- and resource-effective approaches are preferable. If that is the case, you can always refer to the research programs that you already have running within the company.
Look at the KPI trackers you already have at hand- perhaps there is a brand tracker, or a communication or experience one. Just plug in a short campaign module (up to 10 mins) in your trackers and add some boost interviews of the respective target group and you are ready. On top of the resource savings, this approach enables you to link the data that you already use for your forecasts and planning with communication effectiveness and develop sounder, data driven marketing plans.
Step by step guide on linking your campaign measurement with the brand KPIs?
Your communications plan represents your short-term marketing efforts, which support either the Product brand (Product advertising), the Master brand (Image advertising), or both. It should be consistent with brand identity and, if effective, visible on the product or brand performance level. To achieve consistency, answer the business questions about campaign effectiveness by linking the campaign module to the key research indicators:
- Reach: What is the claimed exposure among the key target group? How does the target group evaluate the campaign?
- Building brand awareness: Does the campaign build brand awareness further?* Does it contribute to higher awareness of specific sub-brand or among a specific target group?*
- Building brand image: Does the campaign contribute to stronger brand image?* Which image statements are impacted by the brand campaign messages?
- Call to action/drive sales: Does the campaign increase brand preference/willingness to buy?* Which level of the purchase funnel (consideration, preference, loyalty) is mostly impacted by the campaign?*
- Most effective channels: What are the touchpoints that generate highest campaign recall? Which channels contribute the most to the brand KPIs uplift?
* These questions can only be answered if pre-campaign data or enough sample to compare between exposed vs non-exposed groups exist, so make sure you plan for it.
Tips & tricks for understanding your campaign better
Now that you have all the data, there are some areas you may want to explore in detail for meaningful results.
- Look for interactions between different touchpoints/communication channels.
- Use the right data for the right task. Sales/Market share data to measure what happened, research data as an intermediate (awareness, consideration, preference) to find out how it happened. Research measures can help demonstrate a link between promotional activity and sales.
- Apply time-series analysis: what happens to market share/preference at the times when you give your brand less communications support, or even none at all.
- Look at Competitive comparisons – what happens to market share/preference of the other brands in your market that receive less communication support.
- Pre-/post-test: If a study tracks the brand/product KPIs continuously, you can use the survey KPI data for pre-measurement purposes. Then measure the campaign “lift” effect on brand/product key metrics not just by comparing exposed vs non-exposed groups, but also by looking at post-campaign effects.
- Track the campaign recall over time to see when the campaign effect fades away.