For entrepreneurs, it is never too early to start thinking about which marketing metrics to track when running a business. Some of the most basic but important marketing metrics can be gathered through survey-based Awareness, Attitude, and Usage research.
This type of research provides quantitative marketing metrics about product and service knowledge, perceptions and customer behavior.
We often set the research up as a brand tracking program to monitor brand health and trends affecting business growth. However, we can also implement it as an ad-hoc research project to gather feedback from the market at any time.
Typical question areas include awareness, attitudes, and usage of products and services from the brand in question and its competitors.
Both top-of-mind (“Which brand comes to mind when you think of …?”) and recognition (“Have you heard of Brand X?”). Awareness metrics are important to decide where and how to invest your advertising dollars.
Beliefs and feelings about the brand, company or products/services. We need to understand perceptions about our brand to direct our marketing communication to either strengthen or change those perceptions.
What, when, where, how much, how often do you buy/use Brand X and Y? Knowledge about the purchase behavior of customers and noncustomers allows us to quickly become aware of and react to any changes in the market. This is crucial as new marketing strategies, products, and prices are put in place not only by us but also by old and new competitors entering the category.
As they gather awareness, attitude, and usage metrics, entrepreneurs should also put systems in place to capture transactional data linked to customer profiles (such as demographics). This will help to validate results through triangulation with actual sales data.
While sales data can tell us what customers do, it doesn’t tell us why they do it. These metrics can fill some of the gaps inherent in transactional data and support better business decisions.
This article was published on November 18, 2011 by the Dallas Business Journal.