CONSUMER LISTENING; UNDERSTANDING HOW YOUR BRAND IS UNDERSTOOD

Denise Davila
Senior Account Executive
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As marketing and public relations professionals, we are in the business of building brands and helping to shape consumer conversation. We use methods like advertisements, social media, influencer endorsements, public relations efforts and more, but in the end, unless we have access to marketing mix model (MMM), do we truly know how our brand might be perceived by the general public or what our return on investment might be?

Often expensive and labor intense in process, MMM is an analytic tool that determines the effectiveness of a variety of tactics, but unfortunately most small businesses cannot afford its use.

But what other indicators can we look towards, to get a gauge on the effectiveness of marketing and public relations efforts?

Social Media Listening– these days most brands actively engage in some form of social media listening. And if you are not, you should! A decent listening tool can provide a deep dive analysis into the conversation currently being had surrounding your business. As most individuals actively maintain one or more social media profiles, social media listening can be an effective tool to gauge how a particular consumer demographic views your brand, often in real time. Is your marketing message making its way into the vernacular of your target consumer group? That’s a good indicator that your messaging is effective.

Sales Numbers– Should you have access to your sales numbers, often times a lift can be attributed to an individual tactic. And through digital tools, coupon codes and a variety of other tracking methods, a direct correlation is easier than ever. Instagram is a good example of where a tactic can be directly linked to a sale. Featured influencer content can direct a consumer on where to purchase, making the connection VERY clear.

Consumer Reviews– According to the Pew Research Center 82% of U.S. adults say they at least read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time. There is no question that consumer reviews impact purchase behavior, but what can these reviews provide to marketers in terms of gauging sentiment? While not something that can directly link to marketing efforts, reviews can be utilized to spot trending indicators. Are consumers regularly commenting on price? Is there a commonality in regards to the negative reviews posted? A brand is wise to regularly monitor comments and adjust their product or service offering accordingly.

So, while not every brand can get into the analysis of their marketing spend, the above methods are excellent options for getting an overview of how your brand is being received. By paying close attention to what people are saying, incites often reveal themselves. It’s up to us to determine how we react to these incites to improve or adjust our marketing strategy.

Want to learn more? Join our conversation by tweeting us @DEVENEYMKTG.

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