The Brand Measurement Framework with B2B Brand ROI Metrics
- You cannot accurately measure B2B brand effectiveness with B2C brand ROI metrics.
- The most important B2B brand ROI metrics correlate performance with company revenues.
- A brand measurement framework brings manageability and follow-through action to key performance indicators. It categorizes metrics based on their causal relationships and shows how improvements in one area deliver impact to other areas. Brand management is not about accounting for value, it's about creating value.
Brand ROI Metrics
Industry matters when measuring brand effectiveness. Business to Business (B2B) metrics are different that Business to Consumer (B2C) brand metrics. That's in large part because B2B purchases are different.
B2B purchase decisions are considered purchases. They incur a conscience decision-making process, occur over a lengthy period, involve multiple people or buying committees and result in high value expenditures. The right brand ROI metrics will measure both emotional and cognitive impact on more buyers over a longer period.
B2C buying decisions are fast, frequent, impulse purchases made with a minimum conscience decision-making process. Consumers typically cannot tell you why they made a purchase. That's because much or all the decision was made from emotional or unconscious behavior. Consumers typically discover, rather than know, what new products they want. The best B2C brand ROI metrics are a mix of measures that influence emotions, feelings and sentiment.
Conflating B2C and B2B performance indicators will result in measuring the wrong things and missing the most direct opportunities for improvement.
Brand management measures brand value to understand how the brand in working or not working and how it can be engineered to improve value.
Good measurement integrates the most important goals in a closed loop cycle. It finds the metrics that correlate to those goals, applies the right brand value measurement methods, shows the brand impact to company financial performance, and adjusts the brand strategy or tactics for continuous improvements.
Goals and metrics are organized in categories and show the financial impact to product sales and company revenues. They also measure reach and recognition and are compared to direct competitors.
Only with the right brand ROI metrics can the company understand which efforts are working, which investments are delivering the biggest impact and where changes should be made. Unless your metrics are creating insights that drive changes to your brand strategy and plan, you're doing it wrong.
The Brand Measurement Framework
Most C-suite executives understand the brand is a powerful asset. However, their sponsorship for investments wanes when performance measures are murky or don’t directly support their business priorities.
That changes when metrics are aligned with revenue growth. In fact, our point of view at Johnny Grow is that brand metrics are valuable only in as much as they correlate to revenue growth. That's why our brand measurement framework focuses on a small set of key performance indicators that most correlate to company revenue performance.
But here's the rub. The metrics vary by industry and company. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, there's commonality and overlap, but companies have different brand goals and that may require different supporting metrics.
With that said, the below brand measurement framework illustration shows the B2B key performance indicators that tend to be common with many of our clients.
Our brand measurement framework aligns with the buyer purchase process so that metrics can be manipulated to impact different parts of the sales funnel. Below are some examples of key performance indicators and how they are measured.
More awareness gets the company into more deals. In fact, unless the buyer becomes aware of the company, the company is excluded and doesn't even know it.
In his book, How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp provides decades of research and findings that reveal why brand awareness and distinctiveness are the two most important predictive factors and drivers of brand growth and company growth.
Brand awareness is a top-of-the-funnel metric that measures the degree of customer recognition or familiarity of a company or product by its name.
Goals for this metric vary and may include things like increasing awareness of your company among your target audiences or awareness of new products among existing customers.
The best methods to measure awareness include email surveys, online panels or in-person questionnaires. There are crowd sourcing and panel services such as Google Surveys, Pollfish and SurveyMonkey Audience that can be quickly spun up, reach volumes of unbiased participants and generate results quickly.
Other tools that I sometimes use to get quick or interim results include Adobe Analytics target audience measures, branded search traffic measures and search engine traffic engine estimates.
Brand awareness matters because it is proven to correlate to revenue growth.
Brand equity is the commercial value derived from customer perception of the brand name. It improves sales conversions, supports price premiums, fends off lower cost substitutes, increases customer share and creates barriers for competitors.
This metric is an example where the result may be a value chain calculation of other metrics. For example, brand equity may be a function of Brand Awareness, Brand Position and Brand Loyalty.
The Point is This
Most marketers measure what is easily measured. That's tough with branding because the metrics that matter are not delivered with out-of-the-box reports from a marketing cloud, CRM system or other business application. Fortunately, there are methods and tools to accelerate and automate the calculations.
Once you have identified the metrics that matter, you can automate the process to harvest the data, update a data model and populate a brand dashboard with real-time information.