Let’s measure our marketing performance– multidimensionality is key!

Well, there you are, sitting in your little office behind your laptop staring at a bunch of data. Managers need to know how their business is performing. And managers need to know how their brand is performing. Short: they want to know their brands value. That’s when marketers come into play and to report the marketing performance  part of the company’s brand value. Using marketing metrics as a measurement tool helps to stay on top of things and reveal weak spots that need to be improved – according to the motto: what can’t be measured, can’t be managed. In that progress marketing metrics focus on a variety of different areas including finances, customers and brand awareness. Lamest (2016) even pictures them as lens through which data is approached, convert it into information and finally into knowledge that can lead to important decision-making.

marketing-metrics

While facing the task of deciding what metric suits the company’s goals best, Ambler and Roberts (2008) state, that a single silver metric is not geared to provide an adequate rendering of its situation. Instead multidimensionality is supposed to be key for a comprehensive analysis of the company’s performance. According to that, they recommend the use of as many metrics as there are goals of the company. Alright, that solves the problem of picking just one particular metric but causes the challenge of paying attention to the whole picture.

Digital marketing metrics

One thing that should not be disregarded in that context are online or digital marketing metrics. Especially with regard to the everlasting discussion of whether marketing activities are expenses or an investment, the demand for cheap and efficient solutions is high. Digital marketing metrics are a useful tool for all kind of online content that is provided by the company, e.g. websites, videos and campaigns. Having said that, it is important to note, that these digital metrics serve as an indicator especially with regards to the behavioural, memory and customer metrics.

Basic metrics

Basic metrics generally cover everything regarding the consumption, e.g. how many visited the website or viewed the video. Please not that quantity does not necessarily refer to quality which is why especially page views are normally seen as a sole vanity metric, however reflecting the company’s popularity. Apart from that, platforms like Google Analytics can help to track the location of customers and the channels they used in order to adapt the current strategies.

Engagement metrics

Apart from the “normal” basic metrics that give a quick overview about the who, what, when and where, it is interesting for a company how long the customer is dealing with the specific content. Especially with regards to customer loyalty as part of the behavioural metrics. In that context e.g. social media is very helpful with its options to comment, retweet or share contents.

digital-marketing-channel-converted

Source: SMstudy 2016

 

Click here to read more about the top 10 online marketing measures you need to take into account when running a website.

Missing the forest for the trees

Since it is hard to measure the effectiveness of a digital content it is even more important to spend time on setting objectives before starting to create for example the new video for the campaign. It is easier to decide whether something is successful when you can pit the objective against the actual result. Surely, there are multiple metrics that should actually help measuring the company’s performance but quite often lead to confusion and overextension instead. Whereas Ambler and Roberts (2008) support having a set of metrics, I suppose organisation is the real no. 1 when it comes to marketing evaluation. Nevertheless, I agree that there cannot be a single ultimate metric that suits every company.

So , what does it tell us? Measuring the company’s or brand’s value is not easy and can get quite overwhelming. Even though digital marketing metrics do not tide over the fact that several metrics are needed to create a proper overall picture, they still facilitate the calculation, comparison and interpretation of the marketing performance.

 While multidimensionality is the key to achieve a profound impression of the marketing performance, it is even more important to keep track of the variety of metrics and put them together to the one individual measurement tool that suits your needs best! 

posted by Ronja Naudorf (rnaudorf -215466308)

References

Ambler, T, Roberts, JH 2008, ‘Assessing marketing performance: don’t settle for a silver metric’, JournaSl of Marketing Management, vol. 24, issue 7-8, pp. 733-750, doi: 10.1362/026725708X345498.

Lamest, M 2016, ‘The Role of Marketing Metrics and Financial metrics in Guiding Top-level Management’, doctoral colloquium paper, School of Business. Trinity College, Dublin, retrieved 26 September 2016, <https://marketing.conference-services.net/resources/327/2958/pdf/AM2012_0352_paper.pdf>.

SMstudy 2016, Digital marketing, image, retrieved 26 September 2016, <https://www.smstudy.com/Article/Importance-of-understanding-and-evaluating-Digital-Marketing-Channels>.

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An Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

How a shiny little fruit is ruling our (technological) world – or not?!

13th June 2016 – same procedure as every year: thousands of apple-maniacs hunger for the latest news of Apple Inc. (Apple) that are going to be released at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Which updates are going to be next, are there improvements for the Mac, iPhone, Watch & Co. and – most importantly – are there going to be new devices?

Disappointment instead of hysteria. Software instead of hardware. Odds and ends instead of real innovations. Subsequently, the conference was all about a firework of new features but lacks real innovations in terms of its hardware and new products.

Click here to read all about the 13 biggest announcements from the Apple WWDC 2016.

What does that mean for the brand Apple? Is it really heading south or is Apple even outdated (Heisler 2016)? A dedication to a heavy hitter that might has passed its peak.

The importance of branding

First of all, we should be clear about the importance of branding. But what exactly is a brand? Why do companies and customers need brands?

A brand can be a specific name, term, symbol, colour, design or a combination of them that created to identify the company’s products and differentiate them from those of competitors. Branding contains advantages for both sides:

Benefits for CUSTOMERS

Benefits for COMPANIES

Brands…

– convey information

– are an indicator for quality and status

– reduce customer risk

– simplify buying decisions

– evoke and enhance customer loyalty

– allow charging higher prices

– assist in the company’s segmentation, targeting, positioning and partner’s support

(Iacobucci 2013, p. 78)

That makes it important for a company to link its brand name with an assurance of reliable quality. According to that, the value of a brand is formed by the customer’s perception of the brand (Badenhausen 2016): happy customers equal successful and valuable brand.

Branding strategies

As part of their marketing strategy, companies have to deal with a lot of branding questions in order to come up with the perfectly suited branding architecture. In that context, they have to decide whether they pick the house of brands or a branded house (also referred to as umbrella brands) as their favourite choice.

Whereas the house of brands focuses on branding of multiple sub-brands for every new product line, the branded house includes the actual company as the brand and all products/services within that company are attached to the same brand name (Iacobucci 2013, p. 82).

The brand Apple

History_of_Apple_Logo

History of Apple logos

Who does not know the little apple with the bite in it?

Apple Inc. was incorporated on the 3rd January 1977 with its focus on designing, manufacturing and marketing mobile communication and media devices, personal computers and portable digital music players and selling a variety of related software and services (Reuters n.d.). Primarily concentrated on desktop computers for the first years, the company launched its first laptops in the 1990s followed by the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, the iPad in 2010 and Apple Pay and Apple Watch in 2014 as the latest product area (Marketing Minds n.d.).

apple-tineline.jpg

History of Apple products

Despite a drop in sales, Apple is still the most valuable brand in the world for the sixth time in a row according to the latest Forbes ranking: the annually study shows that Apple is still playing in his own league with a value of $154.1 billion which is 87% more than second-ranked Google (Badenhausen 2016).  Have a further look at the full list of the world’s most valuable brands.

According to marketer Marc Gobe, who is the author of Emotional Branding, the success of the company has nothing to do with its products – it’s all about the branding (as cited in Kahney 2012). Over the years, Apple perfected its procedure of creating a cult-like relationship with its customers that unites all of them as one community and gives the impression of “You’re part of the brand” (Kahney 2012). The little apple is surrounded by a fascination that is hard to resist and even though revenues fell in the latest quarter, the release of the next iPhone 7 will certainly have fans of the brand lining up for hours outside stores (Badenhausen 2016).

Apart from that, Apple is an excellent example for the branded house strategy: even though all product lines (iPod, iPhone, Mac etc.) have different names, they are all related to the name Apple and have to meet the existing branding strategies and standards (Armando 2016).

stevejobs1

Steve Jobs

By the way – did you know, that the logo was invented during one of Steve Job’s fruitarian diets (Kahney 2011)?

 


Prospects

So what’s the matter, Apple? Where is the freshness, where are your innovations? Some analysts demand to get rid of the top management in order to clear the way for a new visionary who is able to continue the legacy of the glorious Steve Jobs (Tech2 2016). Especially due to the regularly trending battles over patents with Samsung (read all about check the the latest defeat of Apple), it is very important for Apple not to lose track and keep its customers happy. But that also happens to mean launching new innovations.

However, we surely don’t have to worry about our beloved fruity devices any time soon. But yet, watch out Apple: keep up the good work and get back on track!

posted by Ronja Naudorf (rnaudorf -215466308)


References

Armando 2016, ‘Branded house vs. house of brands vs. house blend’, In the image, 23 March, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://intheimage.com/blog/branding/branded-house-vs-house-of-brands-vs-house-blend.

Badenhausen, K 2016, ‘Apple, Google top the world’s most valuable brands of 2016’, Forbes, 31 May, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/05/11/the-worlds-most-valuable-brands/#b9b07de75612.

Heisler, Y 2016, ‘Tech billionaire calls Apple ‘outdated’ and its product designs ‘obsolete’’, BGR Media, 26 April, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://bgr.com/2016/04/26/apple-design-fail-jia-yueting-outdated-obsolete/.

History of Apple products, image, IOS tips and tricks, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.iostipsandtricks.biz/new-an-oral-history-of-apples-first-40-years-from-inside-the-loop/.

History of Apple logos, image, writing for designers, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.writingfordesigners.com/?p=15506.

Iacobucci, D 2013, MM4, 4th edition, South Western, Cengage Learning.

Kahney, L 2002, ‘Apple: It’s All About the Brand’, Wired, 4 December, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.wired.com/2002/12/apple-its-all-about-the-brand/.

Kahney, L 2011, ‘Steve Jobs finally reveals where the name “Apple” came from’, Cult of Mac, 20 October, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.cultofmac.com/125063/steve-jobs-finally-reveals-where-the-name-apple-came-from/.

Marketing Minds n.d., Apple’s Branding Strategy, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.marketingminds.com.au/apple_branding_strategy.html.

Reuters n.d., Apple Inc (AAPL.O), retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/companyProfile?symbol=AAPL.O.

Steve Jobs, image, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://www.krw-intl.com/when-genius-isnt-enough-what-the-character-evolution-of-steve-jobs-teaches-us/.

Tech2 2016, ‘Get rid of Tim Cook: Analyst blames Apple’s innovation slowdown on top 3 execs’, Tech2, 28 April, retrieved 29 August 2016, http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/get-rid-of-tim-cook-analyst-blames-apples-innovation-slowdown-on-top-3-execs-311964.html.

Social Media – the “cheap” source for Market Research!

Why not benefit from the obvious?
social-media

Source: Future Market Insights 2015

When it comes to market research, gaining information and spending money is usually closely related. How convenient, that most of us use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook right after the wake-up call and spread lots of important information in the worldwide web.


Using social media is more popular than ever and became part of the everyday routine for most people. Finally, more and more companies recognise the value of social media: about 78% of the companies already use or begin to integrate social media data into marketing campaigns (Insights in Marketing 2016). Easily and cost-effectively accessible for companies – social media constitutes an attractive modern market research method for improved marketing results.

Traditional market research methods

research methods

Source: Guan Tho n.d.

Traditional Market Research Methods use two different types of research to gather data: Primary and Secondary Research. 

Primary research includes data that is collected by the company itself or a hired service provider to assemble a collection of information directly suited for the company’s needs by using e.g. focus groups and surveys.

Secondary research on the other hand means searching for existing data that was originally gathered for someone else by using libraries or the internet among others.

Apart from that, market researches either use quantitative researches which are concerned with numbers and have a statistical nature or qualitative researches which focus on a small number of people that are part of the target audience of interest without giving statistically robust findings due to the small sample size.

Discovering new opportunities

Traditional market research can be very time-intensive and – even more important – costly process. Consistently, companies are steadily searching for cheaper alternatives that still provide the same insights into important market research aspects like their customers, market or brand appearance. As a result, more and more companies recognized social media platforms as an useful tool to gather the needed information and save money at the same time.

As Nelson (2013) states, understanding the benefits of social media and creating a solid research plan is key to properly utilise the collected data for market research. Accordingly, companies should pay attention to the following three aspects before they start using social media research.

  • Strategy
    Focus on a creating a social media research strategy first which helps to separate important and useless data
  • Time
    Budget enough time since the collected data needs to be cleaned and reviewed
  • Additional tool
    Use social media as an addition to other research tools to get the best results
    (Insights in Marketing 2016)

Click here to get more information about the do’s and don’ts of social media market research.

Benefits of Social Media Market Research

Once decided to implement social media into the company’s marketing strategy, companies can benefit of the gained knowledge.

Real-time insights

Using social media allows companies to gain real-time knowledge instead of spending much time on waiting for the results from traditional focus groups or surveys and develop real-time business intelligence (Zacrep 2015). Due to advanced settings and search options most of the social media platforms offer numerous ways for companies to evaluate current trends by searching for latest post or using hashtags (Nelson 2013).

Improved cost efficiency

Unlike huge expenses for traditional market research methods, the use of social media usually does not cost any money and just requires time to gather all the needed information.

Interactivity

Apart from that, social media research enables companies to interact with its customers or market which is an important step in understanding it’s audience and utilise the collected data (Zacrep 2015). In this context hashtags are not only a helpful tool to track trends but also to search information that are directly related to the company/industry. Companies become social listeners and observers who utilise the given information which might be even more representative and honest since people feel not pressed to give certain answers as some might feel during surveys or focus groups.

Social media – the useful addition

Marvel and phenomenon social media (platforms): dearly beloved by millions of people around the globe, responsible for thousands of breakups, love stories, fights and addictive disorders. And apart from that, powerful tool for companies to reduce costs, uncover hidden trends and improve the marketing approach. But lately just an addition for the solid and reliable good old traditional market research to combine the profound knowledge of detailed surveys with the topicality of real-time monitoring and trend tracking!

So stop ignoring this strong opportunity, carry your business to the next level and benefit from the obvious!

posted by Ronja Naudorf (rnaudorf -215466308)


References

Future Market Insights 2015, social media platforms, image, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.futuremarketinsights.com/page/social-media-research.

Guan Tho, K n.d., market research methods, image, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Mail-Op/Market-Research.html.

Insights in Marketing 2016, ‘The do’s and don’ts of social media market research’, Insights in Marketing, 11 January, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.insightsinmarketing.com/resources/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-social-media-market-research/.

Nelson, R 2013, ‘How to Use Social Media for Market Research’, Social Media Today, 19 March, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-use-social-media-market-research.

Zacrep, K 2015, ‘How market researches can effectively utilize social media analytics’, Market Research, 5 March, retrieved 22 August 2016, http://blog.marketresearch.com/how-market-researchers-can-effectively-utilize-social-media-analytics.