Brand marketing isn’t easy. Rather, exceptional brand marketing isn’t. The basic stuff is everywhere. How do you know if your brand’s marketing requires rethinking? We have seven social listening indicators that will make this crystal clear.
Here we go!
#1. Your Brand’s Last Marketing Refresh Happened Long Ago
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away your marketing team had a huge meeting and hashed out tons of stuff. There was lots of excitement, ideas, opposing ideas and finally agreement. A new marketing day was born. It was a quite an undertaking, this brand re-envisioning. And things are still working, so why rock the boat?
But is it? Create a timeline comparison to see if your brand is experiencing modest gains in mentions and other metrics:
And then explore to understand the context of those mentions. Big numbers are meaningless without knowing what is being said to power them.
Also, be sure to compare the passion around your brand to that of competitors over time:
Marketing requires a good shake-up every now and then. It must be dynamic.
By definition, it’s the business of research-based promotion. And that research certainly experiences constant shifts. So, if your marketing hasn’t shifted as well in the past three months, it’s overdue.
#2. Brand Marketing Is Repetitive, Boring, Expected
Having a recognizable brand is one thing – a boring brand that never does anything worth noting another.
Consumers should be talking about your brand – that’s the point. Maybe having a supremely boring brand is your “thing,” but it must be informed by sentiment. There are always unmet needs that a brand can speak to in a new, unexpected way.
Take Geico, for example. Their brand marketing is far from stale, but it could have become an expected bit of marketing business with the Geico Gecko. It still would have done well, but would have lost the fun edge it had created. So they consistently shake things up with new, unexpected campaigns, including a contest for an “every day spokesperson.” User generated content UGC) typically meets an amazing response. As Geico knows:
Geico took advantage of nostalgia for some of their best commercials and characters – like the spy mom, celebrating squirrels, caveman at the airport, Maxwell the pig, and the Hump Day camel, and leveraged a fantastic UGC incentive to get fans voting and interacting. The commercial featuring winner Kathleen Colen of Jacksonville, FL debuted on Memorial Day, and was an epic conglomeration of these past characters.
Make those celebrity wishes come true, if you can. Or just include consumers in contests as part of the promotion. It will help you shift perception and stay top of mind.
#3. Competitors Are Generating Excitement & Winning Market Share as Your Brand Languishes
Everyone in the industry is talking . . . about your competitor(s). Even your own employees are abuzz about the latest whatever from QRST Inc.
Time to put on that social listening hat and sort out what they’re doing so exceptionally well in comparison to you:
- What are people saying about them?
- Who are they targeting in their promotions?
- Are they working with influencers?
- And, importantly – what are they missing?
There’s always something left over in that word cloud to consider a campaign around. Or some relevant influencer just waiting for the right brand to reach out and connect with him/her. Find that nugget.
#4. Haven’t Tried Anything New In 6 Months (Or Ever)
Maybe you inherited how marketing happens in your organization and think that changing it is more trouble than it’s worth. Wrong.
You just need a compelling argument for change – and social analytics gives you one.
Tracking the trending social web conversation in your category will provide a conversation starter (at the least) to show what is important right now vs what your marketing is focused on. If there’s a disconnect, you must reconsider. And you can bet there will be, as online moves fast – and consumers are fickle.
#5. No One Is Really Talking About Your Brand Online
No one is talking about your brand and they should be. Or else, what’s the point of marketing your business? If there is little to no conversation, it’s time to identify and partner with some relevant influencers to give your brand a boost.
First, take a look at the overarching category conversation – and then at who is talking and how much (or little) their words resonate (by engagements):
As well as where they’re having these conversations:
You’ll want to vet each influencer beyond his/her popularity to make sure their online persona, overall, is a good fit for your brand. Some influential folks became that way because they’re controversial. And that might be a perfect fit for your brand – or a PR nightmare.
Fortunately, with NetBase, you can search 27 months back and have confidence in your vetting process.
#6. Category Newbies Are Gaining Traction
It’s bad enough to have competitors breathing down your neck, but now you have category newbies to worry about too. Lots of them.
Get a handle on every brand being mentioned and explore who they are. Having an updated competitor list is really important.
If you’re seeing lots of names that you haven’t seen before, you’ve waited too long to check in and need to get regular social monitoring alerts happening in your marketing life.
Beyond that, you need to take the online temperature and understand what is chumming the waters to send so many new contenders swarming. Has a new, lucrative segment been identified? You’ll soon find out with a little StoryScope exploration:
#7. Your Brand Isn’t Immediately Recognizable In Your Space
This is the opposite of indicator #2. Your marketing is inconsistent and not memorable. At all. You have no risk of being boring, at least! #Brightside. But you also have no chance of being remembered when it comes time for consumers to pull that trigger and make a purchase.
You need to perform some image analysis in NetBase to see if your logo is alive online at all, and if so – how people are using it. You can capture both logo and image term data.
- Retrieving content containing images that show your brand’s logo.
- Adding image terms to retrieve content containing images that show the terms – sound bites with a brand name contained in an image but potentially not in the post text.
Assuming you’re not seeing the logo much of anywhere, this data will act as a benchmark for your social listening-informed efforts as your move forward. It offers a supremely visual way to demonstrate the growing brand awareness you’ve created using the many metrics available to support your efforts:
Reach out and we’ll run you through some of the possibilities. Your consumer-driven marketing refresh is just a few clicks away.