You Ask, I Answer: Which Brand KPIs?

Jen asks, “What are some solid KPIs that you will be looking for next year?”

Recall that our definition of a KPI is any metric for which you either get a bonus or fired. This poses a quandary for marketers responsible for brand, since brand tends to be one of the least well-measured metrics a company has. Fortunately, there are 4 metrics you can watch to gauge the strength of your brand.

  • Branded organic search – broken out by sentiment
  • NPS scores – buy again and recommend
  • Social mentions in a recommendation context
  • Point of conversion questions (how did you hear about us/what made you come in today)

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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Christopher Penn In today’s episode, Jen asks, what are some solid KPIs that brands are we looking for this year and next year? So good question because brand KPIs traditionally for marketers have been a little difficult to measure, a lot of marketers struggle to measure brand in any meaningful capacity partly because for a lot of us, we have a very difficult time even expressing the definition of what a brand is.

The the definition I tend to enjoy is one by z, Frank from way back in 2006, where he said a brand is a an emotional aftertaste from a series of experiences.

And so I think that’s a fantastic definition.

How do you measure that? How do you calculate that? How do you make that something that is less subjective and more objective sense at its core, it is Emotional? Well, there’s a bunch of different numbers we can use to try to quantify brand.

But when it comes to KPIs, remember that the definition of a KPI is a metric for which you either get a bonus or fired, right? Anything that has no serious meaningful consequences in either direction is just a metric, right? If I saw somebody on social media was saying, you know, social media reach, I would not want to be held accountable for that because you had, there’s, you have very little control over that, at least on the unpaid side.

As social algorithms continue to ratchet the screws, right.

There’s very little that you can do as a marketer.

That will give you reliable, repeatable, measurable results.

You can do all kinds of stunts.

But did that really change anything from the business perspective brand has a lot of metal tracks that are meaningful from a business perspective will have a strong mathematical relationship and possibly a causal relationship to money in the bank.

So what are those metrics? Number one, branded organic search, meaning somebody goes to a search engine and types in your brand name is a good metric of brand, especially when you categorize your brand organic searches by sentiment and intent.

So if you’re say, Toyota, and you search for an hour talk about the Prius, if you search for a Toyota Prius, that’s a neutral brand intent, right? It’s someone just looking for the brand.

If you’re looking for Toyota Prius recalls or Toyota Prius sucks.

It’s pretty clear what you’re searching for, is not a lot of ambiguity about the intent of that query.

If you’re looking for Toyota Prius reviews or Toyota Prius recommendations or Toyota Prius prices? Those are a little more on the positive side, right? You’re you’re trying to ascertain, is this something that I should buy? I’ve heard things about it, the things might be good, I should probably check it and see what other people have said.

So that sort of spread organic search is a powerful tool for measuring brand.

Number two, NPS scores are essential for brands.

So an NPS score Net Promoter Score is a two question survey that brands ask customers.

The first question is, what is the likelihood that you would recommend it was likelihood that you would buy from us again in the next 90 days? And number two is what is the likelihood that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague in the next 90 days, core of zero to 10, right, and companies that do NPS really well measure that at every transaction.

One of my favorite airlines Jet Blue, sends out an NPS score for every leg of A trip.

So not just how was your flight to San Diego and back? It was how was your flight from Boston to San Diego? How was your flight from San Diego back to Boston, two separate customer experiences and therefore two different NPS scores because it could be that your experience with the the San Diego based ground crew was not great, right? And they want to know that.

So it was really smart, good usage of NPS scores.

Third, to a lesser degree, social media mentions and a recommendation context This requires advanced text mining, and in many cases is actually not worth it.

Unless you’re a very large brand, but social media mentions in a recommendation context are when somebody asks on Reddit or Facebook or Twitter.

Can anyone recommend a hybrid car? If you can identify that question and and then the subsequent answers, everyone says Toyota Prius, guess what you Brands doing well, if everyone says avoid the Toyota Prius like, okay, so our brand and marketing is not gone so well.

Right? And number four, which I think is one that is deeply underused by marketers, is point of conversion questions.

When you fill out a form on a website, when you text a brand, when you walk into their store, when you send them an email, Heck, even when you subscribe to the newsletter, if you as the brand not asking a question like how did you hear about us or what made you come in today, you’re missing a key opportunity to measure the strength of your brand.

If you’re asking how did you hear about us, and nobody says like Facebook, and you’re all in on Facebook marketing, guess what? You’ve got a problem.

Right? That is a a serious mismatch between the effectiveness of your brand and and the things that you’re trying to Do right and that starts to get into, like social media brand KPIs, which is a whole other story than just the brand KPI overall.

But if you had to pick one of those To start with, I would start with that categorization of branded organic search.

Because again, as was detailed in the book, everybody lies.

People type things into a search engine, they would not ask another human being right, they are more honest there because they think they’re not being watched, even though they everything they do with their search engines being watched.

As such that honesty allows them to ask questions of search engines, and get reasonable answers.

And so if you can measure that and you don’t need like, gazillion dollar technology to do that, you can if there’s not a lot of search volume, you can, you can make the intern count up the numbers in your SEO tool.

of choice.

Better uses for in terms of that.

But if you had nothing else, that’s where you could start.

Any good SEO tool should help you with that Google Search Console, the free tools from Google will help you with that.

So that’s where I would start.

If you have nothing else, then I would go to point of conversion questions because you have total control over that at every point in the conversion process, and then look at the other options afterwards.

So that’s how to do brand KPIs or how to start doing brand KPIs.

Understand that brand, and market research our professions unto themselves within marketing, you can hire a market researcher to do all this stuff, it will be reassuringly expensive, but it is a profession unto itself.

So start with the metrics I mentioned.

And then once you feel confident in those numbers and your collection methods, and you have numbers from what you can make a decision about what to change, then you can take on more and more Advanced market research as well.

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