Can 'Common Currency' Help Brand Marketers Measure Engagement?

Without a single customer engagement score, brand marketers struggle to assess campaign effectiveness, using myriad metrics that don't directly align with KPIs.

Direct response marketing campaigns aim to drive conversions and brand marketing campaigns seek to improve engagement. Yet, while the former relies upon concrete measurements-leads, ROI, etc.-to assess performance and guide strategy, the latter continuously struggles to quantify efforts and secure KPIs.

Visual IQ's recent "Brand Measurement in Today's Accountable World: A Tale of Two Marketers" report explores the challenges for both branding and direct response (DR) marketers within today's ecosystem. The study, which polled 514 respondents from both the U.S. and the U.K., indicates that marketers have more difficulty measuring the impact of their branding efforts than they do measuring the impact of direct response efforts. DR marketers find it increasingly easy to track traditional metrics, as advanced measurement solutions now ease their burden, but brand marketers must still struggle to define and quantify 'engagement' simultaneously within the context of their specific organization.

The following statistics underscore brand marketing trends by examining confidence levels and specific obstacles in relation to campaign effectiveness:

  • Seventy-five percent of marketers think the metrics used to measure and optimize branding campaigns are 'very' or 'extremely' important to overall success.
  • Most respondents (80 percent) claim that measuring the impact of branding efforts is more challenging than measuring the impact of direct response efforts.
  • Seventy-six percent of those polled face challenges in isolating and quantifying the impact of individual digital channels on branding metrics.
  • Nearly 70 percent of marketers find it challenging to isolate and quantify the impact of TV advertising on branding metrics.
  • Of the marketing metrics used to measure the effectiveness of branding efforts, 71 percent represent brand engagement metrics that differ from traditional direct response conversion metrics.
  • More marketers (85 percent) are 'very' or 'extremely' confident in their organization's ability to quantify the impact of direct response efforts against their key performance indicators compared to the impact of their branding efforts (64 percent).
  • Only 26 percent of marketers rate their organization as 'very good' at measuring which combination of digital channels and tactics will produce the greatest lift on branding metrics.

Key takeaway: Brand recognition and affinity remain central for success, yet marketers still struggle to measure campaign performance because, unlike direct response metrics, engagement isn't easily quantified. Thus, when it comes to challenges, marketers cite lack of measurement tools (48 percent) and the inability to calculate a single engagement score metric (40 percent) as the primary roadblocks on the journey toward measuring the impact of their branding efforts. Brand marketers lack one "common currency" by which to measure effectiveness, thereby making it incredibly difficult to assess performance and determine weaknesses. Ideally, organizations will be able to consolidate each relevant metric into one engagement score that'll allow marketers to focus on measurement and optimization. Fewer overall metrics will enable marketers to evaluate their efforts and understand which of their campaigns help them reach their engagement goals so they may enhance what works and eliminate what doesn't.