What are the ingredients of powerful RAPPORT? How can you harness the force that projects charisma, persuasion, negotiating power, and credibility to all the stakeholders who affect your work life? Not only your boss. Not just your team. But people within every function of your organization and all your brands’ stakeholders, including customers.
To take it even further, RAPPORT can be scaled to unite brands and their customers, employees and employers; all to achieve real business results.
Believe it or not, this kind of power can be acquired by following only seven down-to-earth steps called The RAPPORT Process™.
(R) Research — Know your stakeholders
(A) Analysis — Determine not just what they want, but what they need to do to get what they want (your strategy). Pick your battles by focusing on needs that your solutions can best facilitate, and the segments that value them most.
(P) Positioning — Develop a way to deliver your strategy that addresses your stakeholders’ perceived wants. Begin with their objective and work backwards to your own. Focus on the single facet of your stakeholders’ want that you can “own.” Let them discover all the other great benefits later. Be big somewhere, rather than small everywhere.
(P) Planning — Once you know what your stakeholders want and what they need to do to get it, you need a detailed approach. Formalize the events, costs, benefits, and sequence in a plan.
(O) Operation — Execute your plan…roll it out…take action
(R) Results — Measure your outcomes and progress toward your goals
(T) Translation — How can you do this better next time?
Imagine everyone in your organization—from the stockroom to the boardroom—using this process to deal with every kind of issue from improving shipping efficiencies to launching new brands. Minds aligned. Conflicts averted. Cultures united. Commerce accelerated. Efficiencies unlocked. Common process means common language and focus. And that means a better rapport, which opens a whole new universe of benefits—all from operational alignment through The RAPPORT Process.
Much like the Quality movement in decades past, the RAPPORT revolution can help businesses achieve greater customer satisfaction, increase revenues and margins, and improve operational efficiencies. GroPartners is launching a multi-year trial of our trademarked RAPPORT Process for organizations that believe alignment sets into motion a chain of heightened customer and employee satisfaction, which leads to enhanced revenues and margins. Our aim is to build a case of solid metrics on actual organizational implementation.
Contact us if you’d like to participate in our trial. This process might be a way for you (and your fellow employees and your customers) to get everything you want at work this year, and beyond.
You can read more about the RAPPORT Process in my new book, “Getting There From Here: Bridging Strategy and Execution” available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1yK9DTG or digital version on Apple iBooks.
Many organizations are very good at developing brand and marketing strategies that have the potential to produce excellent business results. But often these strategies become diluted or even derailed due to misaligned execution. Other organizations are experts at flawless execution of strategies that may not align with actual customer behaviors and organizational goals. The reality is that it takes both to succeed. And that requires a holistic approach, connecting internal and external components to create a symbiotic brand.
When marketers fail, it is generally tied to their inability to connect strategy with in-market execution. My new book, “Getting There from Here: Bridging Strategy and Execution,” takes on the task of not only outlining how critical it is to bridge this gap but also identifying the rewards on the other side: operational excellence and in-market impact. It is an excellent reference for perspective and processes that help bridge expectations, experiences, and behaviors among all brand stakeholders at every touchpoint.
Visit http://amzn.to/1yK9DTG to download a copy. Whatever your goals, it will help you get there from here by giving you tools and processes to effectively bridge strategy and execution for better business results.
Getting There from Here: Bridging Strategy and Execution
Page 15: The power of the bridge between strategy and execution
Page 59: The RAPPORT Process; a master process and language that helps align every level of your organization
Page 125: How to conduct an effective Strategic Summit
Page 42: How to know a good vision statement when you see one
Page 116: How to build a metrics bridge dashboard
Page 17: The true relationship of brand and marketing
Page 21: Harnessing the relationship between business, brand, and innovation
Page 34: Finding strategic alignment control points
Page 53: How to be sure you’re selecting the right opportunities
Page 56: When estimating can be better than counting
Buzz words. Oy. Our breed is the worst. Branding, story-telling, metrics, alignment. OMG. Half of us can’t even agree on what personas are.
So now “operationalizing the brand” is a buzz phrase that’s sweeping the marketing community. But what does it really mean?
Operationalizing the brand (it took me a few tries to be able to say it without sounding like a complete moron) is about aligning employees’ actions, business processes, and investments to provide customers with what they expect from the brand, within the constraints of business objectives (revenues/margins). It involves setting and meeting customer expectations from the inside of the organization out to customers. It’s about getting employees to understand and truly believe what they are doing every day makes a difference in achieving the same, ideal customer experience. It all comes down to people and metrics.
Surprisingly the concept of operationalization originated not from business, but from physics — an analysis of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Without straying into the intellectual abyss of physics, the general idea is that any concept (like brand value) is actually defined by the measurement operations that you use to quantify it. So the effectiveness of your strategy comes down to your system of metrics that connect strategy to execution and back (numbers that show how closely aligned all internal stakeholder actions are with what customers want).
It’s a continuum that feeds strategy with consumer/customer data that helps shape business strategies and execution. These data not only feed marketing approaches, but product development, operations, HR, finance, business development and other critical areas. It’s all driven by customer behavioral and perception data.
The metrics can be between business operations, between the operations and marketing and/or the customer, etc. But my favorite is connecting brand investments to business objectives. I like it because everyone thinks it’s so difficult, but it’s as simple as selecting a business objective you want to use as a baseline, and then creating a metrics trail from brand investments back to the business objectives. GroPartners loves to do this.
In my first-ever v-blog, I reduce the concept of operationalization to everyday business functions. After you watch the video, click the “comment” button at the top of the blog and share your thoughts.
To begin your road to operationalization, start by assessing the alignment among your internal stakeholders (employees) and your brand vision, mission, values, and value proposition. Matching these data against customer perceptions will give you a quantified idea of how much opportunity you have to strengthen the brand and grow. If you need some help with this, contact your brand strategy consultant, or GroPartners.
Special thanks to Julie Lindwall and Steve Italiano for lending their superior video production talents that made this edition possible.
B2B marketing folks are often deer in the headlights when their CFOs challenge them for proof that brand building funds return value on their investments.
Financial executives – especially in B2B organizations– often have a hard time justifying brand-building investments. That’s mostly because when marketing folks like us are asked to provide ROI calculations for the big bucks we request, we morph into deer in the headlights before their very eyes.
So what do we do? We cloak brand building in marketing execution expenses that the financial guys can wrap their heads around. Simply put, we expense it. Feeling wimpy yet? You’re not alone. But now it’s time to help your CFO understand the value of building brand equity and put it in the asset column where it belongs…because investment in assets and a solid valuation methods are things they can relate to.
Who Doesn’t Want Higher Business Valuation?
For many middle-market B2B companies, brand equity falls off the financial radar completely, mostly because there’s no official GAAP measurement formula for organic brand equity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, only 26 percent responded they found their “brand equity” metric very useful. That’s pretty sad, considering that some prominent marketing researchers believe brands are one of the most valuable assets a company owns. This is a measure brand and marketing managers should leverage in their stakeholder relationships.
Who doesn’t want 5% – 20% more company valuation?
Even in B2B, where “branding” is looked upon as something more suited for consumer products, brand equity can account for 5% – 20% or more of a company’s market value. And who wouldn’t want that (except maybe for that Cheerio-lobbing cherub who disses Jimmy Fallon on those Capital One commercials)?
In certain industries, increasing customer loyalty by 2% can impact the bottom-line in the same way as a 10% reduction in costs (The Market Research Executive Board, “Measuring Brand Equity”). The report continued to cite that a composite of companies with brands considered by business leaders as “superior” grew 402% in the 1990s while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose only 308%. And if that tidbit doesn’t cause pause in your CFO, toss this one at her: research finds that companies with the largest gains in brand equity generated an average current-term stock return of 30%, while companies with decreases in brand equity lost 10%. This is the kind of cred bean counters need to begin viewing brand as an investment instead of an expense.
What is brand equity really?
Brand equity trends are a good barometer overall brand health. But much like measuring the happiness of hippos, no single, comprehensive, industry-wide definition for brand equity exists. If pressed for a broad definition, brand equity essentially addresses the financial value that a brand’s identity, persona, and emotional appeal add to a product or service. It’s less about function and more about the customer experience and relationship. It all comes down to RAPPORT.
“Emotional value” is a pretty squishy thing to measure in financial terms, but it is undeniable that even in B2B, emotional attachment is a powerful issue. Though it may be expressed on different levels than B2C, people are still involved in the decision-making, influencing, and purchasing processes. And where there are people, there are emotional attachments.
The bottom line is…well, the bottom line…meaning that even if a brand has an emotional connection with its stakeholders, differentiation in the marketplace, high awareness, and easy accessibility, but not sustainable sales and margins; what’s it worth? This could be one reason why many B2B financial folks hold limited regard (and approve fewer, smaller budgets) for supporting this “phantom asset” than in B2C.
The flaws in most approaches to B2B brand equity measurement are their overemphasis on marketing factors and diminished emphasis on business, financial, and operational efficiency factors. After all, equity is a financial concept, so brand equity measurements – especially in B2B companies – should be less about the marketing aspects and more about the business and financial impact, right? One hitch: Marketing folks are more comfortable identifying and measuring brand equity drivers (marketing factors) that are great for prescribing ways to improve the financial equity of a brand, but not so good for measuring the equity. See the difference?
A Scorecard Just for B2B Brand Equity
To provide measurement of brand equity specifically for middle-market B2B brands that balances the marketing (external) and financial (internal) dimensions of the brand, I’ve crafted a scorecard that balances the two. The scorecard framework is based on the perspective that brand and business objectives always work hand-in-hand, because neither would exist without the other (if you believe that brand is a relationship with stakeholders). Another point to keep in mind is that the scorecard metrics are not meant to be used as isolated snapshots, but rather assessed in trends, taking the measurements at different periods over time and watching the delta and direction. This trending approach averages temporary influences and favors long term outlooks for valuation and predictive modeling.
The Devil’s in the Details
Dimension: The aspect of the brand to be measured
Eight select business and marketing dimensions of the brand are identified from a balanced “branded-business” perspective
Internal/External: Categorizing each metric as internal or external
Internal factors are things that can be controlled internally, such as setting pricing, aligning people, or switching operational processes or investing in specific capital equipment. These are business metrics. External factors are controlled by forces outside the brand organization. They include factors such as media, marketing, events, economics, etc., and affect the dimensions of external culture, awareness, and preference.
Loyalty is a bridge between internal control factors and external control factors because the organization (internal) has control over loyalty programs, but customers (external) are ultimately the ones who control the loyalty score. These unique qualities make loyalty a very powerful indicator of brand health because they provide an ultimate measurement for the faithful delivery of the brand promise.
Metric: The specific measurement for each dimension
1. Financial: Price premium and positioning over median category pricing
This is a traditional brand equity measure. One caveat: Make sure the category is segmented very carefully (whether you are valuing a product or corporate brand). Price premiums can skew heavily either way if the category includes competitive alternatives or substitutes positioned off your target. If you’re valuing a corporate brand, you can quantify corporate perceived price positioning by using a “basket of brands” approach against the market median pricing of an equivalent basket for each competitor. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over its pricing.
2. Operational: Operational alignment score
Operational alignment occurs when the operational aspects of an organization and its people are all in alignment with the brand strategy. This means that everyone in a line position knows what to do on a daily basis in their jobs to support the brand’s delivery to its customers. This often combines elements of the corporate and product brand strategies. Operational alignment is not given much credit in the brand equity spreadsheet, but it can dramatically reduce costs in many ways. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over its operational investments, processes, and policies.
Brand delivery is a brand touch point metric that assesses the alignment of stakeholders’ beliefs of what the brand delivers to them, above and beyond the functional aspects of the product or service. When employees and customers share the same understanding of what the brand is delivering (attributes beyond the functional), a brand is well aligned. When operationalized in every employee and customer group, this metric can pinpoint areas of misalignment, leading to clues for significant improvements in customer satisfaction. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over setting and meeting customer expectations.
4. Loyalty: Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer advocacy and evangelism. Essentially, it measures the percentage of branded customers who actively refer a brand within their personal and professional networks. High NPS has been related to strong brands and sustainable financial success. This is a hybrid internal and external metric because the B2B brand and the customer each have some control over loyalty.
5. Awareness: Brand awareness score
Brand awareness alone is a measure of marketing success and not necessarily financial success. But combined with the other metrics in this scorecard, it can help drive financial success. This is an external metric because awareness is a customer perception factor.
6. Recognition: Logo/packaging
Brand recognition is an important dimension that helps quantify not only differentiation, but also the degree to which a brand cuts through the noise of the modern marketing landscape. It is an external metric because it is customer perceiption-based.
7. Preference: Market share trend
This metric is a traditional bell weather and helps round out the competitive success of the brand. This is an external metric because it deals with the external market competitive milieu.
8. Cultural: Buzz metrics (segment or industry) Social media has made “buzz” an undeniable part of our brandscape. Measuring resonance with brand positioning amidst current socio-economic trends is another facet of awareness, but includes richer customer positioning connotations. This is a purely external factor because it is in the control of customers.
All metrics should be expressed in percentages and averaged together for a composite score. Each or any of these factors can be weighted to accommodate specific industry peculiarities.
Once you begin treating your brand investments like investments instead of expenses, you’ll be surprised at how much more confident you’ll be in your brand budget discussions.
Contact GroPartners Consulting for guidance on how to measure your B2B brand equity, either corporate or product. 847-845-6970
Delighted customers are worth more than their individual revenue streams.
In my August, 2010 frenchonbrand.com, “Is Customer Delight Overkill?” (http://wp.me/pU6PC-25), I downplayed the concept of customer delight as potentially over-performing on the premise that people don’t necessarily want to be delighted, merely satisfied. My logic was that over performing in this area causes excess cost. Since then, and as a result of one of my reader’s well-informed and thoughtful comments (thanks, John H. FMB!) — and more research on the subject — I’ve moderated my position on customer delight and pass along the following convincing metric: a way to measure the impact of customer delight on word-of-mouth promotion to optimize the investment.
I realized the impact of customer delight extends far beyond the customer, after a review of W. Edwards Deming’s Profound Knowledge and Fred Reichheld’s “The Ultimate Question” (Net Promoter Score a.k.a. NPS). In this holistic approach to business, operationalizing customer delight becomes essential to its importance. Instead of viewing “delight” as overkill, I can now reconcile it with other favorable business results, such as increasing the lifetime value of a customer (promoter) beyond the customer revenue stream, and into areas such as:
Low-cost customer acquisition via referrals (reduced marketing costs)
Viral customer acquisition (referrals of referrals)
More nimble market response due to vibrant customer connections (innovation)
Continuous improvement of operations through cultural alignment (operationalized brand)
And many more
The result is sustainable growth.
To measure customer delight word-of-mouth radiance, Reichheld offers the following formula (this can be modified per individual situation). A customer survey is needed to capture the information needed to perform the calculations below (contact GroPartners for specific survey content).
Pick a benchmark date in the past (for example, the past 12 months, or last fiscal year). Then use this measurement process.
1. How many delighted customers do you have?
Find out how many of your new desirable customers were referred by other delighted customers (NPS of 9 or 10, meaning “on a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to refer a friend or colleague to your brand?)
2. What is your average new customer worth?
Calculate (or see industry analysts’ calculations) what your average new customer is worth in dollars and cents.
3. Calculate the total value of those new delighted customers
Multiply the data from #1 (above) by #2 (above)
4. Calculate the value of positive comments
In your NPS survey, also ask respondents for positive or negative comments that support their NPS rating. If x number of positive comments generated $y in revenue (from 3 above), divide y/x to calculate the value of each positive comment
6. Calculate the value of each promoter
In your survey, find out the number of people per year to which each promoter might have commented, and multiply the average number by the value in #4 (above) to get the value of word-of-mouth per promoter. This is the “magic number” that helps optimize customer delight.
Anything can be measured. Even the power of customer delight. Now I’m a believer. How about you?
frenchonbrand.com is content published by
GroPartners Consulting helps middle-market organizations bridge strategy and execution for better business results.
Brand is the network of relationships that surrounds a business or product, including all its touch points.
I once spent the better part of a year convincing the CEO of a marketing organization that brand was not a subset of marketing, but instead, the reverse. To my surprise, during that year, I noticed his perspective is fairly common, even among marketing folks.
To many people (especially direct marketers and finance folks), “brand” associates with really fluffy connotations. In reality, brand is much bigger than marketing. In fact, it’s bigger than the products brought to market and even bigger than the companies that make the products that go to market. Why? Because the brand includes not only the company and its products, but relationships among its people, all its functions, channels (distributors, etc.), customers and even – to a degree – its competitors. It encompasses values, purpose, beliefs, and ultimately, identity. Essentially, brand is about that precisely dicey issue of “what you stand for” and what that means to people in the context of their lives. Finance guys often get heartburn from brand discussions mostly because they can’t easily and accurately prove out ROI on brand investments. An operationalized approach to brand investments can quench the heartburn. This means placing strategic metrics among and between internal operations, customer touch point metrics, marketing results, and financial results.
The difference between Marketing and Brand
Click image for a larger view.
Marketing builds and measures transactions. Brand builds and measures relationships. Even though marketers refer to building relationships through marketing, the goal is transactions, so technically, there’s a little brand blended in with the marketing mentality. Brand relationships continue after marketing has delivered products to customers. The goal of branding is to build relationships as a pipeline for transactions.
Where marketing is about all the intelligence and activities it takes to drive transactions, brand focuses on the underlying relationships and expectations among stakeholders around the transactions. When positive relationships exist and expectations are met, the stage is set for a continuous stream of transactions (i.e. successful sales and marketing campaigns).
This sets into motion a chain of operational implications, both internal and external. Brand-aligned organizations use this as an opportunity to examine the dynamic and causal relationships among employees, customers, and operations. Identifying cause-and-effect among these forces builds business value – the goals at the core of business operations. To do this successfully, an operationalized brand metrics program should first be in place (for more on this, contact Gropartners).
The truth is, most people feel more comfortable gaining a level of trust before they take the leap into a transaction. Until they experience a level of satisfaction or value as “compensation” for the currency they trade, customers experience anxiety and feel vulnerable. But they may not even take the leap until they feel they can trust the seller (kind of “chicken-or-egg” first). So whether an ad campaign puts a friendly face on the brand, a sampling campaign lets you “try before you buy,” or a recommendation from a trusted friend disarms you, some level of pre-transaction relationship is usually required to help minimize the feeling of risk and start the flow of transactions. This, and it’s post-transaction counterparts (“customer care,” etc.), wrap the transactions up in “relationship wrappers.”
Brands are relationships between people and products, services, or ideas, which are made of three fundamental elements: focus, distinction, and trust. The word “brand” should be distinguished from ‘branding.” “Brand” focuses on the strategic dimensions of a relationship while “branding” refers to execution. “Branding” is a term that broadly defines the scope of activities that bring the brand to life for stakeholders –- creative application of brand values, identity and communications (logos, taglines, guidelines, messaging, etc.). These activities “voice” the brand to stakeholders. And while these are certainly essential elements of brand, they are usually products of creative execution under strategic direction.
So when you hear or use the phrase “brand marketing,” it generally relates to issues about customer relationships and delivering on the promise. In contrast,”product marketing,” issues are mainly about transactions and delivering the product. That’s how brand marketing and product marketing work hand-in-hand to build business value. And that’s why you find many high-profile CEOs personally driving brand conversations and initiatives. The big picture guys get it.
To have all your stakeholders “grok” your brand is true alignment; the sought-after state of mind.
Robert A. Heinlein originally coined the term grok in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land as a Martian word that could not be defined in Earthling terms. The gist of the expression is to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to lose one’s identity in the experience.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment.”
Still with me?
What brand wouldn’t want an experience so poignant that the consumer/customer becomes totally absorbed in the experience – to understand the brand with the same emotional force as the company founders? What are the elusive qualities a brand must possess in order to get their stakeholders to grok?
My initial research on the subject called for a focus group of eight to 10 Martians, but since my space ship is in the shop, I decided to settle for some interviews with humans.
In a recent interview with insurance agents regarding their marketing organization, one agent told me a heart-rending story about how his business was on the brink of failure when his marketing organization provided some free services, empathy, and counsel that not only got him back on his feet, but producing at levels double his past year’s premiums. “They not only saved me,” he said, “they saved my family.” This gesture has bonded the agent to the marketing organization’s brand for life… and I mean the brand, not the brand name, because to the agent, the brand stands for “my safety net,” “…they truly care…,” “…they are a partner who really understands my situation.” Or, in Martian terms, they grok me.
When strong bonds like this are made between brands and people, it’s usually based on an emotional, rather than logical, appeal driven by a brand’s core values. When the product is not easily emotionally driven (like screws, machinery, and other B2B categories) the brand voice of the organization’s people and marketing carry the brand; increasingly so as the category is commoditized. Consistent alignment of brand values among internal (employees) and external (customers) stakeholders is essential in order to bathe the customer/consumer in the brand halo and feel the love.
Declined my interview.
Emotional attachment is the most powerful force in the brand world — even B2B. It is the quality that allows your customers to grok your brand. This brand loyalty is very difficult to create, yet so easy to destroy; especially with social media’s ability to spread bad juju like wildfire. One instance of misalignment between the brand promise and brand performance is enough to cause a consumer or customer to abandon the brand, especially where switching costs are low. When switching costs are high, the brand elasticity is usually greater. This means there is more margin for error in the brand promise v performance alignment, because the relationship or product is complex and it costs so much to switch brands that many imperfections are forgiven. These are usually in high involvement-purchases such as capital equipment or contracted professional services. In the consumer realm it could be your doctor, dentist, or car purchase. But even with great elasticity, eventually the bonds can be broken.
In my consulting practice, I’ve seen an uptrend in B2B organizations to “emotionalize” their brands. OK, so let’s see now, you want me to emotionalize a machine screw? Really? Well, I guess if our brand of screw is the hero in a story in which our Earth-bound Martian friends, pining for the friendly red skies of home, finally find the perfect fastener to fix their spaceship, which allows them to streak homeward to their groking flocks…well, then I guess I grok.
Take a fresh look at your brand(s) from a new perspective. Do your stakeholders truly grok your brands? If not, maybe they could use some emotionalizing, re-energizing, messaging, integrating, or metrics strategies to measure the love. If so, GroPartners can help. And remember, everything is measurable, as long as you keep the commitment to measure it. For more on groking up your brand, contact me.
Technology has created a new age of accountability. To marketers, this means measuring the effectiveness of brand investments in everything from portfolio alignment to advertising to CRM, culture, and a plethora of other dimensions, so each investment can be tracked to ROI. What’s more, we are now seeking ways to more quickly and decisively determine how all these factors interact to contribute to ROI. With this information the mixture can be fine-tuned to optimize ROI.
No big, right?
Recently I’ve had conversations with brand marketing and sales executives, agency heads, and data managers, who agree that meaningful ROI measurement is often elusive for a few key reasons:
Lack of consistent sponsorship
Even though brand marketers “talk the talk” on measurement, many times they really don’t want to know the hard facts because they may be held accountable for “bad” results. But even bad information is good. It’s kind of like getting an annual medical physical; you stress out and really don’t want to do it because you don’t want to know if there is something wrong. On the other hand, if there is something wrong, the earlier you have information about it, the more likely you are to get successful treatment. If you’re doing things right, you want to know so you can do more of it.
Selecting the right metrics
The siege of data in our new information society forces us to choose our data wisely. Too much data is just as dangerous as not enough. If you aren’t relentlessly selective, you can get bogged down and distracted into “analysis paralysis.” Like any other best business practice and for best business results, your metrics program should be aligned from business objectives all the way through tactical execution. The task/objectives method comes in really handy in selecting metrics.
1. First make sure you very specifically define what the metrics are needed for – in other words, what are the business objectives you want to support (usually provided by your executive team…revenues, margins, biz dev, etc.)?
2. Which brand touch point metrics will be used to measure progress toward the business objectives above? (There are 18 of them. Contact me for details.). Research can help you determine which of them are clamoring for attention.
3. Establish marketing objectives that connect with the selected brand touch point metrics above (internal alignment, market share, market/segment growth, arresting declines, etc.)
4. Develop and execute a tactical program (tasks) that serve the specific marketing objectives above (internal/external). Measure tactical success (usually response of some kind).
You can even measure internal brand investments
This approach usually requires building a bridge of a few metrics, at least one from each layer listed above. One metric will inform another, and so on, until you can derive the information that achieves your original business objective. This is one bridge between strategy and execution. You may have to get creative in how you collect data (see point below) and interpolate data among metrics to get what you need, but in every case you can build a bridge of data continuity to support all your investments. But remember, try to limit your appetite to only the handful of key metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to serve your objectives.
Figuring out how to measure
Measuring brand ROI can require a few steps
Marketers may often resist measurement because they can’t figure out what the yardstick looks like. In some cases you may need three, one-foot rulers to make the full yard. Analogies aside, it may require the “cascading metrics” strategy described in this blog to get the info you need to support brand investment decisions. For example, do your customers believe they are buying the same things as your people think they are making or selling (are they buying the widget, the result of using the widget, or the experience of buying the widget)? This is called brand delivery alignment. How do you measure the ROI on an investment in activities to align brand delivery among stakeholders? There are potentially dozens of these slippery, squishy things you’d like to measure if you could figure out how. It’s all possible, and it’s surprisingly practical. I have attached a link to two cascading metrics: one to illustrate how to associate brand delivery alignment with increased margin, and another illustrating how improving brand understanding can be associated with increased revenues.
How does your organization measure brand marketing ROI? Post it here.