Why technology is your brand building secret weapon
If the winner of the 2016 Olympic men’s marathon raced the winner of the 1904 marathon, he would have won by nearly 90 minutes. That means that 2016’s winner could have run nearly two marathons in the time it took the 1904 winner to run one.
Today’s runners are uncatchable speed machines compared to previous generations. Even today’s high school kids regularly beat world records set in the 1930s.
It’s not evolution or a bigger population of athletes that makes the difference. It’s advances in science, technology, and our understanding of the world and how things work.
Sports scientists agree that if 1904’s winner ran on today’s shock-absorbing shoes, had access to modern training, and ate a specialized diet instead of the rat poison and brandy he actually used to “boost” performance, he would have run nearly as fast as today’s marathon runners.
Increasingly, technology is the secret weapon for success brands, too. Companies that can track their brands are the ones that can improve them. When companies know how to improve their brands, they hold power over companies that don’t.
Three Ways You Can Build a Winning Brand with Technology
Running a continuous brand tracker
Your brand is your most valuable asset, and a brand tracker is how you measure its pulse over time.
A brand tracker doesn’t need to be complicated. But it does need to be:
- sensitive enough to detect changes in the market
- frequent enough to show an evolution over time and tie to tactics your marketing team is working on
- actionable enough to give you some ideas for what to do next
Brand trackers are powerful tools for helping your marketing organization to set and reach goals and measure whether progress is being made.
On a regular basis, you should review your tracker results and set goals around how you would like to see your brand funnel improve for the next wave.
With funnel goals set, lining up campaigns, messaging, calendars and overall tactics all have a common purpose and a measurable way to interpret the outcomes.
A brand tracker isn’t a decoration - it’s a driver. Here are a few ways your tracker can provoke action across your organization:
- Design current ad campaigns based on insights from previous campaigns
- Alert the right teams when tracking falls
- Measure the performance of the marketing team in terms of how much they are helping the brand
- Keep focus on opportunities to deliver on the brand promise at every customer touchpoint
- See early warnings if your brand strength is beginning to falter with certain groups of customers
Conducting Ad Concept Testing
Advertising is usually one of the largest budget line items, and the world’s leading brands know they can’t gamble large sums of money on the hunch that an idea is a good one - especially when today’s technology makes it so easy to test out ideas quickly and inexpensively.
Ad concept tests can track how potential buyers respond to ad concepts, why they like or dislike a brand message, how “on the radar” your brand is compared to competitors, and why they prefer one ad idea over another.
These types of insights are the internal conscience of your advertising strategy. They guide your advertising decisions, your values, your morality, and they eventually determine the character of your brand.
Iconic brands have mastered the process of vetting their ad concepts before they spend, before they produce a campaign, and before they have a chance to get it wrong.
Using Research To Understand Customer Segments
It’s a life lesson so universal that even kids know it. You just can’t please everyone all the time.
World-class brands know this too. World-class brands use technology to developed advanced segmentation, targeting and messaging models that help them deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.
Knowing the difference between who you want to reach and who you don’t will focus your budget, manpower and efforts where it makes the greatest difference.
With the right technology to define customer clusters, you understand the opportunities and threats that exist and can identify which individuals fall within your realm of influence. Segmentation research also uncovers the pain points and expectations at every brand touchpoint. By understanding the characteristics and behaviors of your most important customer groups, you upgrade your products, employee performance and brand messaging to a level competitors can’t match.
Don’t get Caught Flat Footed - Technology Can Speed Up Your Business and Build Your Brand
The right technology is separating the brands that have mere customers from the brands that have actual fans. No amount of traditional toil and good intentions can win against competitors who have brand-tracking technology on their side, and that gap is only growing wider.
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