Measuring the impact of marketing efforts has traditionally been a much simpler task for marketers using direct response tactics than those investing in brand marketing. In fact, 83% of UK marketers found measuring the impact of branding more challenging than direct response in 2015, and just one in five (20%) believed their organisation was “very good” at measuring their most effective brand marketing tactics (Visual IQ). With many companies still spending a vast majority of their marketing budgets on branding activities, brand marketers are feeling the pressure to find a better way to quantify the true impact of their campaigns. 

So how can brand marketers become more accountable in 2016? The answer lies in the arrival of increasingly powerful analytics. As pressure on the branding side continues to mount, marketers will need to take advantage of advanced marketing attribution capabilities in order to benefit from a holistic view of each touchpoint’s true impact on brand marketing performance. Marketing attribution solutions that incorporate multiple brand engagement activities into a single metric enable brand marketers to accurately allocate their budget to the channels, campaigns and tactics that generate the most lift. Here are three ways that brand marketers can leverage these powerful analytics capabilities to their advantage:

Attract new customers

Attracting new website visitors is a key objective of most brand marketing strategies. But because brand media performance is most often measured using softer metrics such as total site traffic and reach, marketers typically end up investing in the channels and tactics that reach the same audiences again and again. 

When looking to attract new users, it is more effective to use advanced marketing attribution, which utilises advanced marketing science to uncover the true impact that every branding channel and tactic (creative, size, placement, publisher, etc.), has on driving new users to your site. With this new level of insight, brand marketers can reallocate their spend to the tactics proven to maximise the number of unique visitors. 

Reach qualified prospects

The objective is a branding campaign is not to produce a traditional direct response conversion, but instead to produce one or more top-of-funnel brand engagement actions, such as landing page visits, video views, or content downloads. But some of these activities demonstrate a deeper level of engagement than others. For instance, subscribing to a brand’s loyalty programme may be considered high-value activity since it requires data entry and generates a qualified lead from an interested prospect.

Once marketers determine the brand engagement activities and interactions that are the most valuable to their business, they can then use advanced marketing attribution to discover how each channel and tactic is driving these behaviours. With this insight, marketers can assign budget to those tactics that attract qualified prospects who are more likely to convert.

Link brand engagement to conversions

In the push to become more accountable, brand marketers need to understand not only how their efforts drive awareness and engagement, but also how they impact the bottom line. In addition to uncovering the true impact of branding channels and tactics, advancements in marketing attribution are allowing marketing teams to better understand which brand engagement activities have the greatest impact on conversions. By understanding the lift in conversions associated with each brand engagement activity, marketers improve planning and budget allocation, ultimately generating increased conversions and ROI.

As technology continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to be able to accurately measure the impact of each and every touchpoint on a consumer’s journey to conversion to stay ahead of their competitors. While marketing attribution solutions have traditionally been focused on direct response marketing techniques, recent advancements are providing marketers with the tools they need to measure and optimise their branding efforts as well. For companies that dedicate big budgets to branding campaigns, this means whole new levels of control, confidence and accountability in how that budget is spent.