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Brand conversations: Do core brand metrics need to become more inclusive?
Beyond the conversations, the pandemic has also added a list of measures that marketers must work to include in making brands compliant.
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Marketing conversations in the post covid world, are full of buzz words like the new normal, empathy, solidarity, safety, resilience and restoration. Beyond the conversations, it has also added a list of measures that marketers must work to include in making brands compliant. In many specified and unspecified ways, brands have already taken this in their stride. For India as a market, with the existing complexities of targeting, it surely adds to their plate of challenges, in an already tough situation. While it may not be the case for all categories across the board, invariably it does imply that this ‘compliance’ also adds pressure on resources.
But ultimately, when the outcomes of these efforts are to be evaluated, how will these additional measures be considered? For example, if a brand has gone out of their way to add in greater safety in product packaging, to convince customers, how will the contribution and impact of this be measured?
And hence, we need to arrive at appropriate solutions by asking a set of appropriate questions.
The first and fairly fundamental: Sales and revenue generation are important and will always be top priority. But, will all the never-before effort being put behind brand marketing to address the never-before challenging environment also be seen in the light of never-before critical success factors? Or do we continue to operate with the fundamental methods and on conventional (pre-covid) classifications?
For example, the classical ad effectiveness measurement models began with awareness generation, leading to higher bonding as the primary focus. There has been significant evolution and modification over the decades to add greater brand relevance and purpose to the parameters. This is great and should be the broad ultimate aim. But is there a need to dial in a deeper context to measure results of all the specific effort in addressing the requirements of the today’s change in environment?
And, so do we need to move towards recalibrating objectives and the measurement of success parameters? This by no means is to say we need to change everything entirely, but to trigger the capturing of results that are more specific to the need of the hour. With the right level of intelligence and insight, it should be very much possible within the existing methods.
The simplest way this could proceed is by pushing all forms of brand measurement to include factors that have become more crucial for marketing today into the core measurement of a brand’s performance. This implies that we need to bring in more skin into the game. If brand priorities have evolved and adapted to the change in environment, must not the measurement as well? I do not mean to say that measurements do not include some of these aspects. However, they were usually represented as generic or softer assessments. This may cause some amount of questions to arise in our minds but the basic question to ask is with all that is changing: Is what is being followed sufficient enough?
If seen in the right perspective, these questions are come from a good place. For after putting all the effort in embracing this new normal, will we able to provide value and assessment to all that is done in meeting the new requirements? Clearly, we know it is critical that brand marketing needs to be inclusive of these requirements. And if it is critical for a brand to do all that it is doing, then isn’t it as critical being considered in its measurement?
Note: Views mentioned are meant to inspire thought and not intended to be critical of any existing initiative. Routes are suggested and may require appropriate ratification.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.