By: Maggie Windsor Gross, Principal, Brand Offering Lead, Deloitte Digital and Mark Singer, US CMO, Deloitte Digital
Uncertain economic headwinds have companies in all sectors and industries keeping an understandably close eye on ROI – putting pressure on marketers to showcase brand value. Some think it’s crucial to have numeric attribution to showcase value, while others stand in line with the thought that measurement in marketing impedes creativity and is a fabricated construct with little to no value. The saying that there are two sides to every story and then there’s the right one rings true here. The right one when it comes to measurement versus creativity in marketing is that there is a middle ground.
Marketing at its core is driven by creativity. However, the effectiveness of any effort – including that of marketing – can be measured. There is no need to choose between one or the other. With the winning combination of creativity and measurement, marketers can develop true value trackers and indicators that place a real numerical value on a brand’s worth. This push towards the infusion of creativity and measurement is ushering in the new collaborative marketing landscape that will set brands up for future success and beyond.
To truly calculate the value of branding, marketers must be open to measuring the impact of brand investment and helping improve brand ROI at every stage of the marketing funnel. By harnessing the awareness of brand worth and measuring it against positive impact on the business, CMOs can leverage the ROI of branding and project out the potential revenue impact as a brand’s business fluctuates. At a time when being able to demonstrate impact is more important than ever, the ability for marketers to quantify the value of the brand they’ve built can serve as an asset in difficult discussions with the C-suite, all while also serving as an indicator for the health of the business.
Appraising brand worth
It’s ever-important to note that the value of your brand is a proof point for brand investment in those difficult conversations with C-suite counterparts. In proactively assessing brand worth and ROI, CMOs and marketers are arming themselves with precise, data-driven insights that emphasize brand impact and how brand investment lifts every part of the company.
As CMOs and business leaders, we owe it to the brand to value it for its true, impactful worth, and with that comes the commitment spotlighting that value. Luckily, four metrics already highly regarded in the marketing world can serve as benchmarks for accurately calculating brand worth: Values Alignment, Experience Satisfaction, Message Memorability and Share of Culture – with all having the most direct impact on revenue growth as well.
Here’s how these four metrics make it possible to identify how a brand performs today – and how a brand can better create financial returns tomorrow. By using them to define the strategy for how a brand can make outsized impact on every aspect of a business, providing marketers with tangible data that shows the direct correlation between brand investment and revenue returns.
Values Alignment measures whether an audience feels the organization shares their values. Brands successful with this metric showed customer loyalty scores that were substantially higher than the average across all brands, a powerful impact on the bottom line. Research shows brands that do best here are purpose-driven and are unafraid of taking a stand on social and societal issues.
Experience Satisfaction determines when a brand’s products and experiences leave the audience satisfied and wanting more. It might be easy to assume winners here are digital-first, but instead, the brands that perform best are human-first. Many brands that perform well have solid analog products with human-centered experience design.
Message Memorability measures the things that traditional brand trackers do – with the goal to make sure an authentic, memorable message reaches the right audience at the right time through the right channel. Once again touting that infusion of creativity and measurement, top brands that launch campaigns that perform well in this metric convert up to 75 out of 100 customers, showcasing that this not only fills the funnel but moves people through it repeatedly and more frequently.
The last metric to prioritize is Share of Culture, wherein brands can broaden relationships by participating with audiences versus just talking to them. When brands are part of broader cultural conversations, customers are more inclined to identify with them and feel more connected to the brand, and even keep the brand’s products on shopping lists when they cut back on spending. Most of all, Share of Culture turns your customers into a new marketing channel – creating word-of-mouth recommendations.
Preparing CMOs for a more productive conversation
In analyzing the performance of the four suggested metrics, a brand’s “grade” for each can set benchmarks by industry and identify the true impact, and potential, of branding. For example, a better “grade” in calculating your brand worth, the higher the increase in incremental revenue – again, showcasing the measurable value of branding.
While these metrics are used to calculate the value of branding over time, they can also serve as benchmarks for evaluation of where brands stand with consumers. Investing in marketing and in your brand is where you have control in shaping your brand’s impact. Appropriate and consistent investment is a powerful driver of revenue, and smart CMOs should consider a continuous investment.
CMOs have a unique skill set and superpower – communication. And finding your brand worth can help harness this valuation and translate the message to fellow C-suite colleagues – the impact branding efforts bring to any business’s bottom line through the measurement of brand value. The infusion of math and imagination can unlock brand investment, bridging a growing gap that CMOs are sprinting to close.