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For many marketing leaders, a strained relationship with the CEO is the norm. According to one study by the Fournaise Group, 73% of CEOs say “Marketers lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient growth and 80% of CEOs simply don’t trust marketers at all, while 91% do trust CIOs and CFOs.”

One cause of this common sentiment is that many marketing activities aren’t as measurable as others. And in the age of data-driven business, “squishy” metrics that don’t directly impact sales can frustrate CEOs.

Brand awareness is the hallmark of these “squishy” metrics. You know it’s critical to your company’s success. But we have to bring some clarity to this mysterious marketing metric if we want to align with other business leaders.

The Brand Awareness Challenge

Marketers are too often pulled in opposition directions by business leaders. Your CEO wants you to improve the reputation of the brand so that B2B prospects come to you when it’s time to buy. They know that being known, liked, and trusted is key to boosting the bottom line.

But at the same time, you’re under immense pressure to support the sales team in achieving strict revenue goals. Brand awareness tactics aren’t often the same as those campaigns you know will generate quick wins for sales.

This is why it often comes in as the top challenge marketers face. How do you balance both long-term awareness goals and short-term revenue requirements?

The pressing nature of this challenge has given rise to millions of articles about measuring this KPI. Tracking changes in direct traffic, monitoring changes in earned media spots, identifying external links for SEO, and measuring the growth of your community on social platforms — these are the common talking points for measurable brand awareness.

But they aren’t enough.

Even when you’re doing your best to measure brand awareness and prove ROI, correlating results to the bottom line remains a challenge. So much of the problem can be tracked back to a spray-and-pray approach to brand awareness. To strengthen the link between brand awareness techniques and the bottom line, you need a more targeted approach.

Make Every Brand Awareness Tactic Count with Intent Data

Brand awareness campaigns shouldn’t be based on theoretical buyer personas or perceived target audiences. While these traditional pieces of marketing can’t hurt, you need to go a step further to cut through the noise and gain attention from the right people.

With intent data, you can narrow the scope of brand awareness campaigns to those prospects that are actually in the market for your products right now. By aligning with sales to reach target accounts, you can satisfy both ends of the brand awareness challenge. You get to generate interest from the accounts that might convert in the short term while also building up a foundation for long-term brand awareness.

The value of intent data extends to almost any brand awareness tactic you can think of, including:

  • Guest Posting: Getting thought leadership pieces published in the right places can help your brand become top of mind for in-market prospects. Intent data can help you understand where the best places to guest post are and which topics will be most valuable to your audience.
  • Content Marketing: Similar to guest posting benefits, intent data provides insight into target prospects so you can craft a more effective content marketing strategy. Instead of guessing at topics to cover, you can make your brand awareness campaigns more targeted.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Learn which keyword opportunities will be most valuable to the specific accounts your sales team is targeting. Build SEO campaigns around these keywords so you can report ROI based on both search engine rankings and impact on prospects.

CEOs and other business leaders want to know that marketers aren’t wasting time with brand awareness. And while measuring ROI is essential to internal alignment, the first step should be determining whether your strategy is geared toward active target accounts. Using intent data to improve your targeting will help make brand awareness less mysterious to your business stakeholders.