We have talked here before about the difference between brand advertising and direct response. One of the reasons why direct response has gotten so much more popular with advertisers is their ability to track and measure it. One of the major drawbacks of branding activities, if you ask most marketers, is that they are very difficult to measure.

The best ways we have of measuring brand advertising produce a wide variety of metrics that may signal a strategy is working relative to other strategies, but don’t get directly to the full impact on sales, which is what really matters at the end of the day.

But just because we might not be able to measure the kind of impact on sales with as much precision as we can with direct response, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t measure at all. Here’s a look at some of things companies can measure and how, as far as branding activities are concerned:

  1. Nielsen is the old guard when it comes to mass media measurement. They can help companies measure who is seeing your ads, what their general reactions are to them, and whether it impacts their actions – based on self-reported outcomes.
  2. Brand awareness is a popular metric for measuring how your efforts are impacting consumers. Most brand marketing is aimed at one thing, putting your brand in front of consumers more, so that it is top of mind when they go to make a purchasing decision. Brand awareness is a good way to measure whether or not it’s working because it tells you how familiar certain audiences are with your brand. Consumer research surveys are a great way to track it.
  3. Website traffic and search data are another way of measuring the impact your branding efforts have on consumer behavior. In markets where you are spending money on brand advertising, you can use Google Analytics and Google Trends to see if there is an increase in visitors to your website or searches of your brand.
  4. Social media monitoring is a popular method of analyzing the response to branding activities. Social listening tools allow you to track use of specific brand terms or hashtags related to your products and marketing efforts. You can measure overall engagement and the frequency these terms show up to see if your efforts are getting the attention you hope for.