Is personalized brand tracking worth the cost?
Markets change rapidly and consumer opinions change even faster. To stay ahead of this hectic pace, it’s essential for brand owners to keep track of the health and reputation of their brands, making sure they know exactly how and why changes are happening. produce, and most importantly what to do about them.
When it comes to brand tracking, you have two options: Custom Search or Syndicated Trackers. A syndicated tracker (brand tracking research conducted by market research companies but not for a specific client) is a one-stop, prepackaged approach that is inexpensive and requires minimal initial effort on the part of the client. As a custom deliverable, Custom Search is a significantly better fit solution created from scratch for each brand’s needs. With two very different options on the table, how do you decide which is best for monitoring the health of your brand over time?
We frequently hear from clients that they don’t know how to weigh the pros and cons of syndicated and personalized monitoring to choose the right solution for them. To help you weigh your options, we compare custom searches and syndicated trackers:
• Syndicated brand tracking: The research price is subsidized by a number of clients, delivering the same survey and data to everyone who subscribes. Since it is prepackaged and subsidized, it is more cost effective than personalized brand tracking.
• Personalized brand tracking: Each client pays for their brand monitoring and ad-hoc reporting, defining the scope of work according to their needs and budget.
Definition of audience and market
• Syndicated brand tracking: Markets and demographics are predefined, and the ability to break down data into customer-specific definitions is limited. Customer segments are rarely standardized across an industry, so yours likely won’t align with a syndicated tracker.
• Personalized brand tracking: Geography, demographics, and other audience attributes are tailored to match the definition and specific segments of the customer.
• Syndicated brand tracking: Uses a predefined sampling approach, often with a higher number of results than the custom search, but spread across many brands and geographies. While this approach offers more samples for the money, smaller brands and markets are underrepresented resulting in low base sizes for growing challenger brands. The brands that most need an inexpensive solution are those that are often the least represented in syndicated tracking.
• Personalized brand tracking: Sample sizes and plans are more targeted to ensure representation of customer brands and markets as well as desired specific audiences that match psychographic and behavioral profiles.
Selection Of Brands
• Syndicated brand tracking: Some use a pre-selected list of brands, generally representative of the best-known players in a given category. Other syndicated trackers rely on open entries, which in itself is a methodological flaw. They can cover the big names, but rarely go into the details of the product and service lines that matter to individual businesses.
• Personalized brand tracking: The brands tested are determined by the customer, which allows them to select the brands, sub-brands and competitors most relevant to their business objectives and market realities.
Measuring brand attributes
• Syndicated brand tracking: Syndicated search uses a predefined set of brand attributes intended to be applicable to all customers. Those attributes tend to be more generic in nature and do not reflect the unique attributes and strategic goals of each measured brand.
• Personalized brand tracking: Custom research tests customer-specific brand attributes to track how well you are delivering on your unique brand promise.
• Syndicated brand tracking: Depending on the subscription level, reports may include a read of all brands or a brand specific report for your organization. Syndicated tracking can offer personalized reporting and advice at an additional cost, but otherwise leave much of the heavy work of translating data into information to their clients.
• Personalized brand tracking: Reports are more tailored to each client’s goals and can range from reading data to recommendations and advice.
• Syndicated brand tracking: Stock dashboards are often offered as part of a syndicated research package, with the same reporting metrics available to all subscribers. Custom dashboards can be offered at an additional cost.
• Personalized brand tracking: The cost of building custom dashboards has dropped dramatically as data visualization programs have evolved, so dashboards are now offered regularly as part of personalized brand tracking. If this is not part of the package, it must be requested. While dashboards were once the territory of syndicated, large-scale search providers, the evolution of online research tools has made dashboard functionality much more accessible.
Which one to choose ?
While syndication wins over costs, personalized brand tracking outperforms the competition in almost every other metric. At this point, you’re probably wondering, “How do you know if it’s worth the higher cost?” “
Consider asking yourself the following questions to decide if the personalized follow-up is worth a little more investment:
• Does my brand have enough notoriety and market share to be well represented in a syndicated tracker?
• Does our market follow typical geographic lines, such as a designated state or market area?
• Are we segmenting our audiences by standard demographics?
• Will data on brand attributes like “price” and “quality” meet the needs of my stakeholders as well as my own brand’s goals?
• Do I have the time to invest in translating data into actionable insights to meet my monitoring goals?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you need more than a plug-and-play solution. With limited resources, it can be difficult to justify the difference in cost for personalized tracking, but if your tracking doesn’t capture your brand, customers, or distinct brand attributes, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. (or the online dashboard where the data is visualized).
The world of market research has changed – it’s not as expensive to explore the path of personalized tracking as it was when many syndicated research houses first created their programs and offerings.