Two brands colliding.
Hm, I’m thinking (therefore, I am a digital marketer). The classical advertising question has been:
How to measure the impact of advertising on a brand?
And then the answer has been “oh, you can’t”, or “it’s difficult”, or something along those lines. But, they say, it is there! The marketers’ argument for poor direct performance has traditionally been that there is a lift in brand awareness or attitude which are sometimes measured by conducting cumbersome surveys.
But actually, aren’t the aforementioned attributes just predictors of purchase? I mean, they should result in higher probability of purchase, right? Given that people know the brand and like the brand, they are more likely to purchase it.
If so, the impact metric *is* indeed always sales — it’s only a question of choosing the period of examination. If all advertising impacts lead to sales, then sales is the metric even when we talk of brand advertising.
According to the previous logic, it would seem measuring advertising impact by sales is always correct, but because of carryover effects (latent effects) the problem can be reformulated into:
What time period should we use to measure advertising impact?
And forget about measurement of brand impact. It’s not a question of impact on “soft” issues but impact on revenue. The influence mechanism itself might be soft, but it always needs to materialize as hard, cold cash. The more tricky questions are determining the correct examination period for campaigns which requires fitting it to the length of purchase process, and keeping the analytics trail alive for at least that time period.
Conclusions and discussion
If carryover effects occur, how can we determine the correct time frame for drawing conclusions on advertising impact?
…I have to say, though, that measuring brand sentiment can’t be wrong. It can help understand why people like/dislike the brand, and therefore provide improvement ideas and a description of perceived brand attributes, information which is helpful for both product development and marketing.
But the ultimate metric for assessing advertising impact should always be sales.