Brand trackers are a big investment on many levels. From designing the right study, to determining the best KPI’s for your business, to selecting the right partner to guide you, there’s so much to consider at every step of the process. The path to success begins early, with the creation of your brand tracking RFP. But what should tracking RFPs include – and not include – to set you up for success throughout the process?
We recently created a template and list of helpful best practices for writing great RFPs across a broad range of challenges. In this article, we’ll dig into the additional considerations and essential elements that should drive development and design of brand tracking RFPs in particular.
Your brand tracking method needs to be carefully designed, so it’s vital to clearly state what you’re trying to measure.
- Brand Health Trackers vs Ad Tracking
Consider your brand vs. advertising measurement objectives. Decide whether you want to measure overall health, performance of specific marketing efforts, or both, because this can impact the design and length of interviews. If specific marketing efforts need to be tested, for example, advertising or marketing recall and diagnostic questions should be included in the survey.
- How does your category move?
Think about the seasonality of your category/business. A brand tracking company needs to know whether category engagement and purchase behavior are cyclical and if category sales are heavier during key periods, because this impacts cadence and timing of fielding. For example, if retail spend is higher during the holiday shopping season, fielding during this time will produce different scores than during a quieter shopping period.
- What is your marketing strategy?
Is your target niche or general market? Do you have more than one audience group? For example, are you talking to a very specific group of B2B decision makers or a broader Millennial audience? A particular target audience will impact the sample design, brand tracking methods and the ability to successfully measure efforts among your core media target(s).
Brand tracking companies will thank you for including the following in your RFP:
- Media Flighting/Schedules
Do you have consistent flighting or on/off periods during the year? This can affect cadence, design and interpretation of results. For example, if we field during a LIVE media timeframe, we can expect people to have more to say about the brand than in a dark period.
- Significant Marketing Spend
Is your marketing spend significant enough and does it have a large enough reach that it can actually be measured?
- Market Channels & Placement
Where are you advertising? Are your efforts focused in one geography, single channel or diverse media mix? Is digital included? For example, to measure the impact of an Out-Of-Home campaign, we would focus our interviews within a specific radius. Kelton has specific tools to measure actual exposure to your digital campaign.
What metrics will the results of the brand tracker be compared with?
Sample selection and questionnaire design can be affected if there is a previous brand tracker or past metrics you need to trend back to. Past metrics can also impact the pros and cons of building from scratch vs. designing for replicability.
Do you have current business metrics such as sales, online search or store traffic numbers that need to be connected with the brand tracker? Does the team want to use the brand tracker to answer new concepts and seasonal questions, or focus on measuring core KPIs such as brand health and brand perceptions, or both? Do you need linkage to other data sources such as MRI, Experian and Nielsen? This can impact the type of partner relationship, panel linkage and ‘hooks’ for our recommended design.
Do you want to connect your brand tracker to emerging trends or future focused social-cultural shifts? This can impact the framework.
What kind of brand tracker would be most appropriate for your stakeholders?
It’s important to think about your key stakeholders, as their needs will impact the types and forms of deliverables we recommend. For example, if the stakeholders include an insights or research team, more complex deliverables and raw data would be appropriate, but if the stakeholders are C-Suite executives we would recommend synthesized deliverables instead.
All the factors above can dramatically impact the quality and validity of the proposals you receive. And for a complete snapshot of brand health and a clear measurement of the core initiatives that matter most, contact Kelton for a holistic brand health tracker that can be customized for startup budgets and global trackers alike.