Many brands continuously measure their performance on several key performance indicators. Yet, if you are working with tracker data, whether you are a researcher or research user, it will not come as a surprise that trackers often lead to many frustrations amongst its users.
One of the key frustrations is that tracker data – coming from your brand or customer experience tracking – is often too static. The data does give an impression of the brand performance across different key performance dimensions, tracking this over time, however – whether it is on a monthly, a quarterly or a yearly basis – often does not reveal anything new. Most tracker reports bring a similar story over and over again. On the other hand, when you actually see a disruption in the data pattern, the traditional measurement questions do not allow you to capture the ‘why’ behind the data movement.
Should brands just ditch their tracker studies? Considering the above mentioned shortcomings of traditional tracker research, both researchers and research users need to start evaluating their existing trackers critically. Here are 7 tips to become a real ‘Tracker Cracker’:
Tweetaway: 7 tips to get more out of your tracker studies insit.es/1Ag1xCS by @KPallini #mrx #surveys #tracking
Tip 1: Stop tracking for the sake of tracking
Firstly, you need to ask yourself which key performance indicators are worth tracking over time. Evaluate the significance of each performance criterion in your survey critically. Does the item directly influence your brand strength and impact your strategy? If the answer is ‘no’, you should instantly discard that question from your survey. It is not because you have always measured your brand performance through the traditional brand funnel thinking that you should continue doing so. The same goes for those 3 touchpoint NPS scores that are doing the tour of the organization: don’t be afraid to let go of those irrelevant KPIs and focus on the core. So stop tracking for the sake of tracking and revise your tracker survey question by question. Furthermore, it is essential that each metric is owned by a stakeholder in your organization. Assign people to be responsible for all the different metrics, ownership is key to guarantee tracker relevance!
Tip 2: Is it possible for consumers to give a truthful answer?
Once you have critically evaluated your tracker as to assure it only contains relevant questions, the next step is to assess whether it is possible for consumers to actually provide you with an accurate answer. Recall of information depends on one’s memory, which is imperfect and therefore often unreliable. Avoid questions which require for participants to look too far back in time, it is better to limit your question’s timeframe. Use the repurchase timeframe of your product or service as a guide in the matter.
Tip 3: Can your next-door neighbor answer this?
Subsequently, you need to make sure that each question is written in clear consumer language. Always ask yourself if your average consumer can answer your questions. Researchers and marketers need to keep in mind that the average consumer is not like them. Avoid using marketing jargon. Here’s a trick: simply ask yourself whether your next-door neighbor would be able to answer your survey questions.
Tip 4: Be available in relevant context or moments
Especially when your brand experience is lived in different customer touchpoints, you need to make sure your survey is available throughout those touchpoints, allowing consumers to provide in-the-heat-of-the-moment feedback. Ensure that your tracker survey is available on any device used by your consumers. These days mobile is part of the device usage of any target group, so make sure you design your questionnaire smartly to fit the mobile screen.
Tip 5: It is not just what you collect, but also how you collect it
It is essential that you correspondingly think about how your data is collected: depending on the objectives, you can choose either continuous or pulse tracking. By using continuous tracking, where you have a continuous inflow of interviews during your field period, you can smoothen out (wanted or unwanted) marketing effects (e.g. media exposure, PR actions, etc.), assuring comparability across waves. Continuous tracking is in contrast with pulse tracking, where fieldwork is condensed in field waves (e.g. a two-week field period every quarter). Pulse tracking makes it easier to assess specific marketing actions, but can be strongly influenced by a marketing event happening close to or during fieldwork; events happening between field periods may even be unnoticed.
Tip 6: Building a modular approach
Apart from making sure that your tracker consists only of relevant performance indicators, namely those criteria which need continuous follow-up and determine your brand health, you additionally need to make sure that there is room to put your data into perspective. Trackers should not be entirely static, you do need some repetition to allow comparability (that is what the key performance indicators are for). Yet trackers can truly benefit from a modular build-up, combining a fixed part of performance tracking with a variable module depending on your content needs. These deep-dive modules can allow to zoom in on specific marketing efforts, allowing to bring additional insights to better comprehend variations in your tracker data.
Tip 7: From tracking to structural collaboration
Modular trackers allow to continuously measure your brand performance while also leaving room for some deep-dive moments to measure ad hoc marketing effects. But we can take this even one step further by combining this continuous validation stream with an ongoing collaboration approach, using a structural Consumer Consulting Board (also know as online research community). The latter empowers consumers to help you understand them better, detect insights, develop innovations, strengthen your brand power, optimize your go-to-market strategy or improve customer experience, every single day. This new eco system will allow you to better comprehend your tracker data, while at the same time permitting to validate the consumer input from your community in the modular tracker component. The interaction between the inspirational content from these boards and the continuous validation form a powerful tool for your decision-making on brand, product and strategic level.
Tweetaway: From ad hoc #tracking to structural #collaboration insit.es/1Ag1xCS by @KPallini #mrx #surveys
Start cracking your tracker and make its data more impactful for marketers and end users. Combining the focus on relevant brand performance dimensions with the additional context deep dives will allow you to finally bring your tracker data to life again. Because, let’s be honest… how many marketers actually read those tracker reports?