Challenges facing brand tracker studies and how to overcome them

Interview with Sagar Soni, Pureprofile Client Services Director

Why do companies need brand tracking studies?

Brand tracking is essential in understanding brand metrics and maintaining a competitive advantage. The pertinent question is not so much why but how. Too many trackers are wedded to an old methodology or unchanging set of questions. In a rapidly evolving, increasingly mobile marketing environment, it’s even more difficult to get meaningful, relevant insights using old-fashioned methods.

What challenges are brand tracker studies now facing?

Facilitating smarter, faster and deeper interactions with customers. Tracking methodology has traditionally evolved from phone and face-to-face interviews. That’s no longer sufficient. We have to respect time-honoured methodological principles. But our aim should be to achieve a delicate balance of contemporary and traditional strategies in order to keep data consistent but generate relevant and worthwhile insights.

What is the downside of failing to update the traditional way of doing things?

Tracking studies will only realise their full potential if researchers leverage cutting-edge data collection technology and analytic techniques. We’re now in a mobile-first world filled with always on, time-poor people. So research studies need to be shorter and mobile friendly. Plus, consumers now expect brands to talk to them through their device, at a time and in a manner they find convenient. Given perpetual profiling capability, it’s no longer necessary to ask people the same questions – age, gender, location, grocery buyer – over and over again. In fact, if you do that, you risk irritating and losing actual or potential respondents. In short, brands need to decide whether they want to invest in the type of tracking study that will provide powerful insights that can usefully inform real-world marketing decisions.

So what should companies that want to remain competitive do?

The first and easiest step is to review their current tracker studies. If they are not addressing the challenges I’ve mentioned, it may be time to seek out a supplier with an innovative mindset and state of the art technology. Chances are just about every aspect – sampling, structure, questions, formats and design – of your current research studies can be improved.

How does using the latest technology make the age-old task of gathering data any easier?  

It’s possible to create a much better user experience through improvements such as an easier to navigate Q&A design. The four areas I’ve seen big user experience improvements through the use of sophisticated technology are:

  •       Appending the questions you already have the answers for to the survey (e.g. age, gender, location, grocery buyer)
  •       Rebranded survey script and industry-leading survey design
  •       Shorter survey wording and a structure that gets to the point quickly
  •       Surveys that are mobile optimised

This all sounds great in theory but what have been the real-world results?

We recently had a client who upgraded their tracker. To make it relevant to contemporary consumers we did the following:

  1. Appended answers to profiles
  2. Rebranded the survey skin and question prototype
  3. Reworded the questionnaire to be relevant across all devices and consumers
  4. Restructured the survey design to create a new user experience
  5. Optimised the survey for mobile

As a result, the client saw a 25 per cent increase in user satisfaction. Increased access to a mobile audience meant higher feasibility. Appending profile data shaved 45 seconds off the survey length. The rebranding allowed for a better user experience.

How important is choosing the right strategic partner to do these studies?

Crucially important. A company’s research partner should have a good reputation, research expertise, a dedicated team and powerful technological resources. Nowadays, they also need to have a mobile-first approach.

Sagar Soni


Sagar Soni, Pureprofile Client Services Director

About AMSRS 423 Articles
The Australian Market & Social Research Society Limited (AMSRS) is a not-for-profit professional membership body of over 2,000 market and social research professionals who are dedicated to increasing the standard and understanding of market and social research in Australia. The Society assists members to develop their careers by heightening professional standards and ethics in the fields of market and social research.

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