Some business managers assume that a financial analysis alone tells the whole story of a brand’s performance.

Not so.

Over the past decade, the changing relationship between brand and audience has created new rules of engagement for marketers. With the convergence of traditional and digital, audience “conversations” raise important marketing questions like:

• How often are people talking about my brand?
• Where are they and what are they saying?
• Are they sharing information and opinions about my brand with others?
• Is there a brand problem or perception that I don’t know about?
• What can I learn about my audience by following their conversations?

The answers provide a rich resource that shows we can’t make business decisions in a vacuum. If you want to communicate more effectively with your audience, read on for five key benefits that show the time is to get professional help for monitoring and measuring your brand.

1. Complete Your Coverage
The Feat: Some marketers believe they can track their brand buzz internally. Audience analysis is a lot more robust than what you can possibly fit into your busy day. Though useful, Google Alerts give you only half the story and all the information you need to make smart strategic decisions for your business. For example, it’s not simply how many people heard your radio spot. You need to know how many heard it, tweeted about it and posted it to Facebook, and how many of their friends joined the conversation and passed the story along.
The Fix: A professional monitoring service will blanket available media channels — print, broadcast, web and social — to measure your performance, the uptake, sentiments about your brand, and how you are doing against your competition.

2. Communications Success
The Feat: You have a product or service to sell. But communications today isn’t about talking at an audience and pushing an agenda. The most successful marketers shape their message to the expressed needs of the audience.
The Fix: Monitoring is the ultimate in customer service. You’re listening to what’s being said. Then by integrating those sentiments into your communications, you’re also showing that you’re paying attention. What you learn and use will increase your campaign success.

3. Today Is Not Tomorrow
The Feat: Your brand reputation is fluid. Its status could change daily. Monitoring and measuring are intensive, ongoing activities that show you where you are now.
The Fix: To stay relevant, you need to monitor where your brand is, and continue to check the temperature as it evolves. Professional monitoring gives you a clear roadmap for future planning so you can be proactive instead of reactive; a leader and not a follower.

4. The Global Audience
The Feat: Every brand is dealing with a worldwide audience. Add the 24/ 7 information cycle together with differing time zones and, at any moment, some part of your audience is active. With the web, there is an unlimited amount of media running at any moment, and people check the news any time they like.
The Fix: The global monitoring landscape includes traditional media channels plus web, blogs, social, sharing and discussion sites. It’s such a huge pool that you will likely need more monitoring firepower than you can summon on your own. Media intelligence firms specialize in capturing the entire buzz and bringing it to you in a timely fashion.

5. Meaning in Monitoring
The Feat: Data is one thing. Knowing what to do with it is another. Some marketers have anxiety about not knowing how to interpret the data they receive.
The Fix: Your media intelligence firm should deliver results to you in a single, easy-to-use tool. For quick reference, you should see a snapshot of results. But you will also need an in-depth analysis, which drills down deeper into your coverage, to see how all the information can be used to satisfy your objectives.

About Julie Geller

Julie Geller has more than 12 years of experience in digital marketing, and her specialties include strategic planning, online communities, content marketing , social media governance models, reporting and stakeholder management. She recently joined Cision Canada as VP, Marketing to pilot the company’s social and digital initiatives and establish its online voice. Julie is also a lover of highly caffeinated coffee, quirky Yelp reviews and a self-confessed content gold digger with a passion for the online social space.

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