Measuring Awareness

What is Awareness?

“Awareness” is a measure of how well known your brand is in the market. It usually takes 6-7 times for a person to see or hear about the brand before the person registers it into long-term memory. This is why it’s necessary to communicate continually over time to build awareness.

What Tactics Are Used to Build Awareness?

Awareness should always be measured within your Target Customer group – not everybody in the market. Typically, awareness tactics are broad reaching – tactics include everything from traditional media like TV, magazines, newspaper, billboards, to direct mail sent to a broad audience, or “top of funnel” digital tactics like display ads. Other awareness tactics include sponsorships, conferences, trade shows and other events.

How Do You Track Awareness?

Surveys are a popular way to measure marketing awareness. You ask respondents if they are aware of your brand or product and if they have seen or heard any marketing messages. For smaller markets or companies, it can be difficult and expensive to acquire names and contact information to conduct a survey. In those cases, “impressions” is often a good proxy for awareness. “Impressions” are a measure of the total number of times your brand is seen by a target customer.

Here is how we measure “Awareness” with our clients using impressions:

  • Create a list of all of your marketing tactics in the top row of an Excel sheet
  • In the first column, designate the time period (usually weeks or months)
  • Add several rows of time periods going out into the future
  • For each tactic in each time period, add the number of people (“impressions”) you know or believe saw your brand.
  • Here are some examples of tactics and how to count impressions
    • Digital Media: count the impressions
    • Trade shows/events: Count the number of people who visited your booth or attended a presentation.
    • Sponsor an event: Count the number of people who attend the event
    • Traditional media like TV, print or out-of-home, the vendor should provide impressions by time period (and whatever breakout you are buying)

Building brand awareness is a long-term effort and should be tracked for several periods.


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