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Evaluating brand awareness: Making everything count Pt. 1//

Evaluating brand awareness: Making everything count Pt. 1 featured image

We live in a time where virtually everything can be measured – from how many people have visited your website, where they’ve come from and what they’ve then gone on to do; to how far and fast you can walk/run/cycle, your heart rate, the number of calories consumed and how many hours you manage to sleep each night!

Measurement and evaluation forms a key part of every marketing strategy. And in today’s digital world where virtually everything is recorded, there’s no excuse for not having the correct data to hand. In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. To avoid a situation of information overload, it’s important to think about and identify the key measures of success for each objective you set at the start of every project and what level of performance will constitute success.

Objectives themselves can be categorised in many different ways from soft intermediate objectives such as brand awareness right through to hard business objectives such as sales and market share and everything in between.

In this blog, I will be looking at a few of the most common criteria we use to measure brand awareness – probably one of the more difficult objectives to really nail down and measure effectively.

So what exactly is brand awareness?

Brand Awareness: Extent to which a brand is recognised by potential customers and is correctly associated with a particular product.
Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com

How do we measure it?

Offline brand awareness:

Spontaneous vs Prompted Awareness:

Measured by running pre and post-activity tracking research to identify what proportion of respondents can correctly identify your brand/product/campaign spontaneously versus after prompting.

Share of Voice:

Looking at which competitor brands are active during the campaign period and how much they spent in comparison to your spend. Nb. Be aware that the term ‘Share of Voice’ is also used in the social arena as a metric to measure the number of conversations about your brand/company versus those of competitors.


The number of people within a tightly defined target audience who saw or heard your ad message. Normally reported in thousands*.


The net number or percentage of people who have seen or heard a particular piece of advertising at least once*.


The average number of times an ad was seen by those within the target audience who were reached. Reported as Opportunity to see (OTS) or Opportunity to hear (OTH)*.

*Calculated using data from media research organisations such as Target Group Index (TGI), National Readerships Survey (NRS), Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) etc

Online brand awareness:


The number of times an ad or piece of social content is displayed. Impressions are used as measures of awareness in online advertising, PPC and social activity.

Open Rate:

A measure of how many people on an email list ‘open’ or ‘view’ a particular email. Open rate is usually expressed as a percentage and many organisations (particularly email platform providers) produce benchmark reports which give an indication of typical ‘open rates’ across different industries.


In terms of your audience across social media channels ‘follower’ (or fan) refers to a person who subscribes to (likes or follows) your account in order to receive your updates.

Social Listening

The process of identifying and assessing what people are saying about your company, product or brand on the internet. There are lots of tools available on the market to provide this information and range from simple tools like Google Alerts right through to more complex solutions eg Brandwatch, Radian6 etc…Key metrics relating to brand awareness measurement are:


Instances where a company or brand name is mentioned/ tagged online, usually on social media or in a blog post, website article or other piece of content.


The emotion behind a social mention. Is the mention positive, negative or neutral? Sentiment adds important context to social conversations – without it, measurement of mentions could be misleading. Eg Your brand might receive lots of mentions on social media but if the majority of the mentions are negative, it could highlight a potential issue.


The potential number of people mentions will be seen by. Takes into account the number of followers of each author who mentions your brand.

It could be argued that Mentions and Sentiment are technically engagement metrics, but when viewed under the umbrella of Social Listening, they are good indicators of awareness.

Website Traffic (sessions)

Direct Channel

In Google Analytics, the Acquisitions report gives you a breakdown of visitors to your site by channel. The Direct Channel is thought by many to highlight the number of visitors to your website who type your URL directly into their address bar. This is correct, but the Direct Channel also records visitors who use a browser bookmark, click an untagged link in an email or click a link from a PDF of Word document that doesn’t include tracking variables. So while the metric does give an indication of awareness, it may not be as accurate a measure as you think.

Branded Search Terms

It used to be possible to see which keywords (branded and non-branded) visitors who arrived on your website typed in. Nowadays the search terms information provided by Google Analytics is very limited, but the Google Webmaster Tools Search Console does provide a good insight into which search terms are being used by people to find your website.

So if tracking awareness is your goal, the metrics above will tell you if your marketing activity is performing as it should. If you need a helping hand with any aspect of marketing measurement and evaluation get in touch today.

Enjoy this? Read more:

Evaluating Engagement: Making Everything Count Pt. 2

Evaluating Sales: Making Everything Count Pt. 3

Making Everything Count: Our Step-by-step Guide