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How to Measure Top of Mind Awareness?


You’re a business owner or marketing manager. You work hard to get your company out there and noticed. Ideally, you’d like an ever-growing list of dedicated clients or customers who think of you first, each and every time. This has several obvious benefits, including increasing your profit margins and word-of-mouth marketing – which is free, wahoo! The question remains, of course, how to get there.

One of the best methods of increasing your customer reach and market share, not to mention understanding your own brand better, is to measure top of mind awareness.

What Is Top of Mind Awareness?

So let’s make a recap of what is top of mind awareness? Simply put, a brand has top of mind awareness if it is the first one a person thinks about when asked to name brands in a particular category. You yourself likely have top of mind awareness of several brands. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Copy machines: Xerox
  • Tissues: Kleenex
  • French fries: McDonald’s
  • Cola: Pepsi or Coca Cola
  • Vacuum: Hoover

Of course, top of mind awareness differs from consumer to consumer. Variables such as where they live, what brands they were raised with, what experiences they’ve had to date and what kind of television they watch all play into which companies they’ll name off the “top” of their heads.

Hence, top of mind awareness for a brand is measured as a percentage. Of the respondents surveyed, how many of them will name a certain brand? The brand that wins the largest percentage of respondents is the one with greatest top of mind awareness. Ideally, that’s your company … but how exactly do you measure top of mind awareness?

How to Measure Top of Mind Awareness

Many people mistakenly believe that brand awareness – the more generic marketing niche in which top of mind awareness lives – is nebulous and immeasurable. That’s not true, though. In fact, measuring top of mind awareness really isn’t that tricky. The best way to measure top of mind awareness is through market research surveys for brand recall. You just have to keep a few things in mind:

Don’t name specific brands upfront:

If you ask respondents leading questions about brands, whether you list yourself or the Pepsis of the world, that thought will now exist in their heads where it might not have before. To get organic results, don’t name specific brands. If your business is the first brand they come up with, you can definitely conclude you have an excellent top of mind awareness compared to other brands.

Keep questions open–ended:

Again, avoid questions that lead consumers’ minds toward a particular product, region or attribute, which can muddy your data.

Ask for lists

Part of your survey should include lists of brands in your category. If you only ask for one brand, you might get the Kleenex response and nothing else, which isn’t useful. Instead, ask for lists. Your company might not come up before REI, but a list will tell you whether it’s coming up at all.

Treat rankings seriously (share of search):

The ranking of companies will give you several different metrics. The top company ranking is a straight percentage … who has the highest awareness? Afterwards, you can gain more subtle data by weighting companies according to their position in the list.

Don’t forget qualitative data:

It’s not all about the numbers. Once you get the unprompted responses, it’s fine to conduct interviews to get more specific information about your company to measure top of mind awareness.

Pay attention to social media reach

To understand how your brand is positioned in the mind of your target market, it’s important to first assess social media presence and reach. By analyzing a variety of social platforms, you can gain a strong baseline for understanding which channels and content resonate with your audience. For example, if you’re a pet store, you will want to evaluate the reach on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Or if you’re selling business-to-business products, then LinkedIn will be ideal for measuring reach. With this information in hand, you can make strategic decisions about which channels and content are most valuable for driving engagement with your target audience.

Look at your Brand mentions

Take into account how often your brand is being mentioned across the internet. Pay attention to social media comments, articles, bl0gs, user generated content and any other marketing communications channel where your target audience might be present. The more often your brand is being mentioned, the greater top of mind awareness you have. Additionally, this represent an opportunity to assess of authoritative your business is across the internet and how well your efforts of building brand awareness are doing.

Check Paid media reach

One of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness is through online paid advertising. By adding paid media, you are making sure your brand is being exposed to the right audience. You are also driving traffic to your website that can easily be converted into sales. With paid media, you can avoid many of the pitfalls associated with organic advertising and gain valuable insights on what resonates with your target audience. Frequently measure top of mind awareness and how your brand is doing regarding paid media reach

Evaluate Branded Search Results Volume

Lastly, an excellent way to measure top of mind awareness is by using an SEO tool and looking at how your branded search volume is performing. Ideally, businesses with high brands rank indicate an excellent top of mind awareness as more users are performing organic searches to look for your business.

Now, what to do?

What to Do with Top of Mind Awareness Measurements

Now that you know how to measure top of mind awareness, you have the ingredients for great marketing efforts. You can use top of mind awareness metrics to influence your SEO strategy, bid on keywords, know which brands to emulate and more.

Ready to dominate your marketplace? Here at REALTOP Digital Marketing Agency, our goal is to help ambitious business owners like you create, launch and optimize the marketing campaigns that will see your company successful long into the future. Contact us today and get a free marketing plan for your business!

Best regards, Nik Tsoukales, CEO

Direct Line: 617-315-1138

Main Line: 800.676.8350

Skype: nikitastsoukales

Email: nik@realtop.com 



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