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From Share of Voice to Share of Search: An Evolution

How marketing measurement for brands has changed, and how you can use it to optimise your media budget allocation.

Any Marketing professional knows it’s not always easy to show the impact of their work to the business. While certain areas of the work have clear performance metrics to track – think open rates, click-through rates, and conversions – other metrics in marketing measurement are far less clearly defined: awareness, engagement, customer lifetime value, or brand perception. The fact that some of these metrics are harder to track than others often comes with an additional challenge of trying to make data-driven decisions when defining your marketing strategy. In turn, this often results in performance marketing and brand marketing working in silos even though a healthy balance between the two would enable organizations to deliver the best results in the long run.

Generally, brand marketers are concerned with building their brand using more traditional theories, such as Byron Sharp’s “How brands grow” or “Effectiveness in Context: A Manual for Brand Building” by Les Binet and Peter Field. In doing so, they focus on reaching their target audience, track KPI performance based on survey responses, and measure Share of Voice to understand their position in the market. For Share of Voice specifically, however, it’s safe to say that it doesn’t fully capture the value brand marketers are delivering anymore: it’s only being measured for traditional channels like TV and radio and doesn’t consider digital media like social and video. This means that even though building and growing a brand is generally seen as one of the key success factors of a company, it remains challenging for brand marketers to actually prove the long term value and ROAS of brand campaigns.

Share of Search

This is where Share of Search comes in. Aiming to find a more appropriate metric to measure a brand’s health in the digital era, Share of Search considers the total organic searches made for a specific brand and divides it by the total number of searches for all brands in that category.

How to measure your Share of Search

Marketing effectiveness expert Les Binet first presented Share of Search to the public during EffWorks Global 2020 Conference. Les Binet found that there is a lot of information on brands that is available through online search data, with Google being the “world’s biggest database of human intentions”. To analyse the value of this data, Binet examined three industries: automotive, energy, and telecom. For each of them, he found that the known Share of Voice translates to a certain share in searches. In turn, he then discovered that this share in searches functions as a leading indicator for a brand’s market share.

Binet’s findings show how it’s possible to create a full funnel approach in which data from Google can be used to measure brand value – but also how it can be translated to performance metrics. However, it’s worth mentioning that Binet emphasizes the importance of other (external) factors of influence. Ultimately, the way in which a brand converts to actual sales will also be modulated by other (external) factors, with price being a specific influencer.

Of course, the key to actually benefiting from defined metrics such as Share of Search is not to just know or understand them – it’s to use them to set clear actions to optimize the impact you’re having on your brand’s bottom line. This is where Objective Platform can help. At Objective Platform, we provide clear insight into a variety of marketing metrics to offer a holistic overview of your prioritized marketing KPIs. In doing so, we empower you to grow beyond tracking your marketing metrics in isolation, so you can identify which channels are helping you achieve your goals with more accuracy. With this, you’re able to not only prove – but also increase the value of your work.

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