New whitepaper suggests many brand tracking studies are outdated and not fit for purpose

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New whitepaper suggests many brand tracking studies are outdated and not fit for purpose

Australian companies’ obsession with longitudinal data means many are wedded to brand health metrics that may not be fit for purpose, a new whitepaper from CoreData has found.


The whitepaper, which canvassed the views of six industry stakeholders and opinion leaders with extensive collective experience using brand trackers, identified several reasons why brand tracking studies are not operating to their full potential.

Paul Croci, Commercial Director at CoreData Western Australia, says there are two main reasons for this. “The first is the endowment effect, whereby people place a greater value on retaining what they already have, rather than attaining something new.”

“In the case of brand trackers, companies have often been running studies for years and have invested a lot of time and money in them. It’s hard for the owners to let go of the data they’ve already collected – the ‘time series’ – and so, as new challenges arise and new marketing strategies are introduced, new measures get added, without the old ones being removed. The result? Long, bloated surveys that are unpleasant for respondents and jeopardise the quality of data they are collecting.”

The second reason is that the brand tracker outputs often feed into operational and individual KPIs, or regular executive and board reports. According to Croci: “It can be pretty difficult explaining to senior stakeholders, who aren’t very close to the research, why measures that they’ve been monitoring for years suddenly need to change.”

The whitepaper identifies four key elements that organisations can influence to ensure their brand tracking studies are of the highest quality and enable strategic decision making based on objective and quantitative market insights: the brand strategy, the structure, the measures, and what CoreData WA dubs the insights environment.

Stakeholders interviewed as part of the research behind the paper include Mark Ritson, brand consultant and former marketing professor, and Barry Walker, head of strategy, Perth at Wunderman Thompson.

Among other things, the whitepaper challenges the view that it’s possible to cover both short- and long- term goals in the same tracker.

Methodology: CoreData WA undertook a literature review of publicly available sources and interviewed six prominent thinkers in the marketing industry. See full whitepaper for sources and interviewees.

Click here to view the full whitepaper.