4 considerations for migrating a brand tracker

What is a brand tracker?

Brand tracking is the continuous monitoring of many aspects of a brand, in the eyes of both customers and non-customers. Trackers provide a way for businesses to understand their ‘brand health’ by measuring key metrics, such as brand perception and awareness.

Brand trackers are implemented and used by brands and media/research agencies alike. Often, they are handled by an agency on behalf of a brand as part of a larger, ongoing research relationship.

Why use a brand tracker?

By understanding how yours, or your clients’ brands are perceived and what they mean to your customers/potential customers, you arm yourself with knowledge to inform key strategic and tactical decisions.

All of these questions can be informed by a brand tracker to maximise ROI, generate and retain more customers, as well as many more commercial benefits.

Why would you need to migrate a brand tracker?

There are many reasons to migrate your brand trackers from one supplier to another. Perhaps your existing partner just isn’t cutting the mustard. Are updates too sporadic and vague to offer legitimately valuable and actionable insight? Maybe you’d just like to consolidate your services from suppliers into a single point of origin to cut down on communication time. This can help give your favourite supplier more visibility of and familiarity with what you’re trying to achieve on behalf of your clients and build deeper working relationships.

There are many reasons for and benefits to tracker migration, so don’t let worries about how and when to approach this stop you from improving the effectiveness of your brand tracking projects!

How to migrate your brand trackers, Researchbods style!

There are natural concerns to have when looking to migrate a tracker, so to ease your mind, here are some of the things we can commit to with every migration we carry out:

  • Migrating and onboarding pre-existing trackers at a global level.
  • Managing this process from start to end, including liaising with the current data providers.
  • Merging previous data sets, so future waves merge seamlessly into the data deliverables.
  • Matching current sampling methodologies or looking to improve the process.
  • Ensuring quotas are matched.
  • Matching timelines/SLA’s.
  • Price matching!

So, how do we do it, and what do we keep in mind during the process?

1. Outputs

‘Why have we started at the end?’, you might ask. The answer is that outputs can often lead the first stage of the porting process. There might be redundant historic data, in which case it’s best practice to only bring across what you need and archive the rest. Either way, taking an outputs-first approach can help streamline the entire process.

We can use back data to ensure the output from the very first wave we run can contain all data from previous waves, whether in files or tables. This is a holistic process, and in line with the data-mapping stage at the beginning. It is also a consultative process to identify redundancies or reports/outputs that would be made more relevant following a review.

2. Data mapping

When we start to onboard a pre-existing tracker, we make sure to acquire the latest questionnaire and historic raw data files. Using this, we programme the survey so the data map matches the pre-existing file, and ensure we keep labelling and numbering across all files as cohesive as possible. This helps with mapping questions and slotting our new output seamlessly into the pre-existing data structure. In effect and outcome, it’s a newly programmed survey, matching the data map and copying the variables of the previous survey.

3. Survey style

To ensure consistency in the survey data, we’ll look to design and style the survey to match its predecessor, from both an aesthetic and a UX perspective. The survey should mirror the current survey to ensure that new look, feel & function do not create any artificial lifts in the data. This is especially worth considering if the existing tracker is particularly old/stale. Similarly, we can look to update this and modernise the aesthetics of the survey, so the data collected is more reflective of the current respondent engagement levels. Some surveys benefit from changes, some don’t, so we make sure we can do both.

4. Sampling

We can match feasibility and price to ensure quotas are consistent, wave-on-wave. We will dynamically sample this and keep an eye on any pre-existing, trended scores to ensure that new sample is in line with previous data.

Food for thought…

Moving providers, in terms of both the fieldwork agency and sample providers, commonly see a step change in the data, no matter how similar the survey is in nature. Because of this, it is important to consider whether calibrations will be required, or maybe parallel runs with the incumbent supplier before fully porting are necessary, as is often best practice.

The devil is in the details, and the key to migrating trackers lies in a series of considerations. Discuss the end result first, and critically appraise your tracker rather than leaping in with the scripting. Recognise there’s more than likely going to be a step change in the data. Embrace it & take this opportunity to really look at and question your tracker. Is it fit for purpose? It is delivering what you want? Are there redundancies? Migrating a tracker is sometimes an opportunity for a clean break, otherwise, you might risk your trackers going stale.

It’s easy to just fall into the trap of saying ‘yes we’ll deliver x, y & z’ without questioning it. But a truly effective migration should result in your new partner helping you to get the most out of a tracker, rather than simply trying to keep the workload to a minimum. It should be a whole consultative process, where current outputs should be challenged, but for the tracker’s benefit. It is an opportunity to make data work harder for you.

We aim to elevate ourselves into partnership status with our clients rather than being content to keep the relationship as the usual client/supplier one, especially when trackers are often very key parts of research programs. They’re too important to allow any complacency to creep in.

Overall, our approach leads to a seamless experience when migrating your tracker in terms of scripting & data, with no drawbacks when it comes to the physical output or cost. It results in the benefit of improved service levels, data quality and project management.

We’re super experienced in tracker migrations, and regularly enact projects like this for brand trackers with years of back data or in 40+ markets.

Want to find out more about tracker migrations and our Global Data Collection services?

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