The What, Why & How of Brand Command Centres
Did you know that 90% of the world’s internet data was generated in the last two years alone? This data brings about access to more business-critical insights than ever before, but it has also made the landscape increasingly difficult for professionals to navigate. We particularly see this in the case of marketing professionals who rely heavily on digital tools/ channels and the data they produce.
According to a study by Hubspot, the marketing function alone use on average 12 different tools. Collecting disparate data from each tool can be a time consuming and confusing task. In light of this, it brings little surprise that the same study found that 61% of marketers also want both better integration and improved processes for sharing data amongst tools. Many companies are addressing this challenge by building dedicated Brand Command Centres.
What are Brand Command Centres?
Brand Command Centres are real-time visual dashboards that capture data from different sources (internal and third-party) and present insights in one cohesive format. APIs are often used to feed scattered data from multiple tools into one centralised place, giving businesses a complete 360 view of their company.
The aim of a Brand Command Centre is to aid employees with visually monitoring their performance and customer engagement activity. Brand Command Centres offer marketing departments a central place to see progress on metrics important to them and serve as the beating heart of a brand.
Since Brand Command Centres are fully customizable, you can change the focus of the dashboards depending on the different needs of the stakeholders who are viewing it. You can even have a dashboard per KPI if you wish. For example, if your goal is increasing brand awareness, you can present data from website traffic, social media, third-party referral links, PR, CRM and more for a more holistic view.
Why are Brand Command Centres Important?
When a brand is present and responsive, it has enhanced opportunities to build customer relationships and brand loyalty through smarter decision making. However, in today’s always-on environment, brands need to be there with their audiences 24/7, listening and identifying opportunities to engage. Marketing teams are finding it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff due to the sheer amount of data being captured. This is when the role of Brand Command Centres become crucial.
Let’s walk through a few challenges that Brand Command Centres help combat.
Data should empower us, not paralyse us, yet we’re seeing an epidemic of “data fatigue” sweeping through many marketing departments. Teams are overwhelmed by the volume and pace of insights streaming in from numerous platforms that capture different customer touchpoints.
Brand Command Centres combine the variety of data platforms used in marketing with those of customer experience, sales, finance, and the c-suite. This gives teams the ability to view the full brand picture in an easy to understand format.
While Brand Command Centres are primarily used by the marketing function, insights can, and should, be used across all business units. After all, measuring and responding to the customer journey is vital for overall business success.
Brand Command Centres facilitate cross-department visibility, as a result, they break down siloed working and prevent each business unit from marching to their own tune. This supports all departments when it comes to aligning, collaborating and working towards a common goal since they’re all using the same insights to guide them to the prize.
Lack of marketing accountability
If you talk to people outside of marketing, some still believe that this is a ‘fluffy’ function. Yes, marketing teams hold the keys to the merchandise cupboard, but they do a lot more than order give-aways.
Since Brand Command Centres make business-critical marketing insights available to all departments, marketing becomes ingrained into the day to day running of an organisation. This helps marketing become an invaluable asset across the company and the perception of the department becomes more favourable as a result.
Brand Command Centres act as a single source of truth for organisations, meaning they’re the go-to source of anything and everything to do with the customer. However, this can only be the case when a single version of the truth is apparent. By single version of the truth, I’m referring to the view that everyone in the organisation agrees that data from one singular tool provider is the real and trusted figure. For example, having one global media intelligence provider, rather than many, in order to obtain a holistic view.
Comparing apples with apples is impossible when companies use multiple tools that do the same thing. Each tool provider tracks things differently due to where, when and how data is collected. One common example of this is marketing metrics. Different tools may say they collect KPI data on the same metrics, but in reality, only the name of the metric is similar. This makes regional benchmarking extremely difficult for CMOs.
Since Brand Command Centres run off data provided by one tool (for example one CRM system, one marketing automation platform, one media intelligence tool), teams can guarantee that the data they measure performance on is aligned across the organisation and comparing apples with apples becomes a lot easier.
Lack of trust
Following on from my point above, when there’s no single source of truth in place, teams across the organisations can’t fully trust the numbers they’re presenting. Inconsistent and contradictory data is a sure way to erode trust. Brand Command Centres facilitate trust in data as they offer one unified source of information across the whole organisation.
How leading companies are using Brand Command Centres?
Similarly to how Brand Centres unite tools, they also unite different focus areas within the marketing function. Whether you’re in charge of managing brand reputation, generating leads, content creation or digital advertising, Brand Command Centres allow you to have different screens presenting insights on each focus area.
Here are a few ways companies are using Brand Command Centres to achieve their goals.
Monitoring brand reputation
Protecting a brand’s reputation is a major task owned by the marketing department and Brand Command Centres act as their right hand in doing so. By analysing peaks and troughs in brand mention sentiment, as well as shifts in brand-related trends, teams can quickly get to grips with issues and prevent them from turning into a crisis.
Twitter is the modern world’s favourite channel for complaints, so it is important brands stay on top of the conversations. Marketing departments often have specialised customer service dashboards set up to monitor social media activity and make their customer services move from reactive to proactive. This Brand Command Centre dashboard aims to improve personalised communications. And it’s not all bad, you can also identify influential customers and brand advocates messaging you positive things too. You can even spot sales opportunities by tracking and analysing intent to purchase keywords such as phrases like “I’m looking for xxx” or “I need to find an alternative to xxx”.
A competitor’s crisis can easily take your brand down with it. To prevent this from happening, it’s best practice to analyse editorial and social media conversations sounding your competitive landscape as much as you do your own brand mentions. You may also uncover opportunities (as well as threats) by doing so, for example, if you spot a surge in your competitor’s customers positively discussing a particular technology, your R&D team can use insights when developing their roadmaps.
Showcase digital influence
Marketing functions are using Brand Command Centres to make staff, investors, partners and other stakeholders aware of the brand’s digital influence. One of the ways they do this is by leveraging data from media intelligence tools and then presenting interesting discussions they’re generating in editorial news and social media.
This type of Brand Command Centre screen is usually placed in the company’s foyer so employees and visitors can quickly grasp a high-level overview of the brand’s digital influence as soon as they enter the building. Due to the audience, the format of this dashboard is low in complexity, since the aim is to wow guests with exciting media coverage rather than use the dashboards for granular insights to optimise strategies.
Making engagement visual and interactive helps the marketing function to easily drill down into what their audience like and dislike. Such insights are found using the ‘trending themes’ widget that most quality media intelligence providers supply. Teams can then weak their messaging and optimise their strategies based on trend insights. Those who are quick to jump on trends are naturally seen as leaders in their fields, so this form of content creation has a really positive impact on brand reputation.
Track KPIs, Benchmark, Measure ROI
In order to improve and optimise, marketing teams must first understand where they currently are, how they’ve moved the needle, and the ROI of their output. Brand Command Centres allow marketing teams to understand KPI progress in real-time, using a variety of tools to track relevant brand metrics.
If your company doesn’t currently have a command centre, Meltwater Display is a solution for big data integration and visualisation to consider. Professionals around the world use Meltwater Display as a single source of truth, making sense of internal and external data. Meltwater Display integrates content and data from Meltwater, Sysomos, Salesforce, Zendesk, and a variety of web analytics sources to provide a complete view of your brand and business.
Alternatively, if you currently have a Brand Command Centre but haven’t connected your media intelligence data to it, we also provide an API that allows you to blend Meltwater insights with your other data sets.
Interested in learning more about bringing together and visualising your marketing data? Contact us in the form below!