Determining Cadence for Brand and Ad Trackers
04 Apr 2024

Tracking brand equity and ad campaigns is crucial for making informed decisions. Clients often ask us the appropriate cadence for fielding surveys and collecting data.

Criteria for Research Cadence

Cadence refers to the frequency or timing of data collection. Many factors determine the appropriate cadence for your research. Looking at sales data, media plans, seasonality information, the target audience, and budgets is crucial before selecting the right frequency for tracking your brand.

  • Sales data helps researchers understand the size of your brand and whether your company is currently making sales projections. It also shows whether any seasonal factors must be considered when launching the study.
  • Media plans are important, especially for ad tracking. They help determine the frequency of ad spending and tell if a new campaign or ad idea is being launched. Typically studies are conducted pre/post these campaigns to determine the effectiveness of the ads.
  • Budgets are crucial as well. It is better to track less and create a research plan that works with your needs than to monitor for the sake of tracking. When budgets are tight, brands may still track with high frequency, but surveys are not customized to their needs. This often results in data that marketing teams cannot incorporate into their advertising or branding initiatives. It is often better to field the survey less often but have more robust data and findings. You’ll often find more variance and actionable insights.
  • Another factor that determines cadence is the target audience. If the survey is for the general population or something close to that, it can be tracked in real time. If the audience has a low incidence rate (e.g., industry professionals, ultra-high net worth), tracking continuously may be more difficult as the sample pool may be too small.

A Few Options for Research Cadence

Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring involves continuous data collection and analysis, providing immediate insights into brand or ad performance. This method is ideal for fast-paced campaigns or situations requiring rapid response and adjustments. It enables marketers to detect trends, promptly identify issues, and optimize real-time campaigns. This type of survey analysis is recommended for brands with extremely large continuous ad spend.

Quarterly Analysis:

The quarterly analysis also has a high cadence for tracking ad or brand results. It provides the ability to track performance overview, identify long-term patterns, and support strategic planning and budget allocation. Brands’ media spending should be sufficient enough to warrant investment in a quarterly tracking program. Once the program is in place, it is essential to determine if there are large enough quarterly differences to warrant this cadence. If changes are extreme or extremely differentiating, there may be an option to track more often.

Annual Tracking

A brand that invests in significant ad and media spending should track its brand and ad performance at least annually. This helps determine whether the brand’s communication is working. It also shows what areas need improvement.