Bigfoot Makes Brand Measurement Available

E-mail services provider Bigfoot Interactive is offering a service that it claims measures the brand impact of marketing e-mails, the New York company said yesterday.

Dubbed BrandIndex, the service aims to measure brand awareness, message association, brand favorability, brand loyalty and purchase intent for acquisition and retention e-mail marketing.

BrandIndex is a private-labeled version of Dynamic Logic's AdIndex E-mail, a service Dynamic Logic unveiled in May.

Founded in 1999, Dynamic Logic, New York, gained prominence with research claiming that online advertising has value beyond its ability to draw click-throughs. The company uses cookies to track users who have been exposed to ads, but who don't buy, and tabulates correlations between exposures and later behavior, such as a delayed purchase. Dynamic Logic also surveys random samples of ad-exposed users with pop-ups to gauge online ads' effect on other branding metrics.

The company has played a key part in the online ad industry's efforts to persuade ad buyers to view online ads as an effective branding vehicle, and to look beyond clicks to gauge an ad's value.

According to Bigfoot, e-mail should be measured beyond its ability to drive response as well.

“As e-mail continues to gain prominence in the marketing mix, understanding the impact on a brand is becoming increasingly critical in the overall calculation of return on investment,” Al DiGuido, Bigfoot Interactive CEO, said in a statement. “With BrandIndex, marketers can evaluate individual sources and audiences by going beyond typical quantitative measurements such as open rates and click-through rates to make better decisions for their brand over the long term.”

However, the 1999 argument for online ads' branding abilities arose from the need to defend an ad industry that was beginning to fall apart.

Defenders of a branding index for e-mail contend that though e-mail is not maligned as banners were in 1999, it still risks being undervalued.

What's more, getting marketers to think beyond open rates will help Bigfoot make the case that more of their budgets should be spent on the medium, DiGuido said.

“The case [for e-mail] has been built in terms of direct response, driving people to a channel, and in terms of cost savings from offline to online,” he said. “This is one more arrow in the quiver saying 'and beyond all of those reasons, there's a branding reason as well,'” he said.

BrandIndex also will allow Bigfoot to “step up” in the consumer packaged goods marketing industry, DiGuido said.

“If you think about any of the offline couponing vehicles out there, what they've been able to sell the CPG guys on is that there's a brand awareness from dropping an FSI that transcends that actual coupon redemption,” DiGuido said.

The same thing will happen with e-mail, he said. “You're going to see more and more of the CPG guys use e-mail as a way to target their specific customers, use some type of coupon redemption, but also be satisfied with the fact that Al DiGuido saw a message from Procter and Gamble and at some point bought Pampers.”

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