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Here Be Awareness: Discovering Pirate Metrics for Growth Marketing

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated April 27, 2021

This post is part of a blog series, “Here Be Metrics,” breaking down the primary aspects of the so-called pirate metrics for growth marketing. Keep up with this series and others by subscribing to our blog!

The most feared pirates were well-known in their day, thanks to word-of-mouth marketing. Well, they wouldn’t have called it marketing, but in modern terms, don’t you think a well-known pirate would equate to an influencer? 

Capt Jack Sparrow smile

Anyway, this awareness aspect of marketing hasn’t changed in several hundred years. 

Today’s most successful brands are likewise well-known, and both the pirates of the high seas and the corporations of the high rises have grown their widespread recognition through awareness.

Awareness Increases Brand Recognition

The goal of awareness is to grow recognition, or awareness, of a brand. Corporations today don’t fly a skull and crossbones on the roof of their building (even though that would be totally cool), but it’s not uncommon for big companies to put their name on the side of a skyscraper or pepper highways with branded billboards. 

Skull and crossbones flag

Brand names and logos also go on T-shirts, in television and radio advertisements, on direct mailings, on social media accounts, on websites and in plenty of other places. All of this, from the Nike swoosh on a sneaker to the corporate name on a sports stadium, contributes to overall awareness.

Awareness Data Shows You What Customers Do Before You Know Them

From a metrics perspective, awareness encompasses all data that’s gathered before you know who a prospective customer is. The data itself doesn’t increase brand awareness, but it tells you a good deal about how the target demographic is interacting with a company or brand. 

Of course, the awareness data that marketers have access to depends largely on the mode used to increase brand recognition. There aren't a whole lot of key performance metrics to track when selling branded T-shirts, other than how many T-shirts sell.

It’s not like marketers have access to comments that passersby make or questions they ask when they see someone wearing a branded T-shirt.

Arnold peeking gif

Online Marketing Is Well-Suited for Awareness

For online marketing campaigns, however, there is a plethora of data available. Just a few items to consider tracking include:

  • Website visits and page views
  • Social impressions and shares
  • Search impressions and rankings
  • Link click-through rates
  • Time on page and bounce rate

There are still many other data points that will shed light on how well customers know a brand and how they interact with it, even before you know who the customers are.

Dive Into Awareness

Awareness has been immensely important since the days when pirates blew warning shots to announce their arrival at a ship or town. With the amount of awareness data that online marketing makes available, it’s only becoming even more important.

Dive into the metrics of your company’s website and social profiles, and you can learn a lot about how people perceive your brand.

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