Studies of awareness, attitudes and usage (AAU) enable marketers to quantify levels and trends in consumer knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, intentions, and behaviors. In some companies, the results of these studies are called “tracking” data because they are used to track long-term changes in customer awareness, attitudes, and behaviors. AAU studies are most useful when their results are set against a clear comparator. This benchmark may comprise the data from prior periods, different markets, or competitors.
AAU metrics are used to track trends in customer attitudes and behaviors. They relate closely to what has been called the Hierarchy of Effects, an assumption that customers progress through sequential stages from lack of awareness, to awareness, to development of attitudes and beliefs about the product, through initial purchase, to brand loyalty. Information about attitudes and beliefs offer insight into the question of why specific users do, or do not, favor certain brands. Typically marketers conduct surveys of large samples of households or business customers to gather these data.
AAU studies feature a range of questions that aim to shed light on customers’ relationships with a product or brand (i.e., “Who are the acceptors and rejecters of the product?” and “How do customers respond to replay of advertising content?”)
- ^ Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; and David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Second Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.