Share of Voice (SOV) is a metric that has been around for many years. It looks at a brands percentage of media spend versus the rest of the category.
For many marketers understanding SOV has been a useful metric for predicting share of market growth and for understanding the relative impact of your media investment versus your competitive set.
When the correlation between SOV and market share (SOM) was uncovered in the 1970’s, media was much simpler. The limited number of channels and the stability of media publishers in market meant it was much easier to predict the spend of your competitors. The proliferation of digital channels has made predicting SOV much harder and more complex. It’s now increasingly difficult to separate paid media versus earned media, especially across social platforms, and many of the big digital publishers won’t reveal competitor spends. When digital represents almost half of the media spend of most categories, this becomes very problematic.
However, there may be a new metric that marketers can use: ‘Share of Search’ (SOS).
Les Binet, the often heralded ‘godfather of marketing effectiveness’ has discovered that, for many categories ‘share of search’ holds many of the qualities of that SOV does. Similar to SOV, share of search is calculated by understanding a brands total number of organic searches across a given period and calculating that percentage versus your total competitor searches.
His research has uncovered that a brands SOS can act as a useful predictor of market share growth. In some cases, SOS has predicted a brand share of market growth up to 6 months prior. Meaning it’s a very useful metric for brands to monitor and use to help forecast market share growth and could be an important part of future budget setting analysis.
Read more here.