In the pursuit of market dominance, measuring marketing efforts and their alignment with business objectives is paramount. One powerful tool that has gained significant importance among technology marketing executives, especially in high-growth innovation companies looking to establish or conquer categories, is Share of Voice (SOV) reporting. As an advanced method surpassing traditional techniques, SOVs provide valuable insights, although their interpretation still requires a nuanced approach. In this article, we delve into the key to market dominance by exploring the potential of Share of Voice and how it can propel companies toward their desired goals.

What is share of voice (SOV)?

SOV reports are utilized to gauge the extent of earned media coverage within a specific timeframe, focusing on two key elements: the number of placements and the audience reach, represented by the UVM (unique visitors per month) or the circulation of placements within a given time frame. However, it is crucial to consider certain limitations associated with this measurement, such as:

  • The quality of the placement measure, or its influence on the message of the editorial piece, is not measured
  • Mentions must be curated to weed out truly useless pick-ups
  • If a company name is extremely common, much context around the name and search has to be built in and evaluated to gather meaningful data
  • UVM numbers need to be reviewed (if you want precision) against other tools’ data to verify accuracy
  • Companies with aggressive press release strategies can overtake the “mentions” section of the report with releases that get picked up on low quality sites

anthonyBarnum has embraced the integration of metrics as an essential component across their campaigns, enabling them to assess their position in terms of establishing a strong presence within their industry and effectively conveying their message to a wide audience.

What Share of Voice (SOV) measures

Let’s dive into the two key elements of SOV: number of placements and UVM (unique visitors per month).

1. Number of placements

The number of placements plays a crucial role in calculating the Share of Voice (SOV). It represents the quantity of media placements or mentions that a brand receives within a specific time frame compared to its competitors. By comparing the number of placements for each brand, the SOV calculation determines the relative share or portion of media attention that a brand receives in relation to its competitors.

However, there are certain limits that need to be considered when factoring in the number of placements. The quality and significance of each placement may vary, as not all placements carry equal weight in terms of reach or impact. Therefore, it is important to assess the quality and relevance of placements, taking into account factors such as the influence of the message, the credibility of the source, and the target audience reached. Additionally, the methodology used for tracking and identifying placements should be robust and accurate to ensure reliable calculations.

2. UVM (unique visitors per month)

The UVM (unique visitors per month) is a significant factor in the Share of Voice (SOV) calculation as it measures the audience reach of media placements. UVM represents the number of distinct individuals who visit a website or view content within a specific month. In the SOV calculation, the UVM numbers provide insights into the potential exposure and engagement a brand receives compared to its competitors.

Similar to the number of placements, certain limits need to be considered when factoring in UVM numbers. It is crucial to review and validate the accuracy of the UVM data by comparing it with other tools or sources to ensure precision. Different measurement tools may provide varying UVM figures, so it is essential to cross-reference and evaluate the consistency and reliability of the data. Additionally, factors like the quality and relevance of the websites or platforms where the UVM is derived from should be taken into account to ensure meaningful and valid calculations.

How to calculate SOV

Share of voice = Your brand metrics / Total market metrics

The Share of Voice (SOV) formula calculates the brand’s proportionate presence in relation to the overall market. The formula is expressed as: Share of Voice = Your brand metrics divided by Total market metrics. In this formula, “Your brand metrics” represents the specific measurements or metrics associated with your brand’s visibility, such as the number of placements, mentions, or advertising spend. “Total market metrics” refers to the cumulative metrics of all brands or competitors in the same market or industry. By dividing your brand’s metrics by the total market metrics and expressing it as a percentage, the SOV formula provides a quantitative measure of your brand’s relative share of attention, reach, or influence within the market.

Example of a baseline SOV report and how to build a plan

Marketers understand the significance of tangible data to guide their efforts, and the Share of Voice (SOV) metric offers a valuable tool. When an innovation company seeks to swiftly gain market and mindshare after a substantial investment and recalibration, the SOV becomes particularly useful. By extrapolating competitors’ monthly coverage and analyzing message density and types of coverage, marketers can categorize and rate the saturation of impactful editorial coverage. This information helps in formulating a plan that includes a cadence of activities to outpace competitors in terms of reach and achieve the desired market position.

Creating a baseline SOV report and building a plan involves several key steps. Marketers can assess competitors’ monthly coverage to gain insights into the frequency and density of placements, distinguishing between press release news coverage and technology profiles. Evaluating the saturation of messages in high-quality editorial coverage is also crucial. With these insights, marketers can determine the optimal cadence and intensity of campaigns needed to surpass competitor SOV. Time becomes a critical factor, as overtaking a competitor quickly requires a more aggressive and resource-intensive approach, which may entail a higher budget. Drawing from relevant case studies and considering campaign dynamics, marketers can project the most effective and efficient tactics to gain ground on competitor SOV.

Depending on the scenario, marketers may develop a 6 to 9-month plan for steady progress towards overtaking a competitor. Alternatively, a more aggressive 3 to 4-month approach may be suitable for certain situations. In intriguing cases where no company has yet established control over the category’s voice, an opportunity arises for marketers to become assertive frontrunners, paving the way for aggressive market positioning.

SOV reporting and the long-term impact

One of the notable benefits of Share of Voice is its robust reporting capability, providing clear insights into the number of mentions and the reach of a PR campaign as it progresses. When starting with organizations that have limited prior earned media coverage, anthonyBarnum has observed significant changes in SOV within weeks of starting an initiative. Reporting is typically done in three-month increments, with the most substantial growth curves often seen after six months. 

The use of SOVs allows for continuous evaluation of PR programs, facilitating comparison with competitors and ensuring a strategic approach to category ownership. As a clear and objective reporting mechanism, SOVs have become increasingly favored by executive marketers as they seek to demonstrate the progress of their PR investments and establish dominance in their respective categories.

Own the category with anthonyBarnum

If you are seeking to enhance your brand’s visibility, shape your external image, and generate impactful media coverage in line with your core objectives, look no further. anthonyBarnum is the trusted partner of choice for the fastest growing technology innovation companies in North America. Contact us today to discuss how our expertise can propel your brand forward and position you for success. Let us help you amplify your voice and achieve remarkable results in the dynamic world of media and public relations.

Share of Voice (SOV) FAQs

How do you determine Share of Voice?

To determine the Share of Voice (SOV), compare your brand’s metrics, such as the number of placements or mentions, to the total market metrics of all competitors. By dividing your brand’s metrics by the total market metrics and multiplying by 100, marketers can calculate the SOV percentage, representing your brand’s share of the overall media presence in the market.

How do you increase Share of Voice?

To increase Share of Voice (SOV), marketers need to work with a PR team to actively increase the number of media placements or mentions through proactive media outreach and targeted PR campaigns. These can include data-driven news releases, sophisticated thought leadership outreach, and securing and publicizing industry recognitions. Consistently monitoring and adjusting these efforts can help maximize your brand’s share of voice in the market.

Is Share of Voice a percentage?

Yes, Share of Voice (SOV) is typically represented as a percentage. It quantifies the relative presence or portion of media attention a brand receives compared to its competitors in a specific market or industry. The SOV percentage indicates the share of the overall media presence that a brand occupies.