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Brand lift
May 09, 2024

Brand lifts: does your advertising make an impact?

Chris Yu
Author Chris Yu

Brand lifts are a simple tool for measuring how effective your brand and advertising efforts are. Here’s a quick, handy guide on all about the power of brand lifts.

With ongoing integrations of AI in advertising and advanced marketing tools like journey advertising platforms, marketers and brands worldwide are constantly innovating and getting ahead of the game. Amidst all of these developments and behaviors, it sheds light on one interesting thing.

We’re often fixated on the “how” of things – How do we increase brand awareness on various platforms? How do we leverage our brand advertising to gain more leads? How do we specifically gain more traffic on our website?

However, most brands tend to overlook the “why” of things, and if a certain strategy or method is actually working and bringing impact to consumers. Why does a particular advertising campaign work? Is your campaign resonating with your consumers? 

One of the factors that can aid in answering that question is the concept of brand lift. Brand lift is one of several indicators of how well your marketing campaign is doing and how it is viewed by your customers.

What is a brand lift?

Brand lift refers to the measurable rise in consumer perception of a brand after a marketing campaign. This is the positive shift or effect on the consumer’s perceptions of the brand, and is measured via different tools and methods (more on that below). 

To put it in another way: it’s the measurement of how your ads are shifting and shaping customers’ perceptions and behaviors; the positive results that your brand has experienced (via customer’s brand interactions) after a marketing campaign.

Metrics to measure brand lift

There are several metrics to represent brand lift. Each metric offers an insight or indication on how your brand or product is perceived by customers. Below are just some of the metrics to measure brand lift: 

  • Brand awareness – the familiarity of consumers with your brand
  • Brand or ad recall – the ability of consumers to recall your ad or brand, and how well they recall your brand after exposure (typically affected by ad frequency, ad format, and target relevancy)
  • Brand favorability – the degree to which consumers perceive your brand in a positive way
  • Intent to buy – how likely is it that consumers will actually purchase your product/service
  • Brand loyalty – how likely consumers are to repeatedly purchase your brand
  • Brand usage – the frequency with which consumers use and purchase your brand
  • Web traffic – number of users visiting your brand’s website
  • Share of voicehow much media space your brand occupies compared to your competitors (usually through brand visibility and position)

Why measure brand lift?

We mentioned how the why and if of processes often get overlooked when executing marketing campaigns. Understanding the value of brand lift would help address a lot of those questions and concerns.

Better insights on consumers

For starters, brand lift measurement offers many insights not – just from the consumers’ perspective but also on the brands themselves. How customers respond and react to your brand’s campaigns is a reflection on how your brand is perceived. Specifically, it helps to uncover how an ad campaign impacts the perception of your product or brand. It determines which parts of your campaign directly affect and influence your customers’ outlook towards your brand and which ones drive the most value and impact.

Better audience targeting

Brand awareness measurement can also help to better target your audience and even identify new ones. It brings personalization to your marketing campaigns because it tells you what resonates with your customers and you can then take advantage of that information to increase audience engagement. The insights and feedback from your brand lift assessment also improve your audience targeting and retargeting strategies based on consumer responses. 

Identify new audiences and segments

It also helps in pinpointing and creating new audiences and segments, as it gives you insight into which demographic is responding well to your campaigns. You can use that information to build audiences that share similar interests and behaviors who would likely respond similarly to your existing customers.

Identify high-value marketing channels

Because it helps you understand better what resonates with your customers, you are able to better manage your marketing spending and budget. Brand lift metrics can reveal which marketing channels bring in the most traffic and value from consumers. In turn, you can then shift your focus and strategies towards those channels and campaigns that bring in the highest return on investment.

Generate more revenue

Brand lift can also aid in the generation of more sales. Through metrics such as brand awareness and brand loyalty, brand lift can give a better understanding of customers’ intent to buy and purchasing behaviors. For instance, more ad and brand exposure can lead to higher chances of customers purchasing your products and in turn, would lead to higher sales.

How do brands measure brand lift?

In most cases, brand lift is measured by conducting a brand lift study. There are various methods to conduct brand lift studies. 

One of the most common ways is primary market research. Primary market research includes data gathered from surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews. Consumer research surveys aim to gain intel from a sample size of consumers by asking them a series of brand-related questions. The purpose of the survey can be either understanding consumers’ purchase habits, perceptions and sentiments towards a brand, or identifying associations and feelings consumers have for a particular brand.

Another method to gain insights into your brand’s performance is through quantitative metrics. They can be utilized to assess the before and after impact. Begin by recognizing the specific benchmarks for brand improvement and the corresponding metrics. By studying these metrics before and after your advertising campaign, you can identify any changes that signify an increase in brand visibility (such as the acquisition of new followers or customers).

You can also take advantage of built-in brand lift tools and features that some digital advertising platforms have. Meta and Google have their own built-in brand lift test and brand survey test to evaluate your Meta and Google ad campaigns respectively. 

Real-time brand lift tools such as Nielsen and Upwave allow for “in-flight” optimization processes common in lower-funnel marketing campaigns. Marketers can see in real time which media channels and creative options are driving the most brand lift on campaigns, and shift their investments and budget towards those. 

In other words, it helps advertisers understand how their campaigns are driving brand lift across key brand metrics, and the features are fully integrated into the platform to allow for real-time and flexible adjustments. This creates a dynamic and seamless market research experience.

Tips on measuring brand lift

Conducting a reliable and accurate brand lift study requires thorough research and meticulous effort. Here are some tips on measuring brand lift:

  • Choose your metrics wisely – Select which brand lift metrics to focus on in your study, keeping in mind financial considerations and your business goals.
  • Determine your audience and control group – Identify who will be the target of your study. From there, you can segment and organize your audience into two groups: one that sees your campaign and another that will serve as a control group that will not see it.
  • Be flexible with your study – Create multiple surveys with different KPIs which can be shown to respondents at different times. Ask specific questions to gain actionable insights.
  • Utilize relevant channels – Choose the marketing channels to which your target market is most responsive and reacting favorably. Build and create advertising campaigns using those channels.
  • Collect, analyze, and share your data & results – Use relevant marketing performance tools and other resources (manual surveys, real-time brand lift tools, etc.) to properly measure and record your results. Collate and share these results to various stakeholders. Your insights are relevant to more than your team. They can be used by other facets of the company as well.
  • Fine-tune and improve your campaigns according to results – Use the insights from your study to adjust and modify your campaigns and strategies. Determine what works and what doesn’t work and tweak accordingly. This could be by expanding or changing your marketing channels or tailoring products according to customer preferences.

Final thoughts

Brand lift is a significant indicator of determining whether your advertising efforts are actually impactful and valuable to your consumers. It provides a lot of information and understanding on both your customers and your brand. With this information, brands can develop and tailor their advertising campaigns to deliver more relevant, personalized content to consumers.

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