Case Study: How Brand Lift Can Do What Its Name Promises


ADOTAS – While the debate continues about the right metrics to use to prove that online works for branding campaigns, some companies have developed ways to measure just how well consumers are “getting” a brand’s message. Vizu Corporation has long maintained that it is important for online advertisers to use the same metrics used to measure and optimize brand advertising effectiveness in the offline world such as awareness, favorability, consideration, or intent. By surveying audiences with brief questions during campaigns, Vizu enables its customers to move their target audience through the purchase funnel, from building awareness to creating intent and preference by helping brands and publishers optimize to the creative and media that create the most Brand Lift. Here is case study in which an advertiser leveraged real-time data to optimize in campaign. In doing so, the advertiser increased awareness Brand Lift by 34% and increased effective media spend by over $100,000.

Here is what a user survey looks like.


Recently we caught up with Jeff Smith, CMO and SVP of client services at Vizu:

How do you measure the impact of digital campaigns?

Direct response marketers use click-through rates. While a wonderful metric for direct response marketers, they are meaningless for brand advertisers. Unfortunately, click-through rates are such a pervasive metric in the online medium that they often still find their way into the metrics reported around a brand campaign. The equivalent for brand marketers, and what they prefer to use by an overwhelming majority (80 percent according to our study), is Brand Lift. Brand Lift, which is the same metric that has been used in the offline world for the last 100 years, measures the percentage increase against the primary marketing objective of the campaign, which is most often defined in terms of the classic purchase funnel – lift in awareness, attitudes, favorability, intent, or preference.

What trends have you seen for advertisers to measure the branding effectiveness of their digital campaigns?

A strong desire to simplify the definition of what constitutes success for a campaign. In a recent industry survey we ran of over 450 digital media professionals, 34 percent of marketers and agencies said they are “drowning in data” when it comes to trying to measure the effectiveness of their online advertising campaigns.  Also taking more advantage of the technical underpinnings of the online medium to move beyond post campaign measurement, and instead leverage the availability of real-time brand metrics to optimize campaigns while they are still in market.  By understanding which creative executions, media plan participants, targeting segments, or frequencies are driving (or not driving) Brand Lift in the campaign, and making appropriate adjustments based on such, marketers are maximizing the return from their online brand building investment.

Which formats and channels (display, search, mobile) are most effective for branding?

Video advertising is proving to be an extremely effective brand building medium. While most advertisers are still using a multi-pronged approach when it comes to online advertising, we’re seeing an increasing number of them doing video-only campaigns, particularly in the Entertainment, Retail, Food and Beverages, CPG verticals. Video only campaigns are driving more than twice as much Brand Lift as multi-tactic campaigns, signifying that Video is a highly effective branding tool relative to other formats. Video is outperforming more static formats for the same reasons that television is more effective than a bill board – sound, sight, and motion tend to be more effective at evoking emotion in consumers. Rich / interactive media formats are also outperforming other formats for the same reasons. Search and mobile are primarily being used as direct response mediums.

What do you think about the push for standardization of the GRP metric? Will it help address some of the digital branding measurement challenges?

Any standardization will help, and the fact that an online GRP would help equate the buying of online media with that of television would likely simplify marketer’s lives. But to focus solely on it would be to ignore one of the advantages of online advertising over television – to not only look at reach and frequency, but also to directly measure the impact of the advertising (ie: did it increase awareness for my product?) In my opinion, GRP is not an ideal metric for TV or online. It only tells us the percentage of audience we are reaching with our message. For both of these mediums to thrive, our evaluations must move beyond the GRP to understand what drives Brand Lift with consumers.


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