Everything About Brand Lift – From A to Z.

What is brand lift?

Brand lift is the % increase in activity between consumers and your brand.

More specifically, brand lift is the measurement of:

  • Awareness
  • Recall
  • Consideration
  • Conversion

Why should I care about brand lift?

Brand lift considers more than the direct sales outcome, it also considers other positive impacts to the brand such as greater awareness, recall, and consideration to buy.

Here are 4 reasons to aim for (and measure) brand lift with your ad campaigns.

  1. Optimize your media spend – Brand lift can provide you reliable top-funnel metrics based on direct feedback from consumers in days, not months. This allows you to pivot on creative and maximize your ROI before you spend millions of dollars.
  2. Increase awareness and recall – The second time someone recognizes your brand, they trust it more than the first. You’ll want to know if your message is sticking.
  1. Raise purchase consideration – A consumer may be more likely to buy in the future as a direct result of an ad interaction. But if you don’t ask them, you’ll skew the attribution too far towards whatever ‘last touch campaign’ ends up in your CRM.
  1. Maximize growth potential – Many marketers make the mistake of focusing too much on sales and not enough on brand lift, which limits their knowledge of what messages are impacting their consumers, and thus limits the growth of their business. 

How can I attain brand lift with my campaigns?

With the A.R.C.C. formula.

A.R.C.C. stands for awareness, recall, consideration, conversion.

A) Awareness – Does your ad get noticed?

R) Recall – Does your ad get remembered favorably?

C) Consideration – Does your ad create an intent to purchase?

C) Conversion – Does you ad lead to a purchase?

Many marketing teams are asked to focus heavily on generating “conversions” to bring about sales. As a consequence, the first three steps in the formula, that is “awareness, recall, consideration”, get neglected.

An effective brand lift campaign will nail all four steps of the formula.

Here’s a quick mini-course on brand lift…

Brand lift 101 – How to generate awareness

Ad Age reports that consumers are exposed to 2,500 marketing messages per day. Wow.

That means your ad campaign needs to:

  • Break through and stand out
  • Incorporate your brand
  • Be easy to remember

Brand lift 201 – How to create greater recall

Brand awareness becomes more valuable when your brand is remembered favorably.

  • Get the main idea across
  • Be relevant, unique, and believable
  • Focus on key benefits and differentiators

Brand lift 301 –  How to get considered for purchase

You might not get a ton of immediate action as the result of an ad campaign, particularly if it’s an OOH (out-of-home) campaign. Consideration is the next best thing.

  • Persuade your prospects with sourced, shocking facts
  • Use numbers to frame your value proposition correctly 
  • Plant a seed that makes prospects want to evaluate your product

Brand lift 401 –  How to get conversions

Getting conversions is no easy task, but here’s a few things that might help you.

  • Make your offer as irresistible as possible
  • Show a direct “before” versus “after” product comparison
  • Showcase elements of urgency or scarcity, if applicable

How is brand lift measured?

Brand lift is not as black and white as ROAS (return on ad spend), but it’s also not some fluffy number that can be plucked out of thin air… 

It is hard to quantify without the right tools.

After all, how can you measure if your campaign is contributing to:

  • Increased share of voice among your competitors
  • New followers/likes on branded social media channels
  • Top of mind awareness for online searches
  • Tipping the likelihood that consumers will purchase in the future
  • Attracting additional/repeat customers

Common issues in traditional OOH//Social measurement include:

  • Lack of data prior to purchasing
  • Inability to field surveys to correct consumers

Common issues in modern OOH/Social measurement include:

  • Asking opportunity to view questions towards low-quality consumer panels
  • Inability to combine relevant data sets
  • Assumptions around foot traffic that may not be attributable to a campaign

Panel providers today are using third-party data and river sampling methods, which causes an influx of bots taking these surveys instead of real consumers – causing bad data. They are also not using validated exposure to trigger surveys, a missed opportunity to take advantage of today’s behavioral technology for more accurate Point of Emotion® insights.

So, if you’re spending big money on your OOH/Social campaigns, what can you do?

The best way to measure brand lift

We first need to understand where your advertisements are going to be placed by looking at your media plan. 

For Social ads, we have the unique ability to drop surveys into the social feeds of your users as they scroll their favorite social media networks.

For OOH ads, we manually look up all of your media units and put a Geo-Fence around them to isolate panelists who crossed a Geo-Fence, therefore meaning they got exposed to your creative.

There are 4 ways to measure brand lift of OOH ads. Pinpoint a consumer as s/he passes by, and then follow these steps to success: 

  1. Pre vs. In-Flight
    Send a survey to consumers before/during campaign in the same exposure area.
  2. In-Flight Exposed vs. Unexposed
    During the campaign, survey exposed and unexposed consumers.
  3. Pre + In-Flight Unexposed vs. In-Flight Exposed
    Use a combination of the two previous surveys for extra control.
  4. Matched vs. In-Flight Market
    Deploy a more complex study with consumers in lookalike and campaign markets.

After the surveys have been filled for both the test and control groups, the data is then analyzed to understand brand lift impact. Key metrics include:

  • Percentage Lift in Brand Awareness
  • Percentage Lift in Ad Recall
  • Percentage Lift in Consideration

How we measured an 85% brand lift 

One of our newest clients, Ritual Vitamins, wanted to improve their brand lift.

The brand wanted to prove the ROI of their OOH spends, and see the results backed by real science. To do that, Ritual needed to talk with consumers directly. MFour was chosen for their unique platform, Surveys on the Go®, featuring the nation’s largest consumer group. 

Paid to give validated feedback, this representative consumer group was happy to share their input on Ritual’s OOH campaign – and they did so quickly. 

The result? An 85% increase in awareness and a 70% brand likeability tied directly to the OOH campaign – results Ritual had never seen before.

How to start measuring brand lift

If you want accurate results, you need a new consumer panel. 

One that has at least these 3 things:

  1. First-party consumers (for accurate data)
  2. A smartphone-centric panel (for social ad measurement)
  3. GPS location capabilities (for OOH ad measurement)

At MFour, we’ve got those and more.

With over 100 demographic and psychographic profiling points on our consumers, you will know who is taking your surveys and understand how they are impacted from exposure to your ads. 

No one has the ability to measure awareness, brand perception or likeability like MFour. 

According to Ian Dallimore, the Director of Digital Innovation at Lamar Advertising: “MFour gives us a clearer view of the true impact of our Out of Home campaigns and shows our clients real world value and ROI.” 

By having a first-party, all-mobile panel, you no longer need to make assumptions about foot and digital traffic. We KNOW the locations, websites and apps our consumers are visiting! 

Brand measurement with MFour is just better! 

Measure your brand success now

By Maksym Minin

Reviewed by Theresa Bui

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