Does your brand advertising work? Ask your audience with Brand Lift

Analytics & KPI
December 4, 2020 / Author: Vera Finaeva

So, you have invested a substantial sum of money in an advertising campaign to increase your brand recognition, and now you want to find out whether there is a result.

In the digital age, when advertisers have a variety of useful pixels and tracking systems at their disposal, it is not complicated to measure the effectiveness of a performance advertising campaign. Marketers can check how much each engaged user and target action costs, then calculate the total cost per attracted user who made a purchase. That is how they measure the return on investment of an advertising campaign in general. 

However, measuring the effectiveness of the advertising campaign oriented to brand awareness increase can be a more challenging thing. How do you “calculate” interest growth and evaluate audience loyalty? If you want to solve this problem in the usual way, it will take a lot of time and money.

The good news is that there is a panacea. Brand Lift survey helps you to measure the advertising campaign effectiveness aimed at brand promotion. So, you will find out whether your brand advertising works.


Brand Lift is an interactive survey conducted in two stages: before and after an advertising campaign. The technology allows marketers to measure an ad’s impact on the main brand metrics: brand awareness, ad recall, and brand interest. 


Let’s take an example of the “Horns and Hooves” brand. 

In the beginning, we create a target audience portrait and form customized audience segments for the “Horns and Hooves.” As it’s important to us to measure the impact of the particular advertising campaign on the brand, we randomly split our target audience into two groups: the exposed group (90%) who will see the ad, and the control group (10%) who will not see the ad.

Then, before the advertising campaign launch, we conduct an interactive survey among users from each group to assess the current brand awareness level. For example, we show users an interactive banner with the question: Do you know the brand “Horns and Hooves”? And there are two answer options: “yes” or “no.” 

Another way to conduct an interactive survey is through social media posts with a poll. Since all the survey participants are our target audience, and the only difference between them is that one group will see the ad and the other will not, we can accurately measure the advertising campaign effectiveness.

So, we conducted the survey and got the results. Now we launch the advertising campaign directed only toward the exposed group. When the advertising campaign is over, we survey the brand recognition among the exposed group (who saw the ad) and the control group (who didn’t see the ad) one more time.

By comparing answers from the exposed and control groups collected during the first survey before the campaign launch and the second survey, we can see whether the advertising worked. Therefore, we can identify the dynamics of brand awareness growth among users after they saw the ad. The presence of the control group that won’t see the ad allows advertisers to leave the target audience with the initial level of brand recognition without any advertising influence. Moreover, marketers can identify additional factors (if there were any) that could affect brand awareness increase besides the advertising campaign.

Now let’s make everything said above a bit easier. Imagine the situation: there is a Brand Lift launch for a meat-packing plant. Before an advertising campaign, the level of brand recognition was 23.2% among the exposed group and 24.8% among the control group.

During the advertising campaign, the meat-packing plant had an embarrassing incident: a consumer found a rat tail in one of the sausage goods. The situation attracted public attention and received massive coverage on the Federal and regional media. At the end of the advertising campaign, the interactive survey was conducted again and revealed the brand awareness growth in both groups. Even though the control group hadn’t seen the ad, it recognized the brand thanks to the notorious case with a rat tail. So, data from the control group’s responses that was not covered by the advertising campaign helped to identify an additional factor influencing the brand awareness increase.

Dividing the audience into groups and asking interactive questions before and after an advertising campaign allows measuring brand awareness and ad recall. To measure brand interest, you can use the same approach to analyze the search activity of the target audience. When you compare the results, you can answer the question of whether advertising encourages users to search for information about your product or brand. 


  • Measurement 

Brand Lift’s primary mission is to analyze brand metrics before and after the advertising campaign to measure its effectiveness. The difference between the level of brand awareness among the users who saw the ad and the users who didn’t see the ad will be a quantitative assessment of the advertising campaign’s effectiveness.

  • Optimization 

During the research, advertisers collect data that can be useful for advertising campaign optimization. Combined with A/B testing, Brand Lift allows identifying the advertising campaign awareness and recall. It also helps to understand which formats and platforms worked better, how many times you need to show ads to the user, so he remembers the brand, and which audience is more responsive to the brand message, etc. The collected data from surveys, as well as cookies, can be used in further advertising activities.

  • Comparison with competitors

Advertisers can run polls about the brand’s main competitors and measure one more metric – Brand Favorability (the preference of the brand to its competitors). Marketers can ask a simple question: “Which brand products would you use?” And then add yours and competitors’ brand as the answer options. After analyzing survey results, you advertisers can evaluate their market position relative to competitors.


  • The list of brand metrics that you plan to monitor.
  • Banners or social media posts for conducting the survey.
  • Data Analyst to determine the portrait of the target audience and to select the correct audience segments.
  • Ad Operation Specialist to manage and control the Brand Lift technical implementation.

… or you just need an agency with the proper expertise that will take these tasks upon itself!