The biggest brands in the world represent more than just companies. Brands like Coca-Cola, Ford, and Apple have earned their reputations by embodying a lifestyle, transcending the logo on their products to become part of consumers’ identities.
Of course, it takes more than one successful commercial campaign to achieve that kind of loyalty, especially in an era when consumers are constantly receiving content from a variety of sources. That’s why brands are tapping into omnichannel marketing — it’s an approach as multifaceted as their environment.
Omnichannel marketing puts the goal of developing steadfast brand advocates well within reach. But to get even closer to that goal, companies need to start paying attention to brand lift.
The Tool You Haven’t Been Using
Brand lift isn’t new, but many organizations have overlooked it.
This tool describes the increase in user engagement with a brand as the result of an advertising campaign. It’s all about boosting awareness and purchase intent, not just buying impressions.
Just like when Pepsi targeted Generation X with its “Pepsi Generation” slogan and saw an increase in engagement among consumers from that demographic, brands rely on lift to provide a spark and change the perception of what it means to engage or identify with the company, achieving the fierce loyalty many brands are after.
In the era of social media and viral marketing, brand lift can come from several different places. That’s what makes it so ideal for omnichannel marketing — brands can gain lift from social, video, and written content, no matter what devices their audiences use.
Looking at the “Lift” in Brand Lift
Whatever form the campaign takes, brand lift always aims for increased brand recognition and engagement. Two qualities drive that goal: identification and resonance. A campaign needs both elements in order to achieve brand lift.
No marketing effort is truly effective unless consumers can consistently identify the brand behind it — something many companies fail to achieve. A commercial or viral video might be hilarious, but it won’t promote brand lift if no one knows the company behind the campaign. This explains why some popular campaigns fail to achieve true brand lift when a memorable ad does not contain content relevant to the brand it promotes.
Resonance follows identification. A blank screen with a company logo is easily identified, but the message won’t resonate with potential customers. The content of the advertising has to spark an attachment or another reaction from consumers, something that makes them feel that the brand understands who they are and what they value.
If a campaign can achieve both identification and resonance, consumers will remember the campaign and how it made them feel. They’ll associate that positive response with the brand behind the campaign.
In return, brand lift will offer more granular data than organizations might be used to.
Standard metrics such as views, likes, and shares help marketers get a base for brand lift after a campaign, but true brand lift requires a deeper understanding of engagement and its relationship to sales conversions — who’s remembering a brand’s ad, who intends to purchase from the brand, and who’s more interested in that brand than they were before.
Brand lift metrics come from surveys, search analytics, or studies conducted by partners specializing in the tool, like BuzzFeed’s marketing surveys. These studies offer deeper insights into the campaign analytics beyond simple statistics such as click-through rate and video completion rate. They demonstrate a brand’s favorability and show how users move through the purchase funnel as the result of an ad campaign. And with omnichannel campaigns, seeing which channels are driving the most awareness and purchase intent becomes easy.
Brand lift lets companies go beyond counting how many times someone watches a video on a landing page and start paying attention to the culture a brand’s content promotes — especially when that brand is balancing content across every channel. Taking this essential tool into account, it won’t be long before consumers start turning into advocates.
Tom Alexander is founder and CEO of PK4 Media, a true omnichannel media company located in El Segundo, Calif. With more than 13 years of experience in digital advertising, Tom has a keen understanding of the industry and the voids in the marketplace. With this expertise, he developed within PK4 Media’s platform a system called XPS, which singlehandedly controls delivery and optimization across all digital media channels — letting advertisers reach any screen they want to.