5 Ways Brand Lift Studies Can Inform Your Campaign Strategy

graphic depict brand lift study by showing 3 options of an ad

Before running any digital campaign, it’s crucial to align brand messaging and strategy. Doing this helps marketers ensure that a brand is portrayed in a way that is appealing to its target audience. Ultimately, this alignment encourages engagement that will drive consumers closer to the bottom of the marketing funnel.

Data-driven insights are one way that marketers can help achieve this alignment. Metrics like impressions and click-throughs are a go-to for campaign management. But aligning brand messaging and strategy goes beyond those metrics. A tactic that marketers are increasingly leveraging to gain audience insights and identify the impact of their campaigns is running a brand lift study.

What is a Brand Lift Study

A brand lift study measures the impact of your campaigns across all your programmatic channels. It typically will provide a picture of the consumer sentiment and brand affinity of people who have been exposed to your media. 

It can be used to measure the impact of upper funnel campaigns on your consumers’ perception of your brand, but it’s also effective when it comes to mid- to lower funnel campaigns, for measuring consideration or purchase intent. 

There are a couple different ways that brand lift studies can be run, but they usually revolve around a survey. The study leverages a methodology to gather feedback from consumers in the real world using a survey. Your defined “exposed” and “control” groups are asked one specific question, or a series of questions. Your “exposed” group is a group of users who have seen your ad in the past, and your “control” group is a group of users who have not seen your ad.

Measure the Impact of Your Campaigns 

Brand lift studies go beyond traditional metrics, like impressions, to help you measure a campaign’s impact on consumer perceptions and behaviour. Let’s say an athleisure brand has just launched its first marketing campaign around a new shoe line. The brand is known for its apparel, so it runs a brand lift study to understand whether the target audience is interested in the new shoes. 

The study can discover how likely a consumer is to purchase the brand’s new shoes, the perception a consumer has about the brand after seeing an ad for shoes, or what brand comes to mind when a consumer thinks about that shoe style. 

By identifying the target consumer’s awareness, perception, consideration and likelihood of purchase, marketers can better judge the effectiveness of a campaign. Then, marketers can use those insights to inform their digital strategy moving forward. 

Use Ad Creatives For Insights Into Your Audience

Interactive ad creatives can serve as a great tool for gathering helpful and voluntary feedback from users. These are usually referred to as survey ads, discovery ads or brand lift ads. Survey ads use an HTML5 format to create an interactive unit for users. This format captures audience responses by presenting questions. By way of buttons, a checklist or a dropdown menu, there are countless insights an advertiser can gain through a survey ad. 

For example, a marketer in the travel industry can use survey ads to determine traveller readiness. The interactive creative can survey users to find out how willing people are to book a trip or when they would be ready to book in the future. The marketer can then rely on these insights to understand the best time to invest in a travel campaign.  

Survey ads are also useful for informing decisions about new products and understanding how well they will resonate with the target audience. For example, a razor company could use a survey ad to gather data about what colors their target audience prefers when it comes to the razor’s handle. 

Survey ads can be run in advance of a large campaign to help inform it. By gathering preemptive insights about the receptiveness and preferences of a target audience, marketers can create campaigns that cater best to that audience. 

5 Ways a Brand Lift Study Can Inform Your Campaign Strategy

  1. Provides New Metrics
    Brand lift will show you incrementality through metrics like brand awareness, ad recall, brand favourability, and brand affinity.
  2. Determines Perception of Your Brand
    Brand lift helps uncover how your ads impact perception of your product or brand, enabling you to adjust and optimize your campaigns.
  3. Demystifies Your Audience
    With brand lift, you can learn what your audience considers most important about your brand, and leverage that information to optimize messaging.
  4. Retarget and Reach New Audiences
    The insights from brand lift can be leveraged to create retargeting pools based on consumer responses, and build lookalike audience.
  5. Inform Your Future Campaigns
    Brand lift lets you know what your audience truly wants, information that can be used to optimize future campaigns and achieve your marketing objectives.

Measuring the Entire User Journey With Brand Lift

Brand lift studies are useful for measuring the entire user journey, from upper funnel, to mid and lower funnel. Measuring the effectiveness of touch points through the customer journey is key to helping you paint a complete picture of the buying process, and to uncover ways that the process can be improved or streamlined. 

If using brand lift to measure the upper funnel, you might craft the study around questions that ask whether a user recalls seeing an ad for the brand in question in the last 14 days, or you may ask them what brand they associate most with. 

For the mid to lower funnel, a brand lift study can ask more granular questions. For example, you could ask how the user would describe their overall opinion of the brand, whether they would recommend the brand to a friend, or how likely they are to make a purchase form that brand.

Brand Lift Study FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about brand lift studies, and how to use them. 

Brand lift studies are used to measure the impact of a digital advertising campaign for a brand. They are typically used for measuring changes in consumer perceptions of a brand after seeing an upper funnel campaign, but they’re also effective when it comes to mid- to lower funnel campaigns, for measuring consideration or purchase intent. 

A brand lift study measures the impact of a digital advertising campaign across all programmatic channels used. It provides insight into the consumer sentiment and brand affinity of people who have been exposed to the campaign. There are different ways that brand lift studies can be run, but they usually leverage a survey that uses a methodology to gather feedback from consumers in the real world.

Running a brand lift study helps marketers to uncover how ad campaigns impact the consumer perceptions of a product or brand. They are worth running because they enable marketers to adjust and optimize their campaigns, to achieve the best possible results.

It’s Time to Use Brand Lift Tactics 

Brand lift studies and interactive ads are valuable tactics for informing your digital strategy. They can prove not just the effectiveness of a campaign, but they can provide preemptive insights into what a target audience actually wants. 

These insights are an essential part of competing in today’s media landscape because they go beyond basic measurements like impressions and views to evaluate digital’s contributions with more complex performance metrics. By learning what a brand or product’s audience has to say, you can better align your media plan with a brand’s message.

Watch our webinar to learn more about how you can leverage brand lift studies in your digital strategy, watch our webinar.

Carly Foy
Carly Foy

Director of Sales, North America


With 8+ years in the industry, Carly has successfully partnered with marketing, partnerships, and data science teams to ensure high-performance campaigns. She leads a team of Account Executives, assisting in strategy and execution across key accounts.