Pulling in new customers while improving the overall brand image is a persistent challenge for marketers. With a fragmented media landscape and the distractions of multi-screening, it’s difficult to adjust to the desires of consumers with targeted messaging. Marketers confronted with this challenge often turn to the “throw it at the wall to see if it sticks” approach, instead of a more thoughtfully planned strategy.
Part of this strategy should still include TV advertising campaigns, which continues to justify itself as a medium that can both sell product and give brand reputations a boost. TV remains relevant even in these fragmented times, and smart marketers are strategically turning to TV to achieve multiple goals and metrics.
Defining “Brand Lift”
For the context of this topic, “brand lift” is a positive increase in how audiences view a company and how often they think about it – a measure of “stickiness.” The need for this lift is important for many brands, especially housewares makers and other companies that produce broad lines of interconnected products. Marketers at these firms need assurances that campaigns are not only boosting sales of “Product XYZ” but also giving the audiences positive feelings about the brand itself and its other products. As marketers expand their focus and metrics behind increasing sales for just one product, they can better gauge the true ROI and impacts of a campaign. And armed with this information they can then dynamically adjust future campaign creatives and placements in order to better increase brand lift metrics.
Increased Usage of the Brand Lift Metric
While traditionally used within TV, “brand lift” is now making inroads into the digital video environment. Nielsen recently launched a Digital Brand Effect that measures “brand lift by placement metrics” that according to the company offers granular reporting on ad placement as it relates to site performance. Aleck Schleider wrote in Getting Back to Basics: Why Brand Lift Measurement Will Never Go Out of Fashion that:
In today’s market, getting a consumer to buy something is not easy, but in most cases it will always start with raising awareness for a product, which — eventually through frequency and messaging — drives intent.
He’s raising the point that brand awareness should be a primary goal is it becomes the later driver for purchasing.
Marketers should adjust their TV creative to include overall branding content, where the messaging discusses the merits/benefits/exclusivity/integrity of the brand as well as product benefits. Especially for marketers selling a broad range of products, they should not focus solely on one line without also discussing the core brand proposition.
The challenge is the metric is tied to the audience’s feelings and perceptions. It also measures intentions and sentiments, for example how likely would the customer be to recommend the product to others, and how does that affect the broader brand and direct sales. TV comes into play here because it’s the ideal medium for moving past single-product marketing and generating an overall brand lift. Marketers are always tasked with impacting sales via all channels, and TV provides a way to improve across these channels through targeted content and creative branding.
TV-centric campaigns with strong and impactful creative and the right media mix can have a long reach. They can not only impact advertised products but also generate interest in products that are currently not showcased in any creative or media campaigns and rely solely on brand-focused efforts.
In essence, consumers are responding to a creative for a single product being tagged to specific retailers. But, they are engaging with a marketer across all products at all tagged retailers.George Leon, Senior Vice President of Media and Account Management at Hawthorne Direct
This phenomenon underscores the need for great creative and messaging that always presents the brand in a dynamic and trustworthy fashion. Marketers should explore A/B testing with product-centric creative compared with a broader branding push and then compare results accordingly.
Real-World Brand Lift Example
Consider a hardware product line launched at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, and Menards. For the measurement of the campaign on retail sales, let’s assume it had an equivalent 8:1 media efficiency ratio (MER) and the products in the campaign had more than 350 units per Target Ratings Point. Also, the brand sales lift for the products not featured in the creative went up by an extra 200+ units per TRP. For context, the TRP is defined as 1 percent of the targeted audience (not the total audience) that is reached by an advertisement, and is a metric that helps us to understand the true impact of TV advertising. In the example, there’s a boost in non-advertised products that is typical of well-executed TV campaigns.
As marketers continue to plan out their 2017 media strategies, they should not overlook TV campaigns. While digital video channels are of course important for the mobile-based consumer, strategic TV ads with the right media mix and frequency can drive in sales and give the brand itself a beneficial lift.