Breaking Down the #1 Barrier to Brand Building Online

As I’ve shared in the past, brands are starting to embrace digital in a big way, but there still remains one big hurdle to digital becoming the medium of choice for brands: measurement. This unsexy topic doesn’t win any awards at Cannes, but it is top of mind for marketers and we hear about it from our partners all the time. In fact, according a survey we conducted last year, only about half of marketers consider their current brand measurement metrics effective.

Our ultimate goal continues to be offering measurement for brands that is as meaningful as the click has become for performance-driven marketers. I’m incredibly excited to see this start to come to fruition across the industry. Today at the Digital Media Summit, I focused on one of our efforts I’m particularly excited about, Brand Lift.

Brand Lift
We started testing Brand Lift earlier this year as a way for marketers to measure their video and display campaigns against objectives like brand awareness and ad recall - in near-real time at significant scale. We’re gradually rolling out this service across both YouTube and the Google Display Network. We’ve also improved Brand Lift: advertisers can now measure whether their ads drive greater interest in their brands, as indicated by increases in organic, brand-related searches on Google. Here are two examples of how brands have deployed Brand Lift in their campaigns:

eHealth, the country’s largest health insurance marketplace, has traditionally been a direct response oriented advertiser, but wanted to try a brand-building display campaign. Through Brand Lift, they uncovered a 45% increase in branded searches and a 33% lift in all health insurance-related search terms for consumers who saw the eHealth display campaign. Rather than having to wait until the campaign had completed to find out what drove results, eHealth was able to find out mid-flight, and as a result, expanded their display campaign.

Oscar Mayer
Oscar Mayer recently pushed the envelope from traditional CPG creative and debuted this funny, sophisticated ad to promote their bacon. Brand Lift showed that this ad generated a 19% lift in brand awareness (notable because this brand is already well known) and 112% lift in ad recall among those who saw the ad. Perhaps most amazing, searches for their brand increased more than 1000% and searches for their product went up 2000%. Not only did the data validate their bold and risky creative direction, but it also provided some invaluable insights. For instance, lift in ad recall for women was twice as high as for men. And, lift in brand awareness was more than ten times higher for 45-54 year olds than it was for 55-64 year olds. Oscar Mayer was able to adjust their audience targeting and media strategy based on these insights in real time, while the campaign was still running.

The Road Ahead
Having spent my career in digital, working with brands, I’ve seen the barriers to digital branding fall down, one by one. From audience scale and targeting, to creative freedom and flexibility, and now, the ability to measure and act on audience behaviors and campaign performance in near real-time - the needs of brands can finally be fully realized online.

-- posted by Neal Mohan, VP, Display Advertising