How publishers are becoming strategic advisors

Anders Lithner 2020-09-20

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The more brand lift data a media owner collects, the better advice they are able to give. Now there is evidence that this improved guidance is, in turn, making future campaigns more effective, in effect building a perfect feedback loop.

Each year, thousands of brand lift measurements are carried out using Brand Metrics technology, in many countries, on many publishers’ websites. We are often asked about differences in the size of brand uplift between different types of channels, but now we have found another difference that we find exciting.

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It is not the kind of difference that we typically get asked about. In fact, regular analysis has shown that there is no systematic difference in the levels of brand lift between countries, between broadcaster and publisher websites, or between morning paper websites and evening tabloid websites.

The biggest differences we typically see are between distinctive creative campaigns for strong brands run in relevant contexts, versus creatively average campaigns for indistinct brands with blunt impression level targets and little thought given to the context where the campaign will appear.

But there is another difference we have discovered: the more brand lift measurements a publisher runs, the higher the average brand lift reported.

What does this mean? Does it mean that those doing a lot of measurements learn how to manipulate the data? Not at all. The data is neither collected nor processed by the media owners themselves. It is entirely independent.

In reality, some media owners only measure a few campaigns and tend to focus on their proudest moments; the campaigns they think will score the highest.

On the other hand, media owners that make brand lift a regular ingredient in the way they do business, do not just measure the campaigns they predict will be successful, but measure every campaign they can, high and low.

What this means is that having brand lift data at scale allows publishers to adopt a more evidence-based, consultative sales approach and provide advice to agencies and advertisers on how to apply the learnings from one campaign into the planning for the next one, thereby building stronger brand values.

If you are selling something, in any industry, and you have data that tells you product A will work better for your client than product B, you will naturally recommend product A more often, perhaps even to clients asking for product B.

Media owners that bring brand lift data to the conversations with brands and agencies are ensuring greater relevance. And being more relevant helps them increase sales – to us at Brand Metrics that is a given.

But beyond that, the discipline of measuring campaigns is also promoting better campaigns. It’s like weighing yourself every morning when trying to lose weight.

Indeed, those companies that measure campaigns at scale are seeing their brand lift results deliver 16% above average brand lift results.

Increased brand awareness, brand consideration, preference and increased intent to buy or take action. Those are the real values that media owners deliver to advertisers. Focusing on measuring and reporting such data and applying the learnings turns out to be a great path towards creating future success.

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