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A Need to Redefine Brand Lift

According to a recent survey published by eMarketer, four in five North American brand marketers considered brand lift to be the most important metric for evaluating the success of their online branding efforts.  But is brand lift the right metric at all?  Vizu which partnered with DIGIDAY on the survey defines brand lift as the following:

Brand Lift is defined as the percentage increase in the primary marketing objective of a brand advertising campaign

But does that definition correlate to digital correctly?  Should it?  Marketers consider it to be the one worthy metric.  Given its pure definition however, brand lift would or could always be loosely defined in the digital age  as a percentage increase in followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook, if it’s part of the marketing objective.  In digital we can’t construe brand lift as the number of eyeballs, the number of likes or the numbers followers without any type of sales or action or in fact, a long term measurable return on those efforts.

The problem though is that marketers might be still associating a hollow metric (one of many in digital) to brand lift.

Consider this quote from eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher:

“Digital’s legacy of direct-response metrics has caused many to fall back on measures that drove the first wave of online advertising—clickthrough rate and pageview.”

She’s right.  A pageview and a clickthrough, though they can be construed as a positive, or as “effective” digital branding, can sometimes mean absolutely nothing.  Same with Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and traditional blogs.  Brand lift metrics in the digital age are, in my estimation,”one off’s. ” Indeed, marketers must break old habits of using single measures of success.

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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