The marketing industry excels at creating buzz words. We could claim that it’s within the job description of most people working in the marketing field. Amongst hundreds of acronyms such as CPM, CPC, CAC, LTV, MAU, DAU, terms such as brand lift and conversion lift are often used interchangeably, where what each stands for is often confused.
We decided to write this article and put an end to confusion by answering the following questions:
We hope that by providing some education and clarification around these topics, we can help marketers interpret results better and become better marketers.
Lift is a term used to describe the incremental results gained from advertising activities. Lift is synonymous with incrementality and is often used interchangeably.
To calculate lift and incrementality one would use the same formula:
Sales Amount - Baseline Amount = Lift
If we want to go into semantics - incrementality looks to capture the additional value as generated by specific advertising activities, while Lift looks to capture the value from advertising activities as a whole.
The term lift is most commonly used in Media Mix Models to describe the expected increase in sales numbers as a result of changes made to the advertising activities.
Conversion lift is a term coined by digital ad platforms, to explain to advertisers a method of incremental impact of advertising activities over trackable conversions (such as installs, leads, or sales).
Conversion lift studies are offered by platforms such as Facebook, Google, and others, who wish to demonstrate to advertisers that the advertising activities over their own platforms are yielding incremental results.
Conversion lift tests are done by creating a split in the advertised to audience by the ad platform, allowing the platform to differentiate between users who will be served campaign ads against the performance of users who will not be served with ads.
The biggest challenge with conversion lift tests were that while running those on a single platform, as offered by the Facebook conversion lift studies - the platform had no knowledge of the ads that neither the test nor the control groups were exposed to across other ad platforms.
The other issue with conversion lift studies, offered by ad platforms, was the inherent bias in the test setup. The ad platform would have a clear incentive to provide results that show lift and as a result - many advertisers would not rely on the results
Brand lift is a term used to describe the incremental impact of advertising activities for those advertisers who are unable to directly track and associate between paid media and conversions.
For example - a consumer sporting goods company selling their products through retailers may want to use brand lift studies to measure the indirect influence of their advertising activities over consumers' brand recognition, as well as sales results.
Brand lift and conversion lift are often confused and interchanged, while each of these terms have completely different meanings.
Brand lift studies are done using surveys. In today’s digital world, ad platforms offering brand lift studies such as Google, Facebook, and others, will identify the users who were exposed to an advertiser campaign activities, creating a control and test group, serving both groups with surveys before, during, or after, a campaign flight dates, to provide the advertiser with statistical data showing the influence of the campaign activity in terms of brand recognition, as well as sales results.
Brand lift studies are extremely convoluted, as those require the ad platform to create a split in the audience based on the ads they did or did not see, while not having any control over the ads users were exposed to via other ad platforms or offline channels
Moreover, there are significant costs to operating an online survey to reach a statistically significant mass of users who provide answers to survey results.
Brand lift studies are typically only done by Advertisers where surveys are practically the only option for them to have any sort of measurement.
In today’s digital advertising world, where tracking, while imperfect, is possible, most advertisers opt for conversion lift where possible rather than brand lift studies.
Conversion lift and Brand lift are two sides of the same coin. Both refer to the measurement of the impact of advertising activities over marketing KPIs, but while conversion lift measurement refers to specific KPIs such as sales - Brand lift refers to more qualitative KPIs such as brand recognition.
Both conversion lift and brand lift are terms describing incrementality measurement. Incrementality measurement is a broader term describing what is the valueof the advertising activities over any measurable marketing KPI.
Brand lift and conversion lift studies are important tools that marketers can use to improve their marketing strategy by setting the right media mix, allocating budgets to improve the marketing efficiencies and to improve sales numbers and sales results.
INCRMNTAL is an incrementality measurement platform allowing marketers to measure the incremental value across their marketing activities. The platform is an unbiased software utilizing causal data science to provide advertisers with measurement against the marketing KPIs that are important for them to measure. The platform requires no user-level data to provide measurements, and allows marketers to measure activities without having to perform any experiments.