What is a Brand Lift Study and Why You Should Run One?

A brand lift study is a research method that measures the direct impact of your advertising on consumers. It assesses changes in consumer perception and behavior towards your brand. 

Essentially, it tells you if your ads are making a difference.

Are more people aware of your brand? Do they have a positive opinion about it? Are they more likely to buy your products?

Running a brand lift study is essential for several reasons. It provides concrete evidence of your advertising effectiveness. You can see if your marketing dollars are well-spent. It helps you understand what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to optimize future campaigns. Without a brand lift study, you might be wasting resources on ineffective advertising.

Options for Running a Brand Lift Study

When it comes to running a brand lift study, you have several options. Nielsen is one of the most well-known providers. They offer comprehensive studies that measure brand awareness, perception, and intent to purchase. Nielsen’s extensive experience and robust methodologies make them a reliable choice. However, this can also be quite pricey – for exact pricing, you need to contact them directly but the service is likely to cost several thousand dollars.

Facebook also provides brand lift studies. Their service is tailored for social media campaigns. Facebook’s brand lift studies can measure the impact of ads on metrics like brand awareness, ad recall, and message association. This is particularly useful if you’re running campaigns on their platform.

Google offers brand lift studies too, primarily for YouTube and Display Network campaigns. Google’s approach leverages their vast user data to provide insights into ad performance.

Then, there’s an option to run surveys as ads via programmatic advertising. Nexd offers a unique approach to brand lift studies with their innovative survey layout that is mere fraction of the price of Nielsen, for example. This method is engaging and efficient, providing clear and actionable insights. Nexd’s surveys are designed to capture user attention and deliver precise data, making it a compelling option for running a brand lift study. You can choose your own audience targeting on a DSP of your choice and run the survey with your own settings. 

Best Practices for Running a Brand Lift Study via Programmatic Advertising

Running a brand lift study via programmatic advertising can yield significant insights if done correctly. This is something, as far as we are aware, is only available through Nexd. Normally this would require a direct deal with a publisher. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Before starting, determine what you want to measure. Common objectives include brand awareness, ad recall, brand perception, and purchase intent. Clear objectives guide the study and ensure you gather relevant data.
  2. Target the Right Audience: Ensure your ads reach the right people. Use data to define your audience segments based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This targeting precision is crucial for accurate measurement.
  3. Use Engaging Creative: Your ads should be visually appealing and relevant to your target audience. High-quality creative content increases engagement and makes your study more effective.
  4. Implement Proper Timing: Run your brand lift study for an adequate duration. Short-term studies might not capture enough data, while overly long studies can dilute the impact. Typically, a few weeks to a couple of months is ideal.
  5. Optimize Survey Design: The survey should be concise and easy to understand. Avoid overly complex questions that might confuse respondents. Ensure the survey is mobile-friendly, as many users access content on their phones.
  6. Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on your campaign’s performance. If something isn’t working, be ready to adjust. Flexibility is key to optimizing your brand lift study.

Look at examples of ads made with the Survey layout here.

What Else to Keep in Mind?

In addition to best practices, there are other factors to consider when running a brand lift study:

  • Sample Size: Ensure you have a large enough sample size to get statistically significant results. A small sample might lead to inaccurate conclusions.
  • Control Groups: Use control groups to compare exposed and unexposed audiences. This helps isolate the impact of your ads from other external factors.
  • Bias Minimization: Design your study to minimize bias. Randomize the selection of participants and questions to ensure objective results.
  • Data Privacy: Respect user privacy and comply with relevant regulations, such as GDPR. Ensure participants know how their data will be used and stored.

Best Use Case Examples from Running Brand Lift Surveys

Example 1: A Fashion Retailer

A fashion retailer wanted to measure the impact of their new ad campaign on brand awareness and purchase intent. They used Nexd’s survey layout to conduct a brand lift study. The survey was interactive, asking participants about their awareness of the brand and their likelihood to purchase. The results showed a significant increase in both brand awareness and purchase intent among those exposed to the ads. This insight allowed the retailer to refine their future campaigns and allocate budget more effectively.

Example 2: A Beverage Company

A beverage company launched a new product and wanted to gauge consumer perception. They opted for a brand lift study using Nexd’s layout based ad. The study focused on brand recall and message association. Results indicated that the ads were memorable and effectively communicated the product’s unique features. However, it also revealed some areas for improvement in messaging clarity. The company used these insights to tweak their ads and improve overall campaign effectiveness.

Tools for Storing and Managing Collected Data

Storing and managing the data collected from your brand lift study is crucial. Here are some tools and methods to consider:

  • Google Analytics: This tool helps you store and analyze data. It’s great for tracking user interactions and understanding the impact of your campaigns.
  • Excel or Google Sheets: For smaller studies, these tools are perfect for organizing data. They allow you to create charts, graphs, and pivot tables to visualize your results.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: Tools like Salesforce or HubSpot can store and analyze data from your brand lift study. They help you track customer interactions and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Data Warehouses: Solutions like Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery can store large datasets. They provide powerful tools for querying and analyzing data.
  • Survey Platforms: If you’re using Nexd, we provide data storage and analysis features.
  • Data Visualization Tools: Tools like Tableau or Power BI help you create detailed visual reports. They make it easier to understand and present your data.

By using these tools, you can efficiently store, manage, and analyze your brand lift study data. This will enable you to draw meaningful insights and make data-driven decisions for your future marketing campaigns.


Running a brand lift study is a crucial step in understanding and improving your advertising efforts. Whether you choose Nielsen, Facebook, Google, or Nexd, each offers unique benefits and insights. By following best practices and keeping key factors in mind, you can ensure your brand lift study provides valuable and actionable data.

Brand lift studies help you see the impact of your ads, refine your campaigns, and ultimately drive better business results. So, if you’re serious about your brand’s growth, consider integrating a brand lift study into your marketing strategy. With the right approach and tools, you can make informed decisions that enhance your brand’s presence and performance in the market.

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