How to measure brand uplift delivered by display advertising

Taylor Anderson

Content Editor

The issue

Programmatic display is a great prospecting and retargeting channel. It allows us to reach specific audiences with our products and services, and nudge them towards high-conversion channels – like search – to make their purchase.

Attribution models which are set up to measure instances where a customer converts after being exposed to a display ad (also known as a view-through conversion) are useful in showing the value our display ads drive. But how do we prove that our investment in display ads translates into brand uplift?

The solution

To measure uplift delivered by a campaign, we need to set up an A/B test where we isolate a select audience, splitting them 50:50 into two groups:

Group 1: Exposure Group – who see our display ads
Group 2: Control Group – who aren’t exposed to our display ads (but are within the same audience as the Exposure Group)

By isolating the groups in this way, we can understand the difference in behaviour between those who have been exposed to our display ads and those who haven’t. 

We run the test until both groups have received enough impression and click volume to make the test statistically accurate, then analyse the view-through conversion rates of both groups. 

If the conversion rate of the Exposure Group is higher than that of the Control Group, this demonstrates our display ads are driving value in the form of brand uplift.

The elephant in the room? Yes, you’re effectively spending budget on sending out blank ads. But consider the value this test delivers in the form of a deeper understanding of your marketing channels; this is a valuable experiment! There’s also a potential deal-sweetener...

Case study: Heathrow Express

We recently ran this test for Heathrow Express.

Rather than showing blank ads to the Control Group, we ran display ads for a charity of their choice. Since the only difference between each group was whether or not they’d been exposed to Heathrow Express display ads, showing the Control Group ads for a charity instead was a more philanthropic way of running the same experiment.

We compared results for the two groups and found the view-through conversion rate for the Exposure Group was 40% higher than it was for the Control Group.

Therefore, we can confirm that users who are shown a Heathrow Express display ad are 40% more likely to purchase; a great statistic for demonstrating the value display advertising is driving for their brand.

If you have any questions about display advertising and how to deliver brand uplift for your business, please drop us a line.

Continue reading


Are you ready to make a digital step-change?

We believe that moving too slowly in digital is the biggest risk your business faces. If you are ready to move faster in digital, we are here to help.

Get In touch