The simple tweak that unlocks brand lift, media impact and more

Brand lift is a strong way of gauging brand equity, but is threatened by decay which sets in as soon as 48 hours after exposure. Frequency can help battle this. A low frequency cap can stifle campaign metrics. Capping a campaign at 1 to 2 impressions per week in Google Adwords means you’re bidding on a highly constrained inventory pool, making for a more crowded, intense auction. Capping at 3 impressions per week effectively triples the size of the pool of impressions you can access, making for a less intense auction and lower eCPMs. Our research shows that setting a higher weekly cap can improve Google Brand Lift by 50% or more and ensures slower decay.

Most marketers shoot for success on two fronts: driving sales and building brand equity, which powers long term growth.

One way to get a sense of equity is by gauging brand lift, which is seen as defining the relationship real humans have with a brand they encounter. It’s about perception and awareness - two things we can rely on in the otherwise ever-shifting world of digital. 

Needless to say, these same advertisers are looking for the best brand lift for the lowest possible eCPM - and our studies show frequency is one simple way to unlock that ratio.

The frequency factor 

When it comes to online video, brand campaigns with even with the sharpest copy and the most beautiful creative can live or die by their approach to frequency. Determining how much exposure you’re getting is key to making a message stick.

The perils of a campaign misfiring are clear. In his book How Brands Grow, marketing visionary Byron Sharp delivered a stark warning to advertisers by proving brand metrics begin to decay as soon as 72 hours following exposure1 - something our research has borne out in as little as a 48 hour timeframe. Modern humans have a lot going on: get frequency wrong and they’ll forget you in three days or less.

Sharp’s philosophy states it’s never been more important to be ‘always on’ - but right now low frequency capping is stunting many advertisers’ campaign metrics, just when we need to keep nudging our audience.1

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Why increasing frequency optimizes media efficiency 

Setting a low frequency cap can stifle campaign metrics, and is often a consequence of thinking about frequency in the context of TV planning, as opposed to the dynamics of an online auction.

Aggressively frequency capping a campaign at 1 to 2 impressions per week in Google Adwords means you’re bidding on a highly constrained inventory pool, with other advertisers also competing to reach the same small group of users.

In other words, it makes for a more crowded, intense auction. The solution is simple: capping at 3 impressions per week effectively triples the size of the pool of impressions you can access, making for a less intense auction and lower eCPMs. An increase in frequency means higher campaign weight and cut-through. It also reduces cost by up to 24%.2 It’s about spending smarter money, not more money.

It’s all about the Lift 

One way to get a finger on the pulse of how a campaign has impacted your brand equity is through methodologies like YouTube’s Brand Lift surveys. In the end, building good brand metrics and fighting decay is key: our research shows that setting a higher weekly cap can improve Google Brand Lift by 50% or more and ensures slower decay. Top brands including Mars, Sky and Trivago have seen improvements in brand metrics with this approach.

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Our studies show that if weekly frequency is increased to 2 times, Brand Lift metrics roughly double. Setting a frequency cap of more than 3 weekly impressions, amplifies results even more. If you’re also focused on unique reach, you can then then shift as little as 5 percent incremental budget to Bumpers to get access to a larger pool of impressions and improve your overall unique reach.

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Congratulations: you’re now maintaining budget, optimizing frequency - and making it look easy.

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