Experts in the Media

Lynda Schenk – Smart Company

Founder, Purple Giraffe Marketing Consultancy

Is your ad actually working? Here’s how you can track brand recognition.

In the world of advertising, brand recognition can mean the difference between your business being front of mind for your audience, or just another fish in the sea.

On average, 82% of investors and 59% of consumers say that brand recognition is an important factor influencing their purchasing decisions. But with an oversaturation of digital advertising in the contemporary mediascape, it’s become increasingly difficult to determine the impact of an ad on brand recognition.

The average consumer saw 2000 advertisements in their day-to-day life 40 years ago, whereas in 2021 it was between 6000 to 10,000 brand ads every single day. Meanwhile, human attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to only eight seconds today, according to a recent Microsoft study. That’s one second less than the attention span of a goldfish! No wonder it’s hard to escape the ocean of advertisements vying for consumer attention.

So how many times does an ad need to be seen to create brand recognition?

It takes between five to seven ad views to begin generating brand awareness, according to Tailor Brands’ 2021 Branding Statistics.  Measuring specific results of your campaign’s impact is the best way to ensure your business is effectively generating brand awareness. And it gives your business the insight necessary to optimise future campaigns.

There are two key metrics that can give an indication of how effectively your ad may be generating brand recognition: impressions and ad recall lift.

How to use impressions to track brand recognition

An impression is the number of times your content appears on a singular user’s screen. Impressions can be measured across most digital marketing formats, including social media advertisements, Google Ads, and email direct marketing (EDM).

To optimise your ads for impressions, focus on creating campaigns with ‘reach’, ‘brand awareness’, or ‘video views’ objectives. These are common categories offered by online advertising platforms.

You should also ensure your ads showcase strong brand assets such as your logo, brand colours, slogan, and related audio to ensure a golden thread of branding.

The likelihood of brand recognition via this metric can be estimated by comparing reach (which is the number of individual screens the ad appears on) with impressions, thus determining whether the ad has been seen by the same people multiple times.

How to use ad recall lift to track brand recognition

The effectiveness of your advertisement on brand recognition can also be tracked via the ad recall metric. Where impressions can measure delivery of your ad to consumers’ screens, ad recall lift is an indication of how many people absorb your advertisement’s content.

Ad recall has traditionally been measured via surveys questioning consumers about their memory of specific ads. Today, digital advertising platforms offer their own ad recall measurement techniques.

In Meta, the estimated ad recall lift metric is available for targeting options such as post engagement, video views, and brand awareness. It measures how many people are likely to remember your advertisement within two days of seeing it.

Meta shows advertisements based on machine learning, tracking behaviour and ongoing polling of consumers. The results of a full ad recall survey are projected from this data for an approximate ad recall metric, estimating the effectiveness of your ad on creating brand recognition.

etting started

The first step to generating brand recognition is to ensure your ads are attention-grabbing and engaging so that they’re memorable.

Then measure, optimise, repeat, measure, optimise, repeat.  Slow and steady wins the race.