July 15, 2016

Premium Publishers Drive Much Higher Brand Lift, Particularly Mid-Funnel


Vice President, Marketing & Insights

comScore recently conducted research examining the branding effectiveness of digital display and video ads appearing on Digital Content Next (DCN) member sites compared to non-member sites. DCN is a consortium of digital publishers whose brands have a direct relationship with the consumer and therefore are more likely to be household names and are generally considered to be “premium publishers.”

One of the key findings from the research demonstrated that ads appearing on DCN premium publishers were significantly more effective in driving brand lift. While some of this effect was due to higher ad viewability on premium sites, the more significant driver was the halo effect of appearing on these sites.
The study began by comparing the brand lift effectiveness of ads delivered on these sites according to the metric brand lift at one impression, which is a calculation of impressions-weighted brand lift. Across a number of effectiveness metrics, ads appearing on DCN sites outperformed those on non-DCN sites by 67%, with an average brand lift of 0.89 vs. 0.53.
Furthermore, the research examined brand lift effectiveness for the DCN and non-DCN publisher sets across different phases of the marketing funnel:

The results showed that the average brand lift for ads on DCN premium publisher sites was higher on a statistically significant basis across all three phases of the funnel. DCN premium publishers performed 32% better on top-funnel metrics and 9% better on bottom-funnel metrics. But what stands out the most is that ads on DCN premium publishers were more than 3x as effective in the mid-funnel.

This outsized mid-funnel performance is of particular significance for the large consumer brands that drive the majority of digital ad spending. These brands will tend to have already established high brand awareness and therefore prefer to focus more on influencing how consumers feel about the brand so that they are more likely to purchase that brand when they are in the market to do so. These data suggest that premium publishers may do a particularly effective job at moving the needle at this key phase of the marketing funnel.

To read the full Digital Content Next (DCN) research study, you can access it here.