Brand awareness KPIs should be on every marketer’s agenda in 2020. Why? Brand awareness is the number one objective for 89% of companies, however, only 48% of those measure metrics related to branding. Brand awareness is a top of the mind concern because most consumers will buy from one of the top three brands that appear in their consideration set at the moment of purchasing. However, how exactly do you define brand awareness, how do you measure it and what other metrics should you take into consideration afterward?

As known, there are many ways to introduce consumers to your brand using advertising platforms like the DSP platform. Basically, DSP is a machine for running brand-awareness campaigns. The main advantage is that programmatic advertising features the global reach, meaning that broad geo coverage and targeting accuracy will contribute to great brand awareness. Apart from this, the analytics of the demand-side platform can provide you with a robust KPI dashboard. Using statistics that DSP accumulates you can pinpoint the most important KPI for an advertising campaign.  

KPI advertising: What metrics matter?

What is KPI in advertising in general? Those are essential metrics that provide insights regarding how the ad campaign is performing. The typical DSP advertising platform has in-built analytics that generates reports across numerous metrics in real-time. These include but are not limited to: Impressions, Clicks, CTR. However, the key brand awareness KPI indicator is the number of impressions.

While increasing brand awareness on DSP, you might want to hit additional goals like achieving higher conversions and sales. Thus, before starting an ad campaign on DSP, we recommend studying your targeted audience in order to work better with your objectives. As soon as you discover who is your audience, it’s time to decide how they should interact with your brand.

Example. You are a startup or a new brand that launches a product or service for the first time. You need recognition and awareness. Still, you will be interacting with people for the first time. To address new users, you need to measure KPI advertising metrics that belong to the top of the conversion funnel. If your primary goal is an affinity, you might also focus on interaction with creative such as measuring video completion (if you apply video ad formats) or interaction with a creative. After this, you can measure secondary KPI for an advertising campaign, like e.g., time spent on the website. You can also define the audience segments that actually complete the video to remind them about your product or service in a retargeting campaign, and so on.

KPI for advertising campaign measurement:

advertising campaign measurement KPIs

Tools for Measuring Brand Awareness KPIs

Brand Awareness Campaign Metrics

Impressions. Planning to launch awareness campaigns? That means your campaign success will primarily depend on how many people will see your ad. Thus, if you need to measure brand awareness, your core metric is the number of impressions. On SmartyAds DSP, the dynamics and number of impressions are distributed by days and by hours. Go to the “report” section and find out how your campaign is performing.

Your perfect goal there is to serve the ads to as many targeted users as possible. Note that on DSP impressions are targeted, which means they reach only those users whose cookie data corresponds to the targeting criteria you select (age, geo, language, etc.) It increases the likelihood of conversion and prevents serving ads to people who stay outside of the brand's targeted audience.

Unique users. In order to measure the number of unique users on your website, you will have to employ Google Analytics. If you have a Google Analytics account, you can access stats regarding unique visitors by following the path: Audience, Overview. You will see the overall number of unique users during the period (should be selected) and the number of users who visited your site for the first time. As well you can tie your Google Adwords and Facebook ad campaigns to GA in order to know how many new users each ad campaign brings.

CTR is a click-through rate, it shows the impressions to clicks ratio. It can be calculated according to the following formula: clicks/impressions. On programmatic ad platforms like SmartyAds, you can automatically obtain the CTR rate in the analytics. High CTR will mean that users are actively engaged with your campaigns and find them relevant.

Pro tip: The more impressions your campaign will generate the more unique visitors you will receive on your website so the better your brand awareness KPI metrics will be. On the brand awareness stage, we recommend using awareness-focused advertising formats like display ads, in-stream videos, and Connected TV.

Consideration brand campaign KPIs

Video watching time and completion rate. These metrics are attributed to the consideration of brand campaign KPIs because they provide insights regarding how your users react to your ads. If they actively interact with those or watch the videos to the end (100% completion), this might indicate that users are engaged and have a high purchase intent. To lift your advertising metrics and KPIs at the consideration stage, it is important to track how users interact with your creatives. For this advertisers can apply third-party tracking pixels on DSP platforms like SmartyAds.

brand awareness campaign KPI

Time on site. When your customers are already familiar with your product or service the average time spent on the landing page should increase. At this stage, customers review your offer in detail, compare it with alternatives, and prepare to make a final decision. With Google Analytics you can track the dynamics. Go to the Behavior, Overview to see the average time on page and bounce rate. According to stats two minutes is an average time people spend on site. In the same way, you can track time on page for every taken website page. If the time on the page is too short, it means you need to improve the content and its readability.

Pro tip: Use high KPI display ads, native ad formats, and engaging interactive videos like rewarded and playable in-game formats. They will help you to capture the attention of the users at the consideration stage. Interactive formats like these provide the greatest options in terms of behavioral tracking mechanisms.

Programmatic advertising KPIs for conversion

Clicks. On DSP brand awareness campaign can be also measured in the total number of clicks. Such brand awareness KPI like the number of clicks lets you see how many clicks were generated out of the total number of served impressions during the period. For CPM advertising campaigns this metric shows how many clicks an advertiser managed to generate out of 1000 served impressions. Same way as CTR, it is automatically calculated on a programmatic DSP.

Sales. It is easy-to-use KPI to measure brand awareness on programmatic platforms. If you need to measure such key performance indicators as the number of sales go to Google Analytics. For this, you can configure a sales performance report. After this, you will be able to see total generated revenue, changes in conversion rate, and average order value during the period.

Pro tip: If your previous efforts on raising brand awareness and engagement didn’t go in vain, your target audience will most likely complete the purchase. At this stage, your campaign optimization should encourage this final action, that’s why we highly recommend applying native creatives and launching retargeting campaigns at different mediums.

Key KPI advertising metrics and tactics 


 Key performance indicator (KPI)                                                           


Awareness/Site traffic


To get better recall and recognition, finding new users.


CTR (↑)

Impressions (↑)

Unique users (↑)


Display ads

In-stream videos

Connected TV



Positioning the brand as a thought leader and expert.


Video watching and completion (↑)

Time on site (↑)



Display ads

Native ads 

Rewarded video

Playable ads





Elevating sales and conversions





Native ads 



The last word

Programmatic platforms made it easy to track KPI advertising campaigns in an instant. Demand-side platforms process tremendous amounts of data in and generate custom on-demand reports in real-time. The most important awareness KPIs on DSP is represented by the number of impressions DSP served during the period. When your product or service gains recognition, it is important to track how the overall campaign is performing, how exactly users react to ads, and how many clicks and sales it generates. Select the right KPI for advertising campaigns according to the customer’s journey and apply strategic optimizations to be sure your campaigns always reach their full potential.

Reach and measure your key performance advertising KPI on SmartyAds DSP!

Written by
Irina Kovalenko, CMO of SmartyAds
August 2020