Advertising Research

Advertising Research

How do you know if your advertising is successful?

Successful advertising is an effective advertisement that has been marketed to the targeted audience and has generated a response. If you’ve demonstrated a positive response to your advertisement, the ad has been successful. In order to effectively determine if your advertisement has been successful, you’ll want to assess the following: -Did you generate a response? -Was there a conversion of interested leads to paying customers? -What is your total return on investment? A successful advertisement can be determined by these statistics.

When do you conduct research on advertising campaign?

Advertising research can be conducted at different stages depending on various circumstances. Most brands prefer to conduct research at the development stage (pre-testing) as well as after the advert has been circulated (post-ad testing) over a few channels.

Pre-Ad Testing

Back in 2016, a company decided to run a customer-driven advertising initiative where they gathered clips of their most loyal customers using their product and praising it. Sounds great! Except the product was alcohol, and their most loyal clients were all captured after they had used enough of the product they couldn’t even speak right. After spending a few millions in TV airtime, we were brought in to help understand why the brand revenue was nosediving. Turns out the advert alienated moderate drinkers (the majority) and painted the brand as a low-class toxic product that could derail your life. While the spoken words praised the brand, the unspoken imagery of drunks babbling did not. This disaster could have been avoided with a pre-test.

Advertising pre-test is done by showing the advert to a small group of participants who fit your target customer profile BEFORE the advert is aired to the public. The aim is to understand how they see the advert and evaluate whether it influences them enough to do what you want them to do. Some of the key questions answered include:

Are they getting the key message you want them to get?

Are they moved in the direction you want? Eg Would they respond to the call-to-action and, say, buy the product.

Would they find it more memorable and do they like it more or less after seeing the advert?

Are there any other non-verbal messages that they are getting from the advert? (Like in the example above where the visual sent a stronger negative message than the intended positive audio.)

In digital marketing, practitioners prefer to test adverts by running different ad copies in a small way and then just boosting the ad with the highest conversions. This is known as A/B Testing or Copy Testing the mistakes of which subject for another conversation.

Post-ad Testing

Once the advertisement is up and running, most marketing and brand execs want to know if they are getting a return on their investments and they will conduct additional research either while the ad runs and /or after the campaign is over. At this time there is less focus on the message reception and more on the conversions achieved using KPIs.

Advertising Research Metrics.

Advertising research focuses exclusively on the human component. As a result, most KPIs used in advertising research are human centric and revolve around the impact of advertising as felt by the target customers.

Messaging: Even in cases where copy testing was done for the message, there is always the possibility that something was missed or that an opportunity was under-utilized among other things. Understanding what message is derived from an advert after consumers have had time with it will help you know if there are any external factors that may affect the message or its reception. Some marketers like to use memorable and funny catch phrases which tend to become part of everyday conversation. The key question they often have to answer is, how much of the ad-popularity actually translates into purchases?

Brand Health: While sales are important, some industries (Eg. The car market) don’t have immediate measurable conversions on advertising, so they focus on promoting and measuring brand health instead.

Advertising Channel: Competent marketing executives will always know which channels are best to run their ads. However, if the campaign is being run on several channels, its sometimes procedure to check among other things, where your customers are seeing your ad. Especially so for new brands, this knowledge is required to allocate the most budget where the reach is greatest.

Other Advertising KPIs

There are several different ad metrics used as KPIs depending on product or industry. The most common ones include:

Revenue/Sales/Bottomline: How many more sales have you made since running the advert.

ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): For every dollar spent on advertising, how much sales/margin are you getting in return.

Conversion: Not all ads are about sales, some are about brand awareness and positioning. Conversion as a metric is just interested in the number of people taking the action promoted through the ad. Eg How many hotel guests are downloading the app or using it to make reservations. How many clients are adopting the app as a channel for banking as opposed to traditional branch walk-ins.

Cost per Lead (CPL): This metric is mostly used in the digital marketing space where marketers look at how much of the ad spend is used to generate one lead.

There are several other metrics used with similar definition to the above but varied to cater for different advertising channels. These include:

Cost Per Acquisition, Cost Per Conversion, and Cost Per Action (CPA/CPC). Total cost divided by the number of acquisitions/conversions/actions.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): The cost of acquiring one customer. Divide the total ad spend by the number of additional new clients gained over the same period.

Click through rate (CTR). This is a digital marketing metric where you determine how many times your ad was clicked versus how many times it was shown.

Earning per Click (EPC). How much you make per click. Not all clicks result in purchases so this metric is derived from total income divided by the number of click actions in the campaign.

Bounce rate. How many of the people who answer your CTA leave without buying anything. This metric helps you measure the quality of your traffic targeting.

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