Advertising Research

Advertising Effectiveness TestingAdvertising Research

Advertising Research allows you to assess an ad’s ability to create awareness, generate leads, and increase conversion.

Why You Should Do ItWhy You Should Do It

There are two main objectives that will influence why you should do this type of research and how it should be designed. These are:

  1. To select which ad concept should go to market. Advertising research is used to test different creative and copy concepts by pinpointing weak elements within the concepts and supplying insights to improve performance. Testing during this phase can provide a solid framework for the creative/design team, thus allowing them to create effective ads. It also allows clients to find creative elements and content that may appeal to different segments. The focus is often on concept testing before moving on to production.
    However, clients may only need to select the most effective ad among several options already produced. Sometimes there is only one ad concept produced and results are often used to validate the decision to use it.
  2. To measure advertising impact on brand awareness, attitudes, and usage. This type of research uses a pre- and post-test design which measures market metrics before the ad is launched and after it has been in the market for a period of time.
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The ApproachThe Approach

Advertising Concept Selection

Advertising testing for ad selection is often done with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research.

Often, qualitative research is used to gain deeper insights into the strengths and weaknesses of advertising creative concepts in development. The client or advertising agency creative team then goes to work by applying the results to create additional versions of the ad for further testing. Ideally, if time and budget allow, this should be done in an iterative process to fine-tune the advertising concepts.

Overall, advertising effectiveness testing before production can help to save time and money by guiding the creative team to develop better ads before incurring large production costs.

In addition, if several ad prototypes are produced, we use quantitative research to support the decision to determine which ad should go to final production.

Advertising Impact with Pre- and Post-Testing

Pre- and post-advertising testing is based on quantitative research. However, at times, qualitative research is used before or after the quantitative measurement to understand why the advertising may be effective or ineffective. This is done mostly for validation purposes. If the ad performs poorly, the client may decide not to launch it and go back to the drawing board.

Quantitative advertising effectiveness testing is conducted with the help of survey methodology. However, the survey design will vary based on the analytical plan selected (see this section below).

Qualitative research data collection may include:

  • Focus groups (online or in-person).
  • In-depth interviews (online, by phone, or in-person).
  • Creative exercises as part of ethnographic research, diaries, bulletin boards, etc.
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Target Audience RecruitmentTarget Audience Recruitment

Relevant Insights can recruit B2C and B2B qualified participants through our sample provider partners for both qualitative and quantitative research.

We determine the sample parameters in discussions with your team and assist with developing screeners. We also manage participant incentives.

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In direct collaboration with your team, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Recommend the data collection mode depending on sample parameters and the industry in which your organization operates. Surveys can be conducted online, by phone, by mail or with a hybrid approach.
  2. Develop survey questions and metrics to support an analytical plan that meets the project’s business and research objectives.
  3. Discuss recommendations for sample size and sample sources. Sample size requirements will depend on the product category, target audience and incidence rates, among other factors.
  4. Program, test, and host the survey. In addition to testing the programmed survey for errors before its launch, a “soft-launch” survey is sent to a small sample to detect any potential issues with actual participants before its distribution to a large sample.
  5. Monitor the field and provide daily reports on its progress, along with any issues that may arise.

If qualitative research is required, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Recommend the most appropriate qualitative research data collection method for the target sample.
  2. Develop discussion guides.
  3. Moderate focus groups, in-depth interviews, and creative exercises.
  4. Rent facilities or online platforms.
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Analytical PlanAnalytical Plan

The analytical plan will reflect the selected study design and objectives, creative materials available for testing, time, and budget constraints.

Quantitative advertising testing can be designed in different ways:

  • Monadic Concept Testing – Only one advertising concept is presented.
  • Sequential Concept Testing – Several advertising concepts are presented sequentially in random order or in a pre-determined order.
  • Pairwise Comparisons – Two advertising concepts are presented simultaneously.
  • MaxDiff Analysis – Multiple advertising concepts are presented simultaneously (appropriate for certain media only).
  • Conjoint Analysis – Multiple configurations of advertising messages that can be included in the ads are presented simultaneously.

Results from qualitative research are analyzed thematically based on the discussion guide and data collected via qualitative research methods (e.g., focus groups, in-depth interviews, projective techniques, etc.).

The resulting metrics from either qualitative or quantitative advertising testing will depend on the selected study design and may include measurements of:

  • Advertising appeal and relevance.
  • Impact on attention and memory.
  • Comprehension and interpretation.
  • Clarity of message.
  • Likes and dislikes.
  • Impact on likelihood to purchase.
  • Impact on brand perceptions.
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Relevant Insights can provide different levels of reporting based on budget and time constraints including:

  1. Raw data only.
  2. Simulators (for Conjoint Analysis and MaxDiff studies).
  3. Cross-tabulated tables by key variables.
  4. A short-written summary report with key findings.
  5. A full, detailed report with analysis, charts, tables, quotes, and graphics in an appealing format.
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Typical Project DurationTypical Project Duration

Three to six weeks for qualitative research or quantitative research. If both types of research are necessary, the typical duration could take a total of six to twelve weeks.

Factors that can affect project duration include:

  • The incidence rate of the target sample: The lower the incidence rate, the longer we need to stay in the field to gather the required data.
  • Client team responsiveness: A delayed response to requests for feedback at different steps of the project will stall a project and affect the delivery date.
  • Scope of qualitative research: The number of advertising concepts tested and the number of test iterations.
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The cost will vary depending on:

  1. Data collection method (online, phone, mail).
  2. The analytical plan selected.
  3. Sample specifications and sample size.
  4. Reporting requirements.
  5. The number of test iterations.
  6. Whether pre- and post-tests are included.
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