Online advertising testing enables businesses, organisations of all sizes to quickly identify and correct potential advertising issues before the final ‘sign-off’ / decision is made!
Online advertising testing, with a sample of your target audience, improves the accuracy, effectiveness and ROI of your campaign.
It does not have to be costly or time consuming and can helps answer some of these common and reoccurring questions:
- Is the right message getting across to the right audience?
- Do they understand what we are communicating?
- Will it create ongoing recall?
- Does it push consumers’ purchase buttons?
Your questions may centre around a particular advertising campaign, and require you to demonstrate a clear understanding of what the creative will achieve. If it doesn’t work, then it is simply a waste of money and you need to kill it before it drains the budget. If you could narrow down the margin of error through simple and fast online ad testing you can be confident that your (or your client’s) investment is being well spent.
The decision to pre-test your advertising needs to be weighed up against the opportunities lost by not investing in online consumer co-creation and copy validation and the size of the proposed campaign budget.
For example, if you are a small local trading business there’s a pretty good chance you’ll already be well-informed about local consumer sentiment, and you’d be able to readily make use of close customer contact to understand how your audience wants to be informed, educated and kept up to date. But as soon as you step into a larger online marketplace its just not humanly possible to accurately predict the response of a large target audience by just using your ‘gut feeling’ alone – if it was, every campaign would be a success, and this is certainly not the case. If you are committing to a large advertising investment the advantages of online pre-testing far outweigh the small investment in time and money to take out the unpredictability and guesswork.
Online advertising testing and refinement may be exactly what you need to drastically improve the outcome of your advertising campaign. Online advertising research makes use of qualitative and quantitative data obtained from responses to the advertising message. The types of methods which are available include:
- online instant communities – Great for co-creation and ideation!
- consumer experience diaries – understand how often consumer are exposed to your brand.
- live online focus groups & interviews – immediate feedback on ads and copy content.
- short period discussion boards – testing of early stage advertising and concepts.
- online surveys – good old reliable but should be used after you have verified using some of the above!
You can utilise these new sophisticated tools specifically designed to capture actionable insights from a target audience in response to your proposed message or creative.
People who participate in online advertising research and testing are asked to review commercials, imagery, ideas, messages, with their immediate reactions captured. This occurs in either video or text based groups, text discussions, journals and surveys. This data is then immediately available and used to determine if the campaign messages need to be altered, thrown out or kept as they are. It is not uncommon that very early on in the testing process new information comes to light, which is then used to evolve the key messages into something which delivers an effective and targeted piece of communication.
The practical reason behind pretesting finished and unfinished ad creative is to ensure that it is more effectual in helping an advertiser get it right before the investment gets to a point where making a correction causes an unexpected budget blowout!
The key message here is: …don’t get caught in the excitement of the creative cycle without considering how the message will be received by the audience and how it will be verified before pushing it out on the market.