Deep Dive into Advertising Research

“The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pre-test your product with consumers, and pre-test your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.” – David Ogilvy

Testing your advertising (Advertising Research) enables you to create a solid Advertising Strategy as well as monitor and measure the progress of this strategy which in turn reduces budget and time-related risks.

Advertising Research can be divided into 2 stages; Pre-Test and Post-Test…

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy

Pre Test

Pre Test is when the advertisement is tested before it is aired. This ensures that the advertisement is able to accomplish the goals set out for it, and all necessary corrections are made before the advertisement is launched. During the Pre Test stage, marketers can also develop adverts with the target market.  These are the different types of Advertising Research done during the Pre Test stage

1) Creative Generation: these are co-creation sessions to develop creatives (big idea & stories around the big idea) for your brand that is built on fundamental human needs which are relevant and relatable to your target market. During these sessions, you will uncover answers to questions such as: Will the big idea of my creative resonates with my target market? Does my brand’s story address a need?

2) Creative Preference: After identifying your big idea, it is important to develop a few stories around it and evaluate these stories with your target market in order to uncover answers to questions such as: Which of my creatives is the one more likely to succeed based on key measures? Will my selected creative stand out among the media clutter? Does my creative bring attention to my brand?

3) Creative Check:  Once the most effective creative has been selected, it is important to do a final check of this selected creative to ensure in isolation it is effective (without comparing it to your other creatives); will it stand out among the media clutter and will succeed based on your key measures.

The Pre Test stage saves advertisers resources (time and money), as adverts are at its optimal before they are aired thereby reducing the amount of time needed to un-air and make corrections based on the audience’s acceptance and feedback.

For example, in early 2018, H&M aired a campaign of a child of African descent wearing a sweatshirt that read, coolest monkey in the jungle. A few days later after intense criticism, H&M had to apologize for the ad and un-air it; this costs them their brand reputation, time and money spent on the advert, and time and money to reshoot the advert. A small test of the advert even at the last stage (Creative Check) would have shown that that phrase on a child from African descent was racist.

Post Test

Post Test is when the advertisement is tested after it is aired. At this stage, the advert’s performance is being reviewed could be for benchmarking purposes, to know how long to air the advert for based on its success, to know which advert medium is the most effective, and to see the overall impact of the advert on the Brand. These are the types of Advertising Research done during the Post Test stage

1) Penetration & Understanding: the target market is approached to evaluate whether or not they have seen the advertisement and their understanding of what these advertisements mean.

2) Impact on Brand: the target market is approached to evaluate their awareness of the Brand advertised and how their opinion of the Brand has changed or not based on the adverts.

3) Return on Investment: the amount of money spent on the adverts is evaluated in relation to the success of the advert – whether it be more brand awareness, brand desire or purchase.

At both the Pre and Post Test stages, the ads are measured mainly on the following metrics; Believability, Relevance, Uniqueness, Attention Grabber & Keeper, Likeability, Emotions Evoked, Main Message & Idea, Brand Closeness, Brand Relationship, Effect on Brand Interest & Opinion, Impact on Brand’s KPIs, Engagement and Advocacy.

Testing your advertising (Advertising Research) enables you to create a solid Advertising Strategy as well as monitor and measure the progress of this strategy which in turn reduces budget and time-related risks.

“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.” –  David Ogilvy 

How exactly does an MSME conduct Advertising Research? Stay Tuned!

 

References

Baker, Davis (n.d.). 12 Surely Inspiring David Ogilvy Quotes. Forthea. Retrieved on January 3rd 2020 from https://www.forthea.com/blog/12-surely-inspiring-david-ogilvy-quotes/

Stack, Liam (2018.). H&M Apologizes for ‘Monkey’ Image Featuring Black Child. The New York Times. Retrieved on January 3rd 2020 from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/business/hm-monkey.html