Assessing the Advertising Program
Once you’ve executed your advertising program, you may be thinking that you’re done. However, the decision-making process still has one more critical component: assessment. The advertisements that have been so carefully developed and designed need to be evaluated to make sure they are accomplishing their goals and meeting their objectives.
Posttesting evaluates the effectiveness and impact of a campaign either while it is still running or after the campaign has ended. These insights can then help inform future advertising programs. Posttesting can take many different approaches. Several of the most common are:
Aided recall can be measured using copy tests, a tool which helps identify and fix ads which may not connect with the intended audience. One such test is the Starch test, which determines how many people recall seeing the ad in general; if they specifically recall seeing any part of the ad that mentioned the brand or product; if they read any of the ad copy; and if they read more than half the copy. This technique is known as “aided recall” because the participants are given a copy of the ad to help them remember if they had encountered it previously.
As opposed to aided recall, which provides the test group with the ad itself, unaided recall depends solely on memory, not cues. Participants are asked open-ended questions such as “what ads did you see yesterday” or “name all the cell phone manufacturers you can think of” to gauge the effectiveness of the ad being studied.
A type of progress testing, attitude tests determine if the advertising was successful in improving the person’s perception of the product. Generally the attitude is measured by rating it using a scale such as the Likert, Thurstone, Guttman or differential scale.
Inquiry tests involve offering additional information, samples or premiums to ad viewers. For example, issuing rebate coupons that need to be filled out and sent back to the company. The number of generated inquiries corresponds to the most effective advertising campaigns.
Perhaps you are familiar with the term A/B testing. In A/B testing, a single element of an ad is changed to see which of the two ads (Ad A or Ad B) performs better. The experiment is then repeated, testing different elements until the ideal ad has been created. A/B testing is an example of a sales test. Experiments, along with consumer purchase tests, make up the bulk of sales testing techniques. By manipulating an advertising variable (which is now much easier in the digital age) data can be collected and analyzed.
Once there is sufficient data of the ads’ effectiveness, changes can be made to the advertising program. Ads that perform poorly with respect to awareness, cost efficiency or sales may be discontinued. Ads with tepid results may be tweaked so that they get better results, and advertisements that do particularly well may become the basis for entire advertising programs.
For example, the Absolut vodka brand had a measly 2.5 percent market share when the company began running ads based on its bottle’s shape. What started out as an experiment turned into the longest uninterrupted ad campaign in history (25 years), with over 1,500 separate ads—including one designed by Andy Warhol. By the time the company retired the campaign, Absolut’s market share was more than 50 percent.
Advertising used to be relatively static. With the advent of digital marketing, ads can constantly be repurposed, reskinned and reworked. For these changes to be executed effectively, careful assessment is a must. Relying on posttesting data and metrics allows advertising to evolve alongside potential customers.
If your digital advertising campaigns haven’t been working out like you’d hoped, let 360 PSG analyze your current metrics and then work with you to create better ads that will get you quantitative, measurable results. To learn more about what our digital marketing team can do for your business, visit our website.