The Pros and Cons of Ad Testing Research
14 Jan 2022

The Pros and Cons of Ad Testing Research

Brands invest millions and millions of dollars into advertising and media spend each year. However, it is hard to tell which creative will generate the best ROI. Brands should not treat advertising like throwing darts at a dart board in hopes of getting a bullseye. Often, companies may be too close to their advertising and unknowingly offend its potential customer. 

Conducting research before launching campaigns is an important step in assuring your ads are well received by consumers. However, running such research improperly can lead to unreliable results and wasted cash. Here are some Pros and Cons to consider before conducting ad testing research.

The Pros of Ad Testing

Know your Audience’s Preferences

Can’t decide which of your creatives will resonate most with your target consumers? Turn to market research! Conducting an ad testing survey allows a brand to show participants multiple creative concepts. Not only can respondents provide feedback on each asset, but they can also rank the creatives to show which ones they prefer. These surveys are an essential way to help companies narrow down their options based on what their audiences would like best.

Avoid Missteps in Taste

Your spouse and kids may find you hysterical, but does the general public think you are funny? It can be difficult to gauge how consumers will react to certain aspects of an ad, whether it be jokes, emotional tugs, or stances on worldly issues. The last thing a brand wants to face is backlash towards a tasteless advertisement (think: controversial superbowl commercials). Conducting ad testing research before launching a campaign can help weed out these issues before an advertisement goes live, thus preventing such backlash from starting up.

Beat the Norms

Whether it is your company’s personal norm or compared against your industry, you have the ability to determine if the advertising beats your standards. Adding benchmarking questions to an ad testing survey can allow a brand to determine how a creative stands up against others. A company can measure how unique or innovative an ad concept is, or whether it drives a viewer to learn more about the promoted product. When using normative research questions in a survey, it is important to remember that the wording of questions must exactly match the format of previous research.

The Cons of Ad Testing

You Can’t Please Everyone

When conducting an ad testing survey, your brand is bound to come across various preferences and opinions from respondents. Brands can be tempted to adjust creatives to appeal to each of these different groups of people. Trying to make an ad that will appeal to the entire population can result in bland, generic, advertising. It is better to analyze the data carefully and adjust creatives to appeal to the groups most likely to purchase the product. Remember that polarizing ads can be good and make your creative memorable.

Research Takes Time 

Time is money. Ad campaign development is likely to have short timelines and tight deadlines. With such a rush, it can be difficult to find the time to dedicate to research. However, if a company includes research as a consideration when making these timelines, they will be able to reap the benefits of launching more targeted and effective campaigns.

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