Letting Research Drive Creative Strategy

News flash…advertising is still big business. Despite the changing media landscape, declining interest in print, increasing interest in digital and the narrowing of broadcast, billions of dollars are spent annually on both the creation of advertising and the refinement of the media which exhibits the advertising. Marketing research is involved in both of these areas.

Although primarily the focus of consumer research, advertising testing can also apply to the B2B market. Online survey platforms have come a long way at streamlining this process. With the inclusion of multimedia capability, tools such as Cvent can be used to test radio and television commercials across multiple demographics.

When assessing advertising recall and effectiveness, researchers will often ask respondents about their feelings as they relate to a specific advertisement. This can be easily accomplished via a multiple response question, such as the one seen below. As with all list-based questions the adjective list should be randomized and kept as brief as possible. Qualitative work can be done in advance of the quantitative research to craft a list of 20 - 35 words or phrases. One of the options should include ‘None of the above’ to allow respondents the option of being truthful and avoiding falsification. The words and phrases chosen should include a mix of the positive and negative.

ad words

In the survey analysis phase, a summary variable can be created to count the total number of words chosen, along with the number of positive and negative words and phrases. These derived variables should be compared against demographics, purchase-related variables and the overall opinion and likeability of the ad in question.

Testing advertising in advance of launch allows marketers to refine the content and approach of the ad with the goal of maximizing its recall and likeability by key demographics. This is the nexus where research can help to drive smarter creative strategy.

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