Advertising research, often referred to as ad testing, aims to determine an ad’s effectiveness based on consumer responses, feedback, and behavior. This can be done on a piece-by-piece basis, or it can be done with periodic or continuous in-market research that monitors the performance of a campaign over time.
Ad testing allows you to:
- Effectively target key market segments with content that resonates
- Get iterative feedback to ensure core messaging sticks, and to share those insights with ad creators and/or stakeholders
- Achieve data-driven confidence when promoting a campaign
- Make an informed go or no-go decision when deploying an ad
- Evaluate the performance of an ad agency
- Get the highest ROI out of your ad spend
- Predict advertising effect on purchase intent
Why conduct ad research?
Weak advertising is not only a waste of spend, it can also cause lost sales. Advertising research prevents this from happening with pre- and post-sales feedback that works to optimize messaging. Companies often test their advertising with a subset of a target market before rolling out a campaign to a broader target market.
Even if you’re not working with a multimillion-dollar advertising budget, it is wise to test your ads. Ad testing is one of the best ways to see how effective a new ad might be without blindly spending your budget or potentially offending your customers. You can use the test feedback to refine the advertisement or go in a different direction. The test provides insights to help you make informed decisions about how to best use your advertising budget.
How to conduct an effective ad test
Ad tests work best when you have a clear expectation of the purpose of the ad. Some advertisements are designed to promote awareness, while others look to build a brand or drive behavior. Regardless of the intent, it’s important to define the goal of the advertisement before running tests.