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Designing an ad testing survey

3 min read
The perception of ads is so subjective, it can be difficult to measure exactly what makes them ‘click’ with the people who see them. A well-constructed survey is a powerful tool for collecting a range of highly personal responses in consistent, quantifiable ways.

A framework for ad testing surveys

A good survey should measure how well the ad is fulfilling your objectives. To determine this, you have to have a clear picture of your end-goal in mind. What will success look like?

Are you looking for more web traffic, a reinforcement of positive brand perception, increased awareness of your products, or something else entirely? This desired outcome is known as the ‘advertising effect’, and it’s a key ingredient to include in your survey questions.

To generate a complete view of your ad, there are 5 areas to cover, including ad effectiveness and other more universal variables.

1. Service or product attributes

These are the product features and qualities the ad conveys to the target audience. Your questions should gauge how well the message is being communicated. Can they pick up from the ad that your product is cheap, delicious, built to last, versatile or convenient to use?

2. Benefits

These are the actual experiences a customer expects the product to deliver. It could be having more money in their pocket, comfort, a better night’s sleep, warm cozy toes or a more convenient way to feed the family.

3. Personal values

These are the positive emotional associations that come with the product and brand. You may want to see if the customer feels cared about, in safe hands, that their needs are met, or that they’re going to be inspired.

4. Higher order values

How well does the product tap into the personal and identity-related values its target customers hold? Does it make them feel secure, wise, that they have great taste or maybe that they’re an astute bargain hunter?

5. Advertising effect

Depending on your ad and product, these could include areas like being entertaining, realistic, attention-grabbing, good at prompting a purchase, or inspiring people to seek more information.

What style of question should you use?

A statement with a strongly agree – strongly disagree scale is a good way to address these types of questions, since it gives you comparable, specific results without too much respondent effort. The scale also avoids the agreement bias that can be introduced through yes/no questions.

Make sure the statements are written in a neutral tone of voice, without any more words than necessary, and avoid emotive or descriptive terms that might bias the response.

Capture demographic information

As well as collecting data about opinions and reaction, be sure to add a few fields that request age bracket, gender, profession and any other demographic metrics you’re interested in. This information could help you to target your ad towards the right people once it has been created.

See how your ads perform before, during and after launch