Brands want answers to specific creative advertising campaign questions: a) before their activity starts (around messaging and execution), b) while it is live (to assess how the target audience is responding), and c) when completed (to determine its ROI).

We’re big believers in research automation: it improves accuracy, speeds up the collection of data, and can save brands money. It also makes ad testing more intuitive and should mean human researchers can spend more time analyzing their results to produce actionable insight.

1. Test ideas early

Ideas development

I’ve certainly got enough evidence, real hard evidence, showing that ads we’ve pretested perform better in the marketplace than ads we don’t. It’s inarguable proof. – Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Getting consumer insights into the creative process early on can provide the difference between a successful campaign and one that won’t resonate with audiences. Many marketers, faced with an array of platforms and mediums to choose from, ‘hope for the best’ or opt for A/B testing of their advertising – all the while, potentially negatively-impactful ads are live for all to see.

Testing ideas early on allows these erroneous, rushed messages to be weeded out long before any of your budget has been spent executing them. It also prevents poorly-conceived ads from damaging your brand identity, all for the sake of cheaper testing on-the-fly.

2. Test multiple iterations

Research on computer

This is the best way to decipher which of your advertising variables (slogans, celebs, music, colors, etc) are likely to be the strongest contributors to success. This successive feedback will prevent creative teams from running with poorly validated ideas right the way from ideation to execution, by which time the creative may have evolved enormously.

Do this enough while accurately tagging your creatives using the Zappi platform and you’ll begin to build your own unique norms database. Eventually, the next time you test, you’ll be able to measure against your previous successes (and failures).

3. Test assets across channels (e.g. TV/digital/print)

Advertising and TV

Some brands are unshakeable in their belief that TV advertising should always be tested, but will happily skip testing digital assets thinking that they can just test those in-market.

At Zappi, we understand that a brand’s creatives, wherever they appear (be it on TV, Facebook, or an outdoors billboard), contribute to the consumer’s overall experience of a brand. So, if you’ve a particularly engaging ad on TV, you’ll see an increase in ROI and probably some social pay-off. However, if your supporting digital campaign is at odds with this success (if it’s irrelevant, bland, or worse, offensive), you’ll experience detrimental effects. The two are not disparate entities in an increasingly connected landscape.

Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction research found that integrated and customized advertising campaigns are 57% more effective, proving that the best advertising experiences are those that are synchronized across mediums.

4. Derive holistic insights from across campaigns

Meeting about insights

Let’s say your brand has executed an ad campaign across all mediums successfully and the business has experienced a markedly improved ROI; how do you build on this momentum? What about if a campaign has unsuccessful or damaging? How can you keep track of these mistakes and ensure they never happen again, years from now?

The golden rule of iterative advertising testing applies not only to the development process of a single ad, but also to campaigns. The gradual construction of a norms database over many tests (as mentioned in tip two) comes in very handy here. Remember: the questions you ask today will teach you very important strategic information about the future.


Key takeaways

  • Test at each stage of the development process to get a better idea of what’ll delight your target audiences, backed up by well-established research methodology
  • Strive for campaign harmonization, whether your ads are outdoors, on TV, or digital
  • Use solutions like Kantar Millward Brown’s LinkNow for Digital to test your online creatives in-context on platforms like Facebook and Youtube
  • Harness Zappi’s powerful advanced analytics tools to keep future ads and campaigns in line with your brand guidelines and audience expectations

Watch Our Webinar: Product Development

If you found these advertising insights tips helpful, you might be interested to learn how Zappi can help also enhance the product development process.

Join our Innovation experts David Pritchard and Tristan Findlay on October 16, 12pm EST/ 4PM GMT. And discover how to make your product development insights more streamlined, automated, and intelligent. Register here.

Sam Wood

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Sam Wood

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