Advertising research is an effective way to assess and measure the impact of any advertising or branding campaign. Such research is generally carried out before the launch of an advertising campaign (pre-testing) and then after the advertising campaign has been completed (post-testing).
The pre-testing research can be carried out to analyse the level of awareness and perception of a brand, product or service amongst customers or clients prior to the campaign. For example, a company which specialises in appliances asks respondents to mention the first three brands that come to their mind when they think about appliances. The data would then show how frequently the company’s brands were mentioned and whether these were mentioned first, second or third – this then provides a picture of the company’s position in the market before the launch of the advert. MISCO International carries out such research by means of its computer aided telephone interviewing system.
Pre-testing research can also be carried out to test the campaign or advert before its launch. By analysing respondents’ reaction to the advert or campaign, any weaknesses which might hinder the success of these adverts, are identified. Furthermore, such research can also determine the ‘attention-getting’ power of the advert, how well linked the advert is to the brand and where, when and how the campaign or advert should be advertised. This type of pre-testing research would be best carried out through a focus group as the emotional aspect of participants, which is the main motivation of any sale and how most advertising is usually processed, can be tested and analysed.
Following the advertising campaign, the data that emerges from the pre-testing research is then compared to the results from the post-testing research, in order to measure its success. The focus of post-testing research is on what the advertising has done for the brand, for example has it increased brand awareness? Are non-customers more likely to purchase the product or service? Quantitative post-testing can also be carried out as an on-going project to track the market position of the company.