A how-to guide to advertising research
Some things just go perfectly together – like salt and vinegar, yin and yang, Ant and Dec.
But our favourite pairing is fascinating research and actionable insights. Why? Because together, this powerful pair has the capacity to steer brands in the right direction, remove uncertainty and drive growth (we’re not biased at all, promise).
Take advertising research, for example. It can give you a whole new level of insight that enables you to understand what’s working and what’s not, allowing you to maximise the effectiveness of your whole campaign.
But what’s advertising research all about?
We’re going to take you on a crash course in advertising research – what it is, what to consider, its different types and all the benefits it can provide.
What is advertising research?
Advertising research is a powerful market research technique that allows you to truly ‘discover’. It gives you insight into any sort of campaign – be it a tv advertisement, a magazine advertisement, social media or billboards – enabling you to really understand how well it’s received, how your existing and potential customers feel when they see it, and it’s likely to impact on sales (and your brand).
The analysis provides detailed explanations and insight into any element of your advertisement. We’re talking about the deep, meaningful insight that helps you to understand how your customers think, why they do what they do and whether your communications resonates in a positive way – or negative!
Not only does this allow you to tweak existing advertisements to maximise their effectiveness, it can also help to inform future campaigns and refresh your whole marketing strategy – giving you a distinctive, competitive edge.
Before you start any advertising research, you need to know what the following is for the advertising to ensure the research can be optimal:
Target Audience – who is your advert targeting? What will engage them, resonate with them and connect with them on an emotional level?
Campaign Outcome – Are you looking to raise awareness? Change opinions? Drive sales? Are you wanting them to respond to a call to action?
What Advertising Research Does For Your Business
Develop Brand Strategy
Once you’ve gleaned every ounce of valuable insight, you can develop a tailored brand strategy to shape future ads, confident that you are armed with a deeper level of understanding.
Competitor analysis is a really useful tool and can provide you with a whole new level of insight. How does your ad compare with your competitor? How are you both perceived? Who has the edge and why?
You can analyse the performance of your advert over time, allowing you to identify key peaks in engagement, sales or responses. This can then be fed back into your wider strategy to inform the effectiveness of future campaigns.
Identify Market Opportunity
Research can throw a complete curveball and reveal surprising eureka moments. Don’t be surprised to come away with a whole new product idea, a new USP or the knowledge that launching into a new geographical area will catapult your sales. You come away with insight into your advert, but you could also discover what the market is missing.
It Minimises Risk
It sounds obvious, but you want your campaign to be a success, not a failure. So you really want to identify the weaker points before your campaign goes live. Things you may not have considered, messages that might be misconstrued, the elephant in the room that nobody in your team spotted – you can guarantee your target group will spot them.
How Advertising Research delves deep
There’s more to advertising research than that. At Vision One, we delve deeper. We use advertising research to explore a whole host of other metrics – like how your advert connects on an emotional level and even how someone’s eyes track your communications for information.
The level of insight that market research companies (such as us) can provide is staggering. Moreover, you can explore and analyse the effectiveness of multiple options at once, allowing you to test different concepts before launch. It helps you to identify the stronger ones, discard the weaker ones and stride ahead with your campaign – confident that it will hit the mark.
So, what are the benefits of advertising research?
When is a good time to do advertising research?
Typically, advertising research works brilliantly before a campaign starts but can also provide valuable insight during a live campaign.
- Pre-release advert – perhaps the more common of the two, testing your advert before your campaign commences, allows you to test how it might be perceived amongst your key target group. See your ad in a refreshingly different light – through their eyes. It’ll pinpoint your advert’s key strengths and weaknesses – allowing you the opportunity to tweak your ad before launch (avoiding costly mistakes or brand-damaging oversights). Knowing your campaign is likely to be well received gives you confidence in its success – and helps to guarantee a good return on investment.
- Pre-existing advert – already got a campaign running? Now’s the perfect time to scrutinise what’s working and what’s not. It’s great to discover that it’s a triumph, but even more valuable to find out why it isn’t.
Ready to start your advertising research?
As an award-winning insight agency and winner of Best Market Research Agency 2021 (The Drum Awards), our insights help brands worldwide make better decisions – giving them the confidence to stride ahead with a deeper understanding of their markets, customers and culture.
As pioneers in brand research, we have developed our own market-leading advertising research tool – AdProbe – providing game-changing insight on a whole new level.
If you’d like to discuss how advertising research can transform your next campaign, just get in touch.