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Virtual Pre-testing of Advertising

September 10th, 2012 Comments off

Consumers have more choices and are bombarded with an unprecedented number of messages from an unprecedented, and growing, variety of touch points.  In the wake of an overwhelming stream of information, advertising is challenged to become engaging and demonstrate relevance to a multi-tasking  audience on overload.

But, does this speed and proliferation of consumer messages mean that advertising as a means to affect brand choice is dead.  Not at all!  The search for meaning that consumers expect from brands as an aid to choice is still there.  And, while anyone who is a veteran of advertising will tell you that clutter has long been an issue, clutter is an understated term when describing today’s markets.

So, what is an advertiser to do to ensure effectiveness given these circumstances?

  1. The need for speed.
    To stay relevant, the entire advertising production process must move quickly.  Market context is important to successful advertising and it changes rapidly.
  2. Messages must fit with multiple touchpoints.
    No single channel or medium dominates a market.  Consumers must now be surrounded with a message to engage them.
  3. Quali-quant approaches turn insight into foresight.
    Advertising still represents a major investment for each brand.  Metrics that are validated to brand performance in market are more important than ever for determining the expected impact of each ad.  But, complicated brandscapes require a greater understanding into why advertising is working to affect any significant improvement in brand performance.

Choose your metaphor, ‘shot in the dark’ or ‘trial and error’.  Without pre-testing research that moves at the speed of the current market and provides clear foresight into market performance, brand teams are forced to make static decisions to fit a non-static world.

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