While recently attending The Quirk's Event in Chicago, I sat in on a fascinating presentation about an ad testing case study. The project was a partnership between beverage company, Anheuser-Busch InBev and research company Methodify to optimize Labatt's digital content in a single week. This caught my attention as ad testing studies typically take no less than a few weeks.
I picked up some actionable tips from the session for not only ad concept testing but digital marketing, as well. Few businesses nowadays are exempt from having a digital presence for their brand. At our market research company, the ability to be discovered online and digitally connect with clients and participants is key.
Below are my most important takeaways from the presentation based on what AB InBev and Methodify shared from their initiative.
Use agile tactics and digital marketing best practices to improve ad testing studies.
Digital marketing cannot be an afterthought
Much of the presentation was dedicated to the current challenges and trends of digital marketing. In many advertising budgets, digital spend is still taking a backseat to traditional channels like television, print, and radio.
However, the importance of digital marketing is starting to become more clear to businesses. In fact, digital advertising budgets for businesses are growing an average of 20% each year.
The digital space is where consumers are spending more time, but creating digital content is increasingly difficult. Advertisers have an average of 4 seconds to capture the attention of a viewer. Adding to this issue, 85% of the 8 billion videos on Facebook are watched without sound. You can't simply copy and paste advertisements from television and expect them to resonate online.
This is where a channel-first approach comes in handy. Creating customized ads for social media platforms or other websites is a necessity. It's all about showing your ad at the right place, at the right time, and through the right channel.
Don't stop there. Learn about the benefits of incorporating market research to your digital marketing strategy.
Leverage agile principles in ad testing
Chances are you have heard the term "agile" in the past couple years as a buzzword in business. Originally an approach for software development, we are now seeing agile practices find their way into market research.
Agile research is based on a series of "sprints" to optimize a product or process through frequent testing and frequent feedback. The session I attended touched on how this idea was applied to digital advertising for the Labatt brand.
A best practice I gathered was to test early and to test often. Using a mock social media platform, Methodify tested video advertisements on participants and gathered feedback.
Part of this feedback system included qualitative video responses of what participants liked or believed could be improved about the experience.
The importance of user experience in ad testing
This approach also works very well for user experience (UX) studies to understand what users think of a website or platform in general.
Each wave of testing made the research a rapid, iterative process. Using metrics like engagement and impressions, the researchers were able to quickly get performance statistics and compare ads.
This data along with direct feedback from participants allowed them to implement meaningful updates within 48 hours. By the end of the study, Anheuser-Busch InBev experienced a 17% improvement on digital best practices globally on Facebook (83% to 100%).
Contact Drive Research
Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team can design, field, analyze, and report on an ad concept testing study for either digital or print formats.
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