How Much Does Ad Concept Testing Cost?

ad concept testing

The cost of ad concept testing surveys ranges between $11,000 to $30,000 but it is dependent on various factors. For this reason, it’s difficult to provide a clear-cut answer to this common question.

Think of it like this.

Would you walk into a car dealership and ask, “How much does a car cost?” without needing to answer a few follow-up questions? What type of car would you like? What make, model, color, or year?

And just like car shopping, there are many ways to adjust an ad concept testing project to fit within most budgets.

In this blog post, our market research company discusses 5 factors that impact the cost of ad concept testing.

Get a custom quote for ad concept testing by contacting our market research company. Simply fill out an online form or email [email protected].

What is Ad Concept Testing?

Ad concept testing is the process of determining the appeal and effectiveness of a target audience before launching an advertising campaign.

Concept testing for an ad covers topics like…

  • Ad graphics
  • Copy and overall messaging
  • Placement and layout
  • Likes/dislikes of target audience

Gathering insight on these topics helps create a broader image of what your ad should be.

For more information on the definition of ad concept testing, watch the video below.

Why Test Advertising Concepts

It’s no secret that brands pour endless amounts of money into ad campaigns. 

But in order to truly make the most of an ad campaign, conducting research prior to its launch is essential for not only saving money–but making money, too. Even more importantly, this research will reveal how audiences will react to your ad.

And consumer preferences are always changing–making the playing field for marketers more difficult.

Consider the following stats...

Here’s an example for you. A marketing team may have a great idea for an ad. 

After conducting research on the concept, they come to find out it needs improvement. So, instead of putting out a campaign that tanked or only did “okay,” they can use the data to create a campaign that resonates with their target audience! 

Recommended Reading: Benefits of Ad Concept Testing with Surveys

How Much Does Ad Concept Testing Cost?

When working with full-service market research companies, brands should budget anywhere from $11,000 to $30,000 for ad concept testing. Though, the final cost will vary depending on the type of methodology, sample size, target audience, length of survey, and other factors. 

Let's dive into each cost factor for ad concept testing and how it can increase or decrease the final price.

1. Type of Methodology

There are many, many types of market research available for ad concept testing. Although each comes with its own price tag.

The most popular options for concept testing are:

  • Online surveys: Our market research company often recommends online surveys when testing different advertising and marketing concepts. They are fast, low-cost, and deliver high-quality results. It also opens up your target market to reach respondents from across the country. For this reason, it is easier to collect responses as opposed to focus group participants who must live near the testing facility.

  • Focus groups: Focus groups will be more expensive than online surveys. Still, some brands choose focus groups because it provides their team with more in-depth feedback and the ability to ask follow-up questions based on each response. If you are still interested in conducting focus groups but want to keep costs low, consider online focus groups. It combines the advantages of online surveys and traditional focus groups while providing in-depth feedback for your advertising campaigns.

Recommended Reading: Choosing a Methodology: Explore or Measure?

2. Length of Ad Concept Testing Survey

How many questions do you want to include in your ad concept testing survey? Our market research firm recommends brands stick to 15 to 20 questions.

From a respondent’s perspective, they are not going to want to take more than 10 minutes out of their day to answer a survey.

This leads to more issues aside from costs...

  • Higher drop-off rates = lower completion rates.
  • Respondent burnout leads to a lack of effort and feedback.
  • Sponsors of the study must provide higher incentives to encourage full participation.

Plus, asking more questions will lead to higher project costs. Each question requires more project management time for survey design, programming, and analysis.

But don’t get discouraged. You will be surprised at the level of insight and feedback you can obtain in a 5-minute survey.

3. Sample Size

Similar to the number of questions asked in an ad concept testing survey, the more responses needed for your project will lead to higher market research costs.

This is because it takes less project management time to field and analyze 400 responses than it would 2,000 responses.

However, we understand that the greater the number of responses, the lower the margin of error is on a project.

If your budget is tight, there are likely other factors you can readjust to lower costs as opposed to lowering your goal number of responses.

From our experience, 400 is the sweet spot for the number of responses to an ad concept testing survey. We don’t recommend going any lower than this.

4. Target Audience 

What is the customer persona of someone you hope to convert with your advertising and marketing messages? Respondents of an ad concept testing survey should closely align with this target audience.

Some brands and organizations have more refined, harder-to-reach respondent demographics than others. Therefore costs may vary greatly.

For instance, a beauty retailer using ad concept testing may only be interested in targeting women, aged 18 to 55.

Whereas an email automation platform is interested in targeting B2B marketing professionals in charge of purchasing decisions.

In most cases, B2C audiences are easier to recruit than B2B audiences. As a result, brands will pay more for ad concept testing when fielding to harder-to-reach B2B professionals.

In short, the cost of ad concept testing surveys may depend on the incidence rate of your target audience.

Recommended Reading: Why B2B Market Research is Different than B2C Market Research

5. Type of Reporting

Lastly, the type of reporting package you are interested in receiving will determine the final cost of ad concept testing.

All market research companies are different from what is included in their reporting deliverables. In our case, we offer an a la carte approach to our reporting services.

Drive Research allows our clients to select from components such as:

  • Executive summary of key findings
  • Results snapshot
  • Expert recommendations
  • Infographics
  • Breakdown of question-by-question results
  • Appendix

A comprehensive report that includes each bullet above will be a higher cost than a topline summary that includes only a few of these components.

We cover this in greater detail in the blog post, Topline or Comprehensive Market Research Report: What's the Difference?

How Long Does Ad Concept Testing Take? 

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete ad concept testing and gather meaningful feedback for analysis and decision-making.

Although, similar to costs, the duration of ad concept testing can vary depending on factors such as the scope of the project, the number of concepts being tested, and the complexity of the target audience.

Receive a Quote for Ad Concept Testing

Drive Research is a full-service market research company. We partner with brands from across the country to execute cost-effective, streamlined ad concept testing surveys.

Interested in receiving a quote or proposal for an ad concept testing study with our team?

Contact us through your preferred communication channel.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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