DIY: Advertising Research

The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace. David Ogilvy

Testing your advertising (Advertising Research) enables you to create a solid Advertising Strategy as well as monitor and measure the progress of this strategy which in turn reduces budget and time-related risks.

All advertisement is delivered through various mediums that are grouped based on reach (the number of people that have access to the advertisement) and their target (the types of people that have access to the advertisement);

1) Above The Line Advertising: these advertisements have a wide reach and do not target specific people for example Television or Billboards

2) Below The Line Advertising: these advertisements have a more narrow reach and are directed towards specific people for example In Store Promotions

3) Through the Line Advertising: these adverts are a combination of Above The Line Advertising (wide reach) and Below The Line Advertising (directed towards specific people) for example Digital Marketing

Regardless of the medium, and regardless of the stage (Pre Test or Post Test), all your advertisement can and should be tested.

Research is formalized curiosity. Zora Neale Hurston

So how does an MSME conduct Advertising Research?

Step 1: Identify your Business and Research Objectives. Your Business Objective is the path a company wants to take to achieve their company goals and is usually tied to financial implications for the company. While your Research Objective is the path the research will take to achieve the Business Objectives; it is the different activities and areas the research must explore.

Step 2: Create your Research Questions. Your Research Questions are meant to guide the research project; they are questions your research is supposed to answer. They should be specific, concise, focused, re-searchable and measurable.

Step 3: Identify your Target Audience. The groups of people that would be able to answer your Research Questions. In many cases, these groups of people are usually the group your Brand is targeting.

Step 4: Choose a data collection Methodology. There are different ways to get answers to your research questions such as Surveys, Focus Groups, Observation Research, and In-depth Interviews. The Methodology selected has to be able to get your answers to your Research Questions and must be a convenient way for your Target Audience to provide answers.

Step 4: After selecting your Methodology. Create your Methodology Guide. A Methodology Guide could be your Questionnaire, Moderator’s Guide, Observation Guide, and In-depth Interview Guide. In this Guide, you ask more direct, concise questions or observe specific things that will help you answer your Research Questions.

Step 5: Execute your chosen Methodology and Analyze the Data. Once you have collected the data, you will need to analyze to make meaning from it. Some of the data you collect come in numbers (quantitative), some come in text form (qualitative). For your quantitative data, calculate frequencies and means to see patterns in your data. For qualitative research you will need to conduct a content and structural analysis to also see what the patterns are.

Step 6: Create a Report. In your report, you should be telling a story – an impactful, memorable story on the backbone of your data.

Would you like practical examples of how this all comes together? Stay Tuned!