Message Testing/Advertising Copy Testing

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Message Testing/Advertising Copy Testing

Message Testing/Advertising Copy Testing

Description of Our Message Testing / Ad Copy Testing

Regardless of the media form of the message, once a concept has been created, ideally, it should be tested to make sure it works before using it in the market. This can take many forms, from testing concepts in early, intermediate, or near-final stage. If tested in the early stages, clients can save the cost of producing ads that will not work. If tested in the later stages, clients can refine ads and determine which ones work best before spending large sums of money on media buys. We have tested print ads, radio ads, television ads, speeches, press releases, logos, signage/billboards, brochures, magazine designs, book cover designs, websites, product packaging, point-of-purchase displays, television station news formats, and even art exhibits.

Unique Features of Our Message Testing / Ad Copy Testing

With over 30 years of experience in message/ad copy testing we have tested messages using one-on-one mall intercept interviews, focus groups, direct mail, and over the telephone for radio ads. We have tested ads using experimental designs that are monadic (one concept per respondent), sequential monadic (rotating two per respondent), paired-comparisons (two concepts side by side) and protomonadic (a combination of the previous three). For television ads, news shows and speeches, we have used interactive audience response/dialing systems/people meters. Over the last 10 years, we have increasingly tested print, audio and video messages through web surveys using some of the most advanced web survey capabilities available. For visual concepts, these capabilities allows consumers to respond using advanced techniques like clicking on the point in the ad that they like or dislike, highlighting important words, using sliding scales for ratings, or traditional rating, ranking and open-ended questions.

Key Benefit Deliverables from Our Message Testing / Ad Copy Testing

Each message/ad testing project is custom designed for the media form of the message, the number of concepts to be tested, the time allowed for the testing and the client’s budget. Regardless of the form, we typically measure the following variables in this type of study.

  • Attention Intrusiveness — How well does the message “cut through the clutter” ?
  • Diagnostics — How well does it communicate on diagnostic measures of relevancy, clarity, believability and likeability  as well as what the audience’s main “take away” from the message ought to be.
  • Motivating Power — How effectively does the message motivate the audience (i.e. to relate, to purchase, to remember etc.)
  • Segmentation — Which of the messages works best with each market segment?
  • Winners — Which message(s) are the best among the alternatives tested?

Based on this information we make very specific recommendations, in terms of which message(s), to use or not use, and why each specification is developed.

Types of Clients That Use Our Message Testing / Ad Copy Testing

Any organization or individual who needs to make sure that their message communicates clearly and effectively before actually presenting the message to the full, intended audience can benefit from our message testing or ad copy testing. Clients that typically do this type of testing are medium to large corporate brands, financial institutions, hospitals, tourism, or economic development departments of government, political campaigns, advertising agencies or public relations firms.

Evidence That Our Message Testing/Ad Copy Testing Works

“Steve conducted a series of national focus groups designed to give my client, the advertising agency representing the National Guard recruiting efforts, a better insight into their target audience. Steve organized the groups, wrote the questions based on our needs, recruited participants, picked the most representative sites, personally moderated each session and wrote an extensive analysis of the group findings. This analysis had a profound influence on National Guard direct marketing materials aimed at recruiting young adults across the country. Excellent work across the board”.  David Bufkin, Founding Partner, ClearWorld Communications Group, Washington, D.C.

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