Advertising Research: Is Research on Ad Effectiveness Worthwhile?

Filed Under: Best Practices, Market Research, Advertising Testing, Advertising Tracking, LiveHive, Quantitative Research


It could be. But, it depends on your campaign, media spend/vehicles, and if you do research, it must be done the right way.

When launching a new advertising campaign, you want to measure your ROI– to see if what you’ve done worked and if it was worthwhile. Sales can always be measured to see if there’s a lift – but what if your primary goal is to understand awareness? Should you do a research study to see if awareness of your brand improved?  Maybe awareness is already high, but you want to see improvement in the proportion of people who understand your unique selling proposition. If you choose to conduct research, here are some keys to success in ad effectiveness research to keep in mind.

  • Plan accordingly: 
    • Get a read on pre-advertising familiarity just before the campaign begins. And, to capitalize on a post-advertising read, get back into field right after it ends. If the campaign timeline is long, you could also consider getting a read part-way through.
    • And, just like any other research project, make sure you’re talking to the right people. For example, if your campaign is targeted at non-users of your brand, then include only those people in your sampling frame.  
  • Be realistic in your expectations: 
    • If your advertising spend is minimal, or if you’re advertising on very limited and/or niche channels, it will be hard to move the needle on awareness. 
    • Additionally, while you may be able to impact awareness if your spend is substantial, keep in mind that changing perceptions of a brand doesn’t happen overnight. It will be hard for a single campaign to change perceptions that may have been ingrained for years.
  • Budget accordingly:
    • A pre/post test might seem simple and like something you can get away with doing on a skimpy budget. And, while you don’t need to invest a lot, make sure you conduct enough interviews so that you can see meaningful differences between pre/post levels. 

Measuring the ROI of advertising campaigns is not a simple task, but with the right approach and partner, you can determine if you are moving the needle in the right direction. 

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