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Advertising effectiveness helps brands determine if their ads are hitting the mark with their audience, and whether they’re getting the best returns.

This enables them to measure the strengths, weaknesses and ROI of specific campaigns, so they can adjust accordingly.

With more consumers taking control and blocking ads they don’t want to see, brands must take care to ensure theirs hit the mark, with the perfect mix of reach and relevance.

Despite it being easier for brands to pre-test their ideas before launching a full-blown campaign, this only tells you what might work. After your strategy has played out, what happens then?

It’s during post-campaign analysis of performance that real, actionable insights are revealed; insights with the power to supercharge future advertising strategies.

Measuring advertising effectiveness

Ad effectiveness offers an end-to-end solution for brands looking to understand the impact of their ads on the audiences they want to influence.

The tool helps you:

  • Ascertain the true reach of a campaign.  

‘Reach’ refers to the number of people who actually saw a company’s advertising. 

It’s easier to measure the reach of some ad types over others. For example, TV media planners have a strong idea of the number of people who will be watching at a certain time, and can safely estimate how many will see it. 

Digital display ad reach, however, is harder to quantify. This is where survey data comes in. It enables you to identify people who have seen the ad, and ask them about their experience, and most importantly, whether they remember the brand.

  • Find the frequency sweet spot.

You need to track the frequency of your exposure. Advertising effectiveness data helps you find the ‘sweet-point’ of exposure. This is the perfect number of impressions before an ad has the desired effect, and before over-exposure and fatigue kicks in.

It takes passively-derived analytics and active survey data to get a true sense of whether something is working.

  • Evaluate the true impact of your campaign.

Knowing what success looks like for your ad is crucial. 

So whether your ad aims to build brand affinity, brand equity, push a promotion or sell a specific product, collecting the right data is key. Survey data enables you to ask precise questions of your audience that behavioral data could only allude to, such as:

Graphic showing examples of the questions you can ask consumers when determining advertising effectiveness.

The overall benefit is being able to clearly see to what extent your campaign had the desired impact on a large sample of your audience, from which you can make broader assumptions.

  • Measure ROI with confidence.

ROI and impact are heavily linked, but the two aren’t the same. The desired impact will lead to a positive ROI.

When it comes to measuring advertising effectiveness, data must be collected separately for both.

Afterall, you can attribute a rise in sales to an ad campaign, but if you don’t know why that campaign resonated with your audience, how can you learn for next time? 

  • Identify which campaign metrics need improvement.

The key for any brand wanting to improve the quality of their digital campaigns is to move beyond the use of behavioral analytics and vanity metrics alone towards a more holistic and tell-all solution.

  • Identify which media types are most valuable.

Most campaigns have multiple creatives and media – an image, a banner, a video etc. Audience validation enables you see which specific media was most effective. Being able to differentiate media types in this way helps you really zone in on what the strongest and weakest elements are.

Where some brands go wrong

Data. It’s been touted the currency of the 21st century for a while. 

Not only do we put our trust in analytics, it’s what we rely on to gauge if our campaigns are having the desired effect.

The reality is, with so many ad formats to implement and measure, the path to assessing advertising effectiveness accurately isn’t very clear cut.

There’s no rulebook on how to measure the overarching impact of a cross-platform campaign. The same goes for measuring the effectiveness of individual channels within the campaign.

Brands will always differ in what they choose to measure, the way they measure it, and how they define what constitutes successful advertising.

Many rely on transactional, lifestyle and behavioral data to understand their consumers, and website analytics to assess traffic and unique visitors.

But is this enough? What’s the best way to go about measuring advertising effectiveness?

  • How do you know your ads were placed on the right channels?
  • If they aired for the right amount of time?
  • If the messaging and creative were compelling enough to the target audience?
  • If the target audience got served the ad in the first place?

Believing analytics can answer these questions is only partly true. Why?

Because ambiguity is present. It’s not as accurate to make assumptions about audiences based on data that reflects devices and cookies, as opposed to real people.

For many brands, last touchpoint attribution is the holy grail. But, real people are complex, and relying on this data without context can skew the interpretation.

You might know a lot about your audience (and their behaviors), but if you’re not asking them directly, you’re not receiving vital information from them first hand.

Combine active and passive data for greater clarity

The combination of active and passive data can’t be beaten – it eliminates gaps in visibility and removes the temptation to treat assumption as fact.

Survey data enables you to get feedback on how your ads are performing, directly from the consumers you’re targeting. A control versus exposed methodology is used to measure differences in opinion and uncover hard metrics on brand lift.

By surveying a mix of people who have and haven’t seen your campaign, you’re able to:

  1. Determine if your ads are reaching the right people
  2. Find out if they’re having the desired effect on your target audience
  3. See if they’re shifting perceptions in the right direction
  4. Work out if they’re guiding customers along the path to purchase
  5. See which attributes of the campaign and the advertisements which make up the campaign are the most effective

The control versus exposed method helps brands quantify the impact of their advertising over various time periods.

Here’s how it works:

  • Those who have seen the ad (exposed) and those who have not (control) are both sent an identical, bespoke survey, framed around the ad campaign objectives and the brand metrics you want to measure.
  • The difference in opinion between these two groups is essentially what quantifies the impact of your campaign.Those who have seen the ad (exposed) and those who have not (control) are both sent an identical, bespoke survey, framed around the ad campaign objectives and the brand metrics you want to measure.

To strengthen the comparison, subjects who haven’t seen your advertisements (the control) are only surveyed if they display the same attributes as your target audience.

What’s more, combining advertising effectiveness with our audience validation solution makes it possible to receive daily updates about the reach of your campaign.

The purpose of audience validation is to profile consumers who’ve been exposed to advertising using our leading global survey.

End-to-end campaign measurement in practice

Tequila Avión’s media agency, Fullsix, used this method to analyze the overarching effectiveness of their brand awareness advertising campaign.

The insights revealed during this process helped them ‘close the loop’; they had the passive and active data they needed to back themselves. This meant Fullsix could demonstrate to the brand how to asteer the next advertising activation towards an even better future for the brand.

Measuring advertising effectiveness is about merging the formulaic with the emotive – combining hard data from digital analytics, with survey data about people. There’s no other way for brands to gain a 360-degree view without putting these data sets side by side.

And in today’s competitive landscape, clued up brands are the ones that will stand the test of time.

Click to access our connecting the dots 2021 report

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