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With more consumers taking control and opting out of advertising they don’t want to see, brands need to know how to make sure their marketing strategy hits the mark, with the perfect mix of reach and relevance.

Despite it being easier for brands to pre-test ideas before launching a full-blown ad campaign, this only tells you what might get consumers’ attention. 

After your strategy has played out, what happens then?

To see if your efforts were successful, you’ll need to measure advertising effectiveness.

What is advertising effectiveness?

Advertising effectiveness is a method used to determine if a brand’s marketing efforts are hitting the mark with its target audience and whether it’s getting the best returns. 

It enables brands to measure the strengths, weaknesses, and ROI of specific advertising campaigns, so the company can adjust accordingly.

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

Why should brands measure ad effectiveness?

Ad effectiveness is a vital strategy for brands looking to understand the impact of their ads on the audiences they want to influence.

It’s what helps companies truly understand the reach of their campaigns so they can focus on the elements that were successful and apply them to future efforts. 

How to measure advertising effectiveness?

1. Use survey data to identify the real reach of your marketing 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 ad reach is harder to quantify. This is where survey data comes in. It enables you to identify people who have seen the ad, ask them about their experience, and most importantly, whether they remember the brand.

2. 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 kick in.

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

3. Evaluate the true impact of your campaign against your goals

Knowing what advertising success looks like for your ad is crucial. 

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: 

  • What brand was featured in the advertisement shown?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being ‘disliked very much’ and 5 being ‘liked very much,’ how much did you like this advertisement?
  • To what extent do you agree the advertisement conveyed the following message (with statements)?
  • After seeing the advertisement, how likely are you to recommend the brand to others?

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.

4. 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.

If you don’t know why that campaign resonated with your audience, what’s the point?

That’s why when it comes to measuring advertising effectiveness, data must be collected separately for both.

 5. Identify which campaign metrics need improvement

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

Our standard 10-minute survey template captures both brand and evaluation metrics. The brand section seeks to understand the increase of KPIs, whereas the content evaluation deep dives into the individual creatives and their impact so you get a 360-degree view of campaigns performance.

6. Identify which media types are most valuable

Most campaigns have multiple creatives and media from social ads and banner ads to video ads and more. Our tagging technology enables you to 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.

What are the best metrics to track your ad success?

Survey data enables you to get feedback on how your ads are performing, directly from the consumers you’re targeting. A control (consumers who have not seen the ad) versus exposed (consumers who have seen the ad) methodology is used to measure differences in opinion and uncover hard metrics on brand lift.

The combination of active and passive data can’t be beaten.

It eliminates gaps in visibility and removes the temptation to treat assumptions as fact.

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

  • Determine if your ads are reaching the right people
  • Find out if they’re having the desired effect on your target audience
  • See if they’re shifting perceptions in the right direction
  • Work out if they’re guiding customers along the path to purchase
  • See which attributes of the campaign and the advertisements are the most effective
  • Uncover newer audiences that you may not have been aware of 

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

The exposed and 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.

To strengthen the comparison, the control are recruited to be demographically aligned to the exposed 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 on our platform.

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’ because they had the passive and active data they needed to back themselves. This meant Fullsix could demonstrate to the brand how to steer the next advertising activation towards an even better future for the brand.

Where some brands go wrong

There’s no rulebook on how to measure the overarching impact of a campaign. 

Not only do we put our trust in analytics, but it’s also 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.

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? Consider these questions: 

  • Were your ads placed on the right channels?
  • Did the ads air for the right amount of time?
  • Was the messaging and creative compelling enough to the target audience?
  • Did the target audience get served the ad in the first place?

Believing analytics can answer these questions is only partly true because it can be very ambiguous. 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 firsthand.

The bottom line

Measuring advertising effectiveness is about merging the formulaic with the emotive – combining hard data from digital analytics, with survey data about people. 

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

There’s no other way for brands to gain a 360-degree view without running research that proves the value of the investment. 

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