We’ve emphasized in numerous Research IT articles the importance of conducting brand awareness benchmarking studies to gauge the holistic impact of your integrated marketing campaigns. But, how do you measure the effectiveness of individual tactics? Clearly, with lead-generation activities like direct mail, e-mail blasts, and trade shows, you can employ a closed-loop system to calculate each program’s response rate, cost per lead, and sales conversion rate.
But, unfortunately, such an approach can’t be applied to paid advertising, a tactic that typically doesn’t drive leads but is nonetheless very important for building, changing, or maintaining a differentiated brand identity.
That’s where ad recall studies come in to play. This type of research measures the effectiveness of creative executions against message strategies and also purchased media outlets against the desired target audience.
We’ve helped some clients conduct ad recall studies every six months so that, if necessary, they can tweak their creative and/or media buys to improve effectiveness before their full annual budgets are expended. Among other things, we ask survey participants,?? which are aligned with the target audience of the ads,?? when and where they first heard of the company as well as their top-of-mind perceptions of its strengths, weaknesses, and offerings. We also ask if they recalled specific ads and, if so, what they recalled about them and where they saw or heard them. Even if they can’t remember if or where they saw the ads, we know the campaign is working if an acceptable percentage of respondents share perceptions that the advertising messages support.
For other clients, we incorporate ad recall questioning into their annual market awareness studies, which provides excellent input for planning the next year’s ad campaign.
Advertising can be an extremely effective branding tool. But, it’s also an expensive one. Ad recall studies will ensure you maximize the return on this important investment.