To ensure the messaging in a communications plan hits the right customer pain points and the right tone, savvy corporations don’t rely on hunches. Rather, they prove the hunch is right before investing resources. They do this through message testing.

This type of qualitative research usually takes the form of focus groups, in-depth phone interviews, and similar types of discussion.

Real World Example

When one of our commercial clients was planning a nationwide introduction of a new online information database, they wanted to ensure their advertising would yield a good ROI. After all, national advertising campaigns cost well into the millions, which is not an investment to take lightly for any company.

The focus groups tested a variety of messages for the ad campaigns as well as the style of communication that would resonate with the audience. We were able to identify the launch messages that focused on users’ “hot buttons,” and were able to customize the message with regional focuses. Without the research, all of this would have been guesswork and we discovered some of it would have missed the mark. But because the company conducted the message and ad testing research (coupled with product testing), the launch was a huge success.

Concept, Communications, Ad & Usability Testing

There are different types of message testing: concept, communications, ad, and usability testing. In all of them, qualitative researchers probe the appeal, credibility, relevance, and usability of communications to evaluate impact and effectiveness. The findings result in clear direction regarding how your message resonates, and is accessible, to your target audience. Types of research include:

The bottom line: don’t guess what messages will resonate with your audience, or how they wish to communicate with your brand. Time and again, the results of message testing surprise our clients. When millions of dollars are on the line, does it really make sense to rely on a hunch?

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