Market research can help advertisers gather strategic insights for an advertising campaign. Advertisers use market research to learn more about a target market, as well as valuable competitive insights.
This kind of marketing strategy requires collecting a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to get a clear picture of the target market. To gather qualitative data, marketing specialists use focus groups and interviews with members of their target audience to get feedback on their marketing campaign. Surveys and other quantitative data can provide additional crucial information about a market that advertisers apply to their qualitative research.
This guide will show you how and why to conduct market research and apply these insights to your ad campaigns.
How to Conduct Market Research for an Ad Campaign
Advertising market research has five main steps, from planning to evaluating the advertising campaign. Each step helps marketing teams maximize marketing efforts.
1. Gather Information to Build Your Advertising Strategy
This first stage helps marketing teams explore their options to create content. It is crucial for providing analysis that marketers can refer back to later if they need to change the direction of their campaign, so they will have other options ready for them to use.
Here are six ways you can use market research to help enhance your advertising strategy:
Understand your product: Know what you are selling, what it does, and what sets it apart from other goods and services. This will help you later so you can best decide how to market that product.
Identify your value to customers: Outline the value your product brings to your target audience. Highlight your target market’s motivation for choosing to buy (or not buy) your product, what drives decision-making, and how they interact with your product(s).
Know your brand positioning: You should have defined brand positioning prior to launching advertising campaigns. If your brand is not clearly defined, this should be a top priority.
Study your competition: All companies thoroughly analyze their competition’s actions and strategies to determine how to beat them. Look at your competition’s advertising efforts to determine what you should do as well.
Outline cultural and social factors: Study the various aspects of your market’s cultural and social environment. Different cultures have different priorities and standards, so determine how best to account for those factors.
Set a goal: You should know what the desired outcome of your advertising campaign is. Your goal might be more sales, increased brand awareness, or more website visits.
2. Use Market Research Data to Brainstorm Ad Campaign Ideas
After using market research to inform your advertising strategy, you can start applying those insights as you brainstorm campaign ideas. When creating concepts, everything should return to serving the campaign and its desired outcome.
Be sure to understand and identify all of the audience segments you’ll be targeting; this will help ensure that your ad creative, messaging, and placement will reach the right people.
3. Test Your Ad Creative and Messaging
This stage is where marketing teams test their strategies with a real audience. Marketers can test their ad to gauge an audience’s response while the ad is still at the draft stage (before the campaign is launched) – so, there is still time to edit and revise.
The goal of testing an ad before it launches is to ensure that your ad creative, messaging, and overall tone align with the desired outcome of the campaign. By testing at the drafting stage, marketers have the room to return to the idea board and try again without wasting media spend on an ad that needs to be reworked.
Marketers can also measure the effectiveness of their ads after launching the campaign. In addition to measuring an audience’s response to ad creative and messaging, you can also determine which ad placements are working best for your campaign. This is also a good way to see how well the audience can recall your brand from the ad.
4. A/B Test to Identify the Best-performing Ad
A/B testing is where a marketing team will test two different versions of an almost-identical ad. For example, a car company might be trying to evaluate which color car they should use in their campaign to have the maximum impact, so they run A/B testing of the same ad where the car is red in one ad and blue in another — other than the color, all further details in the advertisement need to be exactly the same.
When testing, marketers will show each ad to different members of their audience. Each member views one version of the ad, and they must not be aware that there is another version. This way, marketers test the effectiveness of that advertisement, rather than the comparative effectiveness, and compare their data later.
5. Evaluate the Success of Your Ad Campaign
This is the final stage of advertising market research, which takes place after a campaign ends. At this stage, marketing teams reflect on their efforts and see what strategies and processes worked to help them reach their goals. They can also evaluate how those efforts affected brand lift and brand affinity by surveying audiences who were exposed to your campaign.
At this step, you can also use measurement solutions to survey these audiences to determine ad recall and other key metrics. For example, consumers considered buying from Purple, a mattress company, 34% more often after seeing the brand’s YouTube campaign.
Benefits of Market Research For Advertising
Market research helps brands improve their advertising strategies in many different ways. As established in initial planning and insights, market research advertising helps you better understand your business’s audience. This research might even apply to other areas of your business outside of that campaign.
Market research can also help you understand where you should be advertising in order to reach your target audience and meet your goals. For example, research showed that people are twice as likely to purchase an item they saw on YouTube than on other sites. If your company wants to expand its brand, mobile ads can cause a 46% increase in brand awareness. Conducting research like this that is specific to your brand and audience can help your company target the right users and increase the impact of your advertising efforts.
Overall, advertising market research helps brands save money by preventing ineffective ad campaign creative, messaging, and placement. That is why market research is most important during the initial stages of a campaign, so marketers don’t have to rework their brand positioning or relaunch campaigns to accommodate for mistakes. Pepsi’s infamous Kendall Jenner campaign cost them $2 million, and they ultimately had to pull the ad and apologize for it. Proper research and testing could have prevented this negative brand awareness and waste of money.
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