Campaign research is an important part of planning your marketing. Public scrutiny can cause your campaigns to flop, but testing them in a sample audience first will help you consider different perspectives and learn which campaign concepts are likely to work the best.
fastmap have, on multiple occasions, collaborated with The Team – award-winning creative brand and communications agency for campaign research and testing for a range of clients. One recent example was our work on Christian Aid’s ‘#StandTogether’ campaign.
In this article we want to share some thoughts from our own experience and The Team to help you understand how to use campaign research to improve your response rates. The following sections outline some aspects you should consider when starting a campaign.
Who is the campaign for?
Correctly identifying your target audience and knowing how to approach them will help you set accurate campaign goals and improve the speed of your decision-making to your benefit. Which audience profiles are you targeting? What is the best way to engage this audience? This is a crucial step when planning your marketing campaign.
How do you want to approach the campaign?
A useful approach is to think about what output you are expecting and what would be useful to know. You can then decide what methodology to use and how you will gather your data. Depending on what you are testing, a nationally representative sample is a good place to start. However, other types of samples can be useful too. For example, it is likely that a sample of existing customers vs. a sample of non-customers will generate drastically different outcomes.
A top tip from The Team is to ‘look for the ingredients that elicit the right emotional response to inform further development.’1 Through campaign research you can find out what makes your audience tick and learn how to grab – and hold – their attention.
Would it be more useful to have qualitative or quantitative results from your campaign research?
While both approaches have their own virtues, quantitative studies are often the best option for concept testing as they give clear, objective opinions from a large number of people. The analysis that can be conducted takes a step away from the subjectivity of focus groups and relies on the collated opinion of the masses. Decision-makers like this method because of the factual nature of the data and the quick turn-around it offers when running a costly, large-scale campaign.
Plus, as The Team point out: ‘Results can then be analysed by audience segment. This is good for testing name and strapline options or advertising concepts when you want to research brand response.’2
Keep it current
Markets are moving very quickly and will only speed up, but gathering campaign research data has never been easier. While maintaining a brand identity and keeping your marketing campaigns in line with public opinion is a more precarious task than ever, the amount of campaign research, concept testing and market research data is also available to counterbalance this. By pre-testing your campaigns and creatives, you can catch something that even years of collective marketing experience may miss.
Is your campaign aligned to your brand?
Brand identities are built up over time and continuous research is needed to catch changes in your audience and perceptions of your brand.
The Team state: ‘To create true meaning, your brand expression needs to be able to tell your story and project a distinct and differentiated personality. If the medium is the message, the brand idea should be encapsulated in the identity.’3
Testing can provide confidence that this meaning and expression will be integrated into the minds of public in the way that you hope when it is drawn up in the board room.
Following these points will help you increase the chance of a successful marketing campaign and take advantage of the evidence-based insights that can be gained from campaign research and concept testing. Also, remember that research does not need to be a long and expensive process. Access to what your audience thinks about your brand has never been closer to your fingertips.
The Team and fastmap have developed a professional and streamlined process for organisations to benefit from market research and create large-scale marketing campaigns that get results, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to learn more.
This article was written by Eric Idermark, Insight Executive, at fastmap. To find out how fastmap can help you with your campaign research and more you can read our Creative Testing Guide or visit www.fastmap.com. You can also get in touch with David Cole, Managing Director, fastmap on +44 (0) 20 7242 0702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 ‘Avoiding ‘design by committee’. The Team.
3 ‘Avoiding ‘design by committee’. The Team.