Brand Advertising Success Series – Part 4

Brand Advertising Research and Evaluation

How do you know your brand advertising will work? How do you know if it has a good chance to drive the results you need? These two questions can be answered using market research, testing, and evaluation techniques. Before you read this part of the Brand Advertising Success Series, be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 so you understand how to create brand advertising campaigns.

brand advertising successBrand Advertising Evaluation

As you’re creating your brand advertising campaign, you should continually evaluate the potential effectiveness of your creative messaging and design. This evaluation begins internally by putting your ads through internal test questions. Some of those questions can include:

  1. Is the headline attention-grabbing? Does it quickly pique interest? Does it clearly state a benefit that makes consumers want to keep reading, watching or listening?
  2. Is the body copy focused on a single benefit that matters to the target audience who is most likely to see it?
  3. Is the body copy as succinct as possible with all filler and fluff removed?
  4. Is the body copy devoid of corporate rhetoric and information that is meaningless to consumers?
  5. Does the ad speak directly to the target audience in a voice they’ll respond to? Is it persuasive?
  6. Is it obvious what your product is, how it benefits the audience, and what brand and company offers the product?
  7. Does the ad appropriately reflect and communicate your brand promise and your brand personality?
  8. Does the ad evoke emotions?
  9. Does the ad appeal to consumers’ senses?
  10. Could you replace your brand name on the ad with a competitor’s name and the affect is negligible? Does your message distinctly communicate your brand’s unique value proposition?
  11. Does the visual design of the ad enhance the message and appeal to the target audience?
  12. Have you deleted any and all clutter?

It’s important to ask these questions of every ad you create and answer them honestly. Your ads can only get better by taking this step. Internal evaluation is just the beginning though. You also need to evaluate and test your ad with consumers.

Brand Advertising Research

surveyThere are a variety of ways that you can conduct tests and research to determine if your ads will be well-received by consumers. From copy-testing to design-testing, you can get feedback from consumers before you invest in final ad placement. Advertising is a big investment, so pursue all opportunities to ensure your final ad is the best ad.

Using qualitative research, you can get feedback on initial ad concepts and messages. Using one-on-one interviews and focus groups, you can gather information to come up with emotionally-relevant concepts that can then be developed and shown to larger audiences through quantitative research.

Surveys can be used to get feedback on a wider scale. You can also use surveys to compare reactions to your ads by existing customers as well as by the broader consumer audience using consumer panel surveys.

For example, you can conduct surveys to get feedback on two different copy or design concepts. You can run split-tests to determine the effectiveness of ads down to every detail. Change the color or position of your headline, use a different call to action, or swap an image, then use a quantitative survey to learn which has the best potential for success.

You can also evaluate an ad’s potential effectiveness by gathering consumer purchase-intent opinions before and after exposure to your ad or in comparison to competitor ads.

For example, you could show a TV commercial or other multimedia ad to your target audience using AYTM’s research tools and then survey them to learn about their opinions and emotional responses to the ad. You could also show your respondents your TV commercial using AYTM’s tools and have them upload a webcam video with their response to as many as five key questions. It’s a great way to view respondents’ physical reactions to your ads and to gain better perspective of their emotional reactions.

Research allows you to fine-tune your ad before the larger consumer audience sees it, which can ultimately save you a lot of money in ineffective advertising. Therefore, set aside a small percentage of your budget for brand advertising research. You’ll be glad you did.

If you missed earlier parts of the Brand Advertising Success Series, follow the links below to read them now:

Images: ilker, varranz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as and She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of, an award-winning blog for business women.