Evaluating Advertising Effectiveness

Good planning and control of advertising depends on measures of advertising effectiveness. Most of the money is spent by agencies on pre-testing ads, and much less is spent on evaluating their effectiveness. Most advertisers try to measure the communication effect of an ad – that is, its potential effect on awareness, knowledge, or preference. They would also like to measure the ad’s sales effect.

Communication effect research:

It seeks to determine whether an ad is communicating effectively. Called copy testing, it can be done before an ad is put into media and after it is printed or broadcasted. There are three major methods of advertising pre-testing:

Direct rating method:

In this case, the consumers are asked to rate the alternative ads. These ratings are used to evaluate the ads.

Portfolio tests:

Here, the consumers are asked to view or listen to a portfolio of advertisements, taking as much as time as they need. Consumers are then asked to recall all the ads and their content, aided or unaided by the interviewer.

Laboratory tests:

It uses equipment to measure the physiological reactions – heartbeat, blood pressure, pupil dilation, perspiration – to an ad. These tests measure attention getting power but reveal nothing about the impact on beliefs, attitudes, or intensions.

Sales effect research:

Advertising’s sales effect is generally difficult to measure than its communication effect. This is mainly because the sales are influenced by many other factors, such as the product features, price, availability, as well as the competitor’s actions. Companies are generally interested in finding out whether they are overspending or under spending on advertising.

Researchers try to measure the sales impact through analyzing either historical or experimental data.

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