Recently we published an article on How to Create An Effective Survey Using Survey Monkey, it’s a great platform that we use ourselves so we hope you found it useful. Since publishing this article the team at Survey Monkey have kindly got in touch with us to share their thoughts on ways that Australian Marketers can also use survey platforms to test marketing messages, thanks to Eli Schwartz from Survey Monkey for taking the time to share his insights with us below.
Alongside the explosion in digital media that we are currently experiencing, is a parallel growth in marketing. For marketers, this makes it ever more challenging to have our messages heard and acted upon. Nonetheless, most marketers usually launch promotions using only a gut instinct on what might work and never put the effort into gathering the data to validate their hunch. While deep pocketed agencies can run focus groups to test marketing messages, smaller marketers can’t afford to do so.
However, if you are one of these budget-challenged marketers, don’t give up on running data qualified marketing. By using simple online surveys, you can harness the wisdom of the crowds without needing to break the bank. You will have an opportunity to reach your target market with a data-tested message that has a winning chance of achieving results.
Your survey data might not be as statistically rigorous as a focus group, however even just a small set of responses can be indicative enough in an A/B test to spare wasted efforts from a failed campaign.
A survey testing regimen can work with any campaign from a radio to TV to Google AdWords. The key principles are the same with only minor differences in how it’s conducted.
When pre-testing any sort of promotion, you are analysing whether the subjects can comprehend and recall the message. More importantly, you will want to assess any follow on action such as purchase intent. In a test environment, there’s no ideal way to determine precisely whether a customer might actually purchase a product, but for research purposes it’s quite suggestive if behavioural responses vary between ad versions.
To conduct an advertising concept test, you need to assemble data on every facet of a campaign that could effect decision-making. Here are a few initial areas to test:
- Keywords – in a keyword driven Google AdWords campaign these are the trigger words that users will type to lead to your ad displaying.
- How to implement a survey experiment: Describe your offering in a paragraph of text. As a follow up question (ideally on the next page), ask users to type the words that they might search on the internet to find your offering. You will likely discover keywords you never might have come up with on your own!
- TV commercial Video or image ad – For a multimedia message you want to determine whether users are aware of the offer t you are trying to show them. You might have an intricate piece of marketing, but its futile if the audience completely miss the offer or are confused about the message you are conveying.
- How to implement a survey experiment: On most survey platforms you can simply embed your video and image and ask users to watch/study the message. As a follow up, ask users about the ad they viewed. Did they notice any product messaging? What was the call to action website? Also, ask questions about recall of the ad to ensure that it is memorable.
- Google AdWords campaign – Many search marketers rely on Google’s AdWords ad scoring to optimize campaigns towards the most effective ads; however, this doesn’t allow you to understand why certain ads perform better. When testing ad copy in a survey, slice up the testing into the specific parts of the ad copy: headline, description, and display URL.
- How to implement in a survey experiment: You need to zero in on the specific trigger of your ad’s message. For example, if you want to test whether displaying a price impacts ad click through rate, you might show a pair of similar ads for competing products. The first ad will display a price in the ad headline while the other will not. The follow up questions will ask the user which business they are more likely to call based on the ad. If price matter, the user responses will skew towards the ad with the price display. If responses are even, then it can be determined that price does not have an impact. Each portion of the ad copy should be tested in this fashion.
The experiments above are just an example of what you can and should be testing with online surveys. Everything that goes into an advertising campaign can be analysed with data including things like the name of your product, the layout of a landing page, and even how users might respond to external validation like trust badges. There are lots of online platforms to make this process easy, many of them free so there’s no absolutely no budget excuse to not use them to build campaigns with user qualified data when releasing new marketing assets. Good luck testing!
Latest posts by Eli Schwartz (see all)
- How to Use Online Surveys to Test Marketing Messages - April 18, 2016