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Nowadays there is little argument in the commercial as well as academic world that campaigns should be monitored to manage them better in the marketplace (Advertisement Campaign Management). Which research design is adequate for measuring ad effect and which key performance indicators, divided into advertising response and brand response, have to be selected?
Answering questions about the effect of a campaign upon variables like brand awareness, brand sympathy, or brand usage, and isolating the net effect of an advertising campaign on changes requires an appropriate research design. When we combine two designs (pre-campaign/ post-campaign and exposed / non-exposed) we obtain a very powerful tool. The campaign effect score E equals (a – b) – (c – d). The element (a – b) can be considered as an indicator of the effect of developments taking place in the world that are not due to the campaign – the element (c – d) represents the changes that take place separately from the campaign. Hence, we can separate campaign influence from other factors such as high levels of media attention.
The most difficult challenge in this scheme is how to establish whether someone has been exposed to the campaign or not. The solution is the use of panels. In the combined panel/ad hoc design a pre-measurement is carried out on sample X. After the campaign this sample is subjected to a limited re-interview, exclusively to establish if they were exposed to the campaign or not. These exposure scores are added to the premeasurement. An independent post-measurement is carried out on sample Y in which both exposure and effect variables are measured.
Daniel Starch wrote as long ago as 1923 that for an advertisement to be successful it must be seen, read, believed, remembered, and acted upon. In the Starch philosophy, and still today, an advertisement must first be seen. How can we measure accurately if a consumer has seen an ad (cognitive response)? in the research world there are two schools of thought on this: measure spontaneously, or show the TV commercial or print ad and ask if the consumer has seen it (recognition). Because visual prompts connect with memory traces more effectively than verbal prompts it is better to use recognition.
For affective ad response in a standardized approach, one set of beliefs about ads is used to compare strong and weak points of the ads over all beliefs. For conative ad response behavioral measures can be used. Nowadays, many print ads and TV commercials include in a lead to an internet site. Post hoc qualitative research on site visitors can reveal much about the advertisement’s role.
In nearly all effect studies, the effect of advertising upon brand awareness (cognitive brand response) is measured in three steps: top of mind (“Which beer brands do you know?” – first one mentioned), spontaneous (“Which beer brands do you know?” – all brands mentioned), and aided (“here is a list of beer brands with their logos. Which ones do you know, at least by name?”). Familiarity can also be measured, and is a more nuanced scale (“just heard of / know just a little / know fair amount / know very well”). For the measurement of affective brand response the brand that is the focus of the campaign and its main competitors are measured on a salient list of attributes (brand beliefs) relating to corporate-, product-, and user-profile facets. Finally, likely changes in behavior (conative brand response) are measured through the introduction of such measures as purchase consideration and intention. Advertising can influence future buying decisions even when subjects do not recollect ever having seen the ad. Neuro-marketing may shed more light on this phenomenon in future years.
Increasing simultaneous media exposure raises questions on how media advertising should be planned and measured in the near future. The use of multimedia and cross-media strategies will influence the measurement of advertising effectiveness.
- Bronner, A. E. & Neijens, P. (2006). Audience experiences of media context and embedded advertising: A comparison of eight media. International Journal of Market Research, 48(1), 81–100.
- Eisend, M., Langner, T., & Okazaki, S. (2012). Advances in Advertising Research (vol. III): current insights and future trends. Wiesbaden: Springer Verlag.
- Rosengren, S., Dahlen, M., & Okazaki, S. (2013). Advances in advertising research (vol. IV): the changing roles of advertising. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
- Starch, D. (1923). Principles of advertising. Chicago: A.W. Shaw.