The Internet has become the most important advertising medium besides print and TV, and with the offer of constantly more refined online services and end devices stimulates the design of ever more complex media strategies. Today product messages can be broadcast regionally via smartphones, focused toward the appropriate target group by social networking tools, or virally distributed via friends lists. On top of the advertising opportunities opened up in this way, the individual networks and Internet services also offer own dedicated analysis tools for measuring the impact of advertising: Google Analytics and Facebook deliver highly detailed statistics on likes, advertising reach, page impressions, and many other aspects too, right to the digital doorstep and always bang up to date. In addition, user-experience tests, interface analyses, and many other tools offer highly refined possibilities to test advertising elements in the real-life environment.
Fighting your way through the analysis jungle
As is so often the case: the more options that there are, the more difficult it is to choose the most appropriate for one’s needs. Ironically enough, in the oldest form of online advertising – that of display ads or banners – it is still the time-tried mechanism from the print sector that reigns supreme: deliver and place. Only in very rare cases are alternative campaigns, for instance, tested against each other, although this is something that is very easy to do from the technical viewpoint and involves only a small extra cost outlay.
Two-stage procedure for testing banner campaigns
What should you do before irretrievably allocating a five-digit investment to an online campaign? It couldn’t be any easier:
First a so-called “concept test” is run to bring clarity regarding the selection of the campaign. A variety of drafts are swiftly tested among a small-sized online sample population (10-20 respondents) for their recognition and recall scores – the ultimate aim here being to identify two favorite motifs (“leads”). In addition, emotional nuances or dislikes can also be prompted here by Skype interviews.
In an A/B test, these two winning campaigns are then placed in parallel on various advertising platforms via a central ad server, directed at a limited number of addressees (e.g. 10,000 deliveries). After the number of deliveries has been reached, the impact made by each of the two motifs is compared by measuring the click-through rate (CTR).
The main volume of the online campaign can then be run with that banner that proves to have the better advertising effect – and there you are!
Article last time updated on 17.10.2013.