Sunday, 18 November 2012

Testing Process

Testing Process For measuring effectiveness of promotional programs

Testing takes place throughout different points during any campaign. The figure below shows the different testing points.
Concept Testing
This test is conducted very early in the campaign development process in order to explore the targeted consumer’s response to a potential ad or campaign or have the consumer evaluate advertising alternatives. Positioning statements, copy, headlines, and/or illustrations may all be under scrutiny. The material to be evaluated may be just a headline or a rough sketch of the ad. The colors used, typeface, package designs, and even point-of-purchase materials may be evaluated. The Figure below shows the concept testing methodology:

One way of doing the concept testing is by using Focus Groups. But the usage of focus groups has its advantages and disadvantages:
         Results easily obtained, observable, immediate
         Multiple issues can be examined
         In-depth feedback is obtained
         Results not quantifiable
         Sample size too small
         Group influence may bias responses
         Some members may dominate discussion
         Participants become instant “experts”
         Members may not represent target market
         Results may be given too much weight

Rough Art, Copy, and Commercial Testing
Rough tests must indicate how the finished commercial would perform. Some studies have demonstrated that these testing methods are reliable and the results typically correlate well with the finished ad. Most of the tests conducted at the rough stage involve lab settings, although some on-air field tests are also available. Popular tests include comprehension and reaction tests and consumer juries. In short both the method is explained in the diagram below:

During the process of rough testing there are certain terminologies used which one should keep in mind while dealing with this. The diagram below gives a detailed explanation of the required terminology:

Pretesting of Finished Ads
Pretesting finished ads is one of the more commonly employed studies among marketing researchers and their agencies. At this stage, a finished advertisement or commercials used; since it has not been presented to the market, changes can still be made. Print methods include portfolio tests, analyses of readability, and dummy advertising vehicles. Broadcast tests include theater tests and on-air tests. Both print and broadcast may use physiological measures.
 A number of methods for pretesting finished print ads are available. The most common of these methods are portfolio tests, readability tests, and dummy advertising vehicles. The diagram below gives a brief description of the same:

 A variety of methods for pretesting broadcast ads are available. The most popular are theater tests, on-air tests, and physiological measures.
Theater Test: In theater tests participants are invited by telephone, mall intercepts, and/or tickets in the mail to view pilots of proposed TV programs. In some instances, the show is actually being tested, but more commonly a standard program is used so audience responses can be compared with normative responses established by previous viewers. It measures changes in product preferences. It may also measure Interest in and reaction to the commercial, reaction from an adjective checklist, recall of various aspects included Interest in the brand presented Continuous (frame-by-frame) reactions.
On-Air Tests: Some of the firms conducting theater tests also insert the commercials into actual TV programs in certain test markets. Typically, the commercials are in finished form, although the testing of ads earlier in the developmental process is becoming more common. This is referred to as an on-air test and often includes single-source ad research. On-air testing techniques offer all the advantages of field methodologies, as well as all the disadvantages. Further, there are negative aspects to the specific measures taken through the on-air systems. One concern is associated with day-after recall scores, the primary measure used in these tests.
Physiological Measures:  A less common method of pretesting finished commercials involves a laboratory setting in which physiological responses are measured. These measures indicate the receiver’s involuntary response to the ad, theoretically eliminating biases associated with the voluntary measures reviewed to this point. (Involuntary responses are those over which the individual has no control, such as heartbeat and reflexes.) Physiological measures used to test both print and broadcast ads include pupil dilation, galvanic skin response, eye tracking, and brain waves.

1.   Pupil dilation: Research in pupillometrics is designed to measure dilation and constriction of the pupils of the eyes in response to stimuli. Dilation is associated with action; constriction involves the body’s conservation of energy. Pupil dilation suggests a stronger interest in (or preference for) an ad or implies arousal or attention-getting capabilities. Because of high costs and some methodological problems, the use of pupillometrics has waned over the past decade. But it can be useful in evaluating certain aspects of advertising.

2.   Galvanic skin response: Also known as electrodermal response, GSR measures the skin’s resistance or conductance to a small amount of current passed between two electrodes. Response to a stimulus activates sweat glands, which in turn increases the conductance of the electrical current. Thus, GSR/EDR activity might reflect a reaction to advertising.
3.   Eye tracking: A methodology that is more commonly employed is eye tracking; in which viewers are asked to view an ad while a sensor aims a beam of infrared light at the eye. The beam follows the movement of the eye and shows the exact spot on which the viewer is focusing. The continuous reading of responses demonstrates which elements of the ad are attracting attention, how long the viewer is focusing on them, and the sequence in which they are being viewed. Eye tracking can identify strengths and weaknesses in an ad.
4.   Brain waves: Electroencephalographic (EEG) measures can be taken from the skull to determine electrical frequencies in the brain. Alpha activity refers to the degree of brain activation. People are in an alpha state when they are inactive, resting, or sleeping. The theory is that a person in an alpha state is less likely to be processing information (recall correlates negatively with alpha levels) and that attention and processing require moving from this state. Hemispheric lateralization distinguishes between alpha activity in the left and right sides of the brain. It has been hypothesized that the right side of the brain processes visual stimuli and the left processes verbal stimuli.

Market Testing of Ads
This is referred to as the post-test of ads so as to find out how the tests are performing in the market.
A variety of print posttests are available, including inquiry tests, recognition tests, and recall tests.
Inquiry Tests:  Used in both consumer and business-to-business market testing, inquiry tests are designed to measure advertising effectiveness on the basis of inquiries generated from ads appearing in various print media, often referred to as “bingo cards.” The inquiry may take the form of the number of coupons returned, phone calls generated, or direct inquiries through reader cards. More complex methods of measuring effectiveness through inquiries may involve (1) running the ad in successive issues of the same medium, (2) running split-run tests, in which variations of the ad appear in different copies of the same newspaper or magazine, and/or (3) running the same ad in different media. Each of these methods yields information on different aspects of the strategy. The first measures the cumulative effects of the campaign; the second examines specific elements of the ad or variations on it. The final method measures the effectiveness of the medium rather than the ad itself.
Recognition Tests: Perhaps the most common posttest of print ads is the recognition method.
Recall Tests: There are several tests to measure recall of print ads. They are similar to those discussed in the section on pretesting broadcast ads in that they attempt to measure recall of specific ads.
A variety of methods exist for posttesting broadcast commercials. The most common provide a combination of day after recall tests, persuasion measures, and diagnostics. Test marketing and tracking studies, including single-source methods, are also employed.


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