How important is market research to an ad campaign's success?

The defining property for success for any advertising campaign is the ROI (return on investment). Of course, the ROI is inversely dependent on several cost factors, including producing the advertisement, the media buy and so on. Moreover, if the cost-to-benefit ratio is not correctly proportioned, then the ROI is not very high—and the campaign was not very successful, bottom line. A great ad is not one that simply wins awards, or even is played a million times on YouTube. Certainly recognition and visibility are crucial, but if the ad doesn’t deliver profitable and measurable results, then it was less than what the client needed. Clearly, to understand the ROI, the results have to be measured and analyzed. After all, if you aren’t keeping score, you’ll never know if you’re winning—or losing.

What’s the best way before creating and launching a campaign to ensure success? The answer is market research, and lots of it. Just as you can’t speak to a foreigner if you don’t know their language, so you cannot communicate with a buyer unless you first understand their culture, lifestyle and habits.

But the paramount aspect of the market research is quality. If your research is not right, then it probably worse than none at all. How is this so? Let me illustrate with a simple, slightly ridiculous, analogy… Someone hypothesises that the color yellow causes engines to accelerate. This is based on an observation while standing at a traffic light. So, a research firm spends millions of taxpayer’s dollars to study this issue. They set up expensive cameras and monitoring systems at thousands of traffic lights and then analyze the results. Shockingly, they conclude that when the light is yellow, 87% of engines immediately rev. They also find that green doesn’t seem to significantly affect engine speed, while red causes the engines to idle.

So, now we have petroleum companies wanting to sponsor yellow lights every five miles along highways. Would a blitz of yellow lights still cause vehicle acceleration? No—in fact, it would likely dilute the perceived effect at a traffic light, and all because of incorrect market research. What the researchers did not account for is that engine revving is caused by acute increased acceleration, which is directly controlled by the driver. The idea that the yellow color being important is only minuscule at best. After all, traffic control system designers could have chosen any color for the traffic light.

To conclude, before beginning a campaign, make sure you have the proper market research. This will help to make your advertising effective, memorable and very profitable.

Questions or comments? Get in touch with NewBirth Creative Design Agency. We provide creative design services, ranging from branding, corporate identity, package design, print advertisements, website development and much more.

Best regards,
Micah Touchet
Creative Director