Advertising Testing with Web Survey Software
Traditionally, ad concepts are often tested in focus groups. These tests allow extensive comments by the participants, which can give advertisers valuable information. The major limitation in this type of research is that it does not involve a statistically significant sample. So while a researcher might gain great insight into the way a few people view a proposed ad, focus groups don’t let researchers know what proportion of the population favors one concept over another.
Web survey software provides a way to get reactions to proposed ads from a statistically significant number of people. Depending on your choice of program, you can use an online questionnaire to gauge reactions to proposed television, radio and print advertising.
The Survey System lets you show YouTube videos. These have the advantage of being generally compatible with all devices. Our program also supports Apple QuickTime and Windows Media Player, but each of these requires the player to be installed on the target device, and neither of these players are universally installed. If you have a lot of people taking your survey at one time, using YouTube can also have the happy benefit of placing less of a bandwidth strain on your server, because the video is coming from YouTube servers, rather than your server.
You can also use YouTube for radio ad testing, but one downside of that is that YouTube always displays an image. You can use a static image, if you only want to test the audio. Another option is to use the HTML 5 audio player, but if you do so, some people using older browsers may not be able to hear the audio.
Most web survey software lets you show an image. So you can use any such program to display an image and ask people questions about it. The more sophisticated online questionnaire options let you use a heat map to record where on an image people clicked. You can use this feature to judge what parts of an image most attract attention. You can also use it to see what parts of an image people like least. One limitation of a standard heat map is that the only way to view the results is to look at the image with color shading indicating the relative numbers of clicks in each part.
Another variation is an image divided into zones, which can be different sizes. If you have a fairly limited number of zones, you can easily quantify how many people click on each zone as if those people had answered a multiple choice question. Analyzing the data in this way lets you use cross tabs and banners to easily compare how different groups of people reacted to an image.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to test advertising online.