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  • Six Principles of Small Business Advertising
    Game Plan
    In-Depth

    6. Test (and Test Again)

    There is no such thing as perfect advertising. It is an inexact mix of art and science—which means it can always be improved upon. That is why businesses conduct testing on a regular basis, again and again, in a continuing effort to improve the return on their advertising dollars.

    A few examples of ways you can conduct testing of your own:

    • Define a different target customer
    • Craft a new message
    • Try a different creative concept
    • Place your advertising in new places
    • Include a special promotion or coupon (or, in the case of online advertising, coupon code) in your ad, and count the number that are used

    One proven form of testing is “copy testing.” Usually conducted by specialized agencies, it involves pre-testing to see if the newly created ad will be effective. Some of the variables that a copy test can measure are:

    • Recall. How quickly is the advertising material recalled by consumers?
    • Reception. What do the test participants perceive to be the main message?
    • Brand fit. Does the ad concept suit your company?
    • Profile/tonality. What attributes that are associated with the ad?
    • Impact. Does the ad stimulate product use?
    • Favoring. Which creative treatment is preferred?