Why is it important to do communication pre-testing?
The answer is obvious if you are aware that
Admittedly, the promises of market research companies on advertising pre-tests are quite similar. This suggests high interchange ability; therefore, many responsible for market research take above all the costs of tests and dubious benchmarks into consideration. – However, if pre-tests used are not reliable then often millions of Euros, British Pounds or U$ are at risk. - We are convinced that advertising pre-tests are only as good as their ability to predict future market realities.
However, considerable research has proven that most advertising pre-test methods are NOT able to live up to expectations. The Admap Conference 2004 came to the following conclusion: “There is still “No evidence in the public domain that it [pretesting] is predictive.” “Nothing has changed in the last 40 years.”
Did you know that our knowledge of advertising as well as advertising pre-tests is still implicitly based on the AIDA-formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) invented in 1898!! – Professor Ambler has summarized the essence of more than 250 scientific AIDA studies: „First, it ignores experience, and second, the brain just does not work that way”.
Most widely used advertising pre-tests also still assume that only the share of communication content which is remembered can have an effect and that advertising is predominantly evaluated rationally. However this is not true as recent findings in brain research, emotional psychology and behavioural economics have proven. (see e.g. Heath 2012, Ariely 2008, Zaltman, Zaltman 2008, Gigerenzer 2007).
In each second our brain is bombarded via our senses with approx. 11 million bits of information. However our ratio can analyse in a second maximal 40 to 50 bits. This equates to an eight digit telephone number or a short word such as „Portugal“. Therefore we can analyse only a minimal proportion of communication contents rationally. More than 99.9 percent is processed and decoded unconsciously in our „limbic system“.
Recent findings in brain research have proven that at least 95% of all “decisions” are taken unconsciously and emotionally – not rationally. Therefore marketing definitely requires a new generation of advertising pre-tests with proven validations of communication effect forecasts in real market conditions.
The Communication $ales Effect Test is the first or one of the first pre-tests which incorporates and transfers recent findings of brain research, psychology of emotions and behavioural economics in measures and analytical tools. It defines a new generation of ad pre-tests.
To determine the image effect of an advertisement (that is, the shift that was caused), the image status before test ad exposure has to be known for each test person! In other words, a pre- and post-measurement must be taken. - The Communication $ales Effect Test fulfils this requirement, but most other pre-test do not. One image measurement is not valid. (The reason being that the result of one measurement is not only an expression of the influence of the advertisement on the brand image, but also of the brand image which already existed before the test. Thus, the test result is a conglomeration and it is impossible to make a distinction between which factor influenced the result and to what extent.)
Using tough test market simulation criteria may be more time consuming and require more market research finesse but has proven to be definitely more reliable than simply measuring preference changes in winning baskets or relevant sets, purchase intention or so called introspective persuasion scores. The reliability of these measures contradicts substantial scientific findings. Our tough brand choice criteria have been used successfully in numerous product categories and international markets. In those cases in which products have been communicated more or less as tested predictions have usually been within half a market share point of actual market figures. For our validations see $ales Effect Predictions and the case studies below.
We have also provided numerous case study examples that our Ad $ales Effect pre-test is able to measure and predict reliably the recall effect of an ad or TV commercial. (Mayer de Groot, R.: Advertising Recall Measurement: Only Lies and Deceptions?, Eppstein 2010)
Our Communication $ales Effect pre-test is designed to measure reliably, the ad execution evalu-ation criteria as well as the sales effect and the image shift caused by the ad.
Publications in English
Publications in German
R. Mayer de Groot: Warum Benchmarking in der Marktforschung falsch ist, Eppstein 2008
R. Mayer de Groot: Marketing: Radikal umdenken oder abschaffen, Markenartikel 1-2 2007, S. 42 ff.
R. Mayer de Groot: Das Geheimnis erfolgreicher Testimonialwerbung, planung & analyse, 5/2007
R. Mayer de Groot: Von Werbe-Flop auf Marktführer in 3 Monaten – dank modernster WerbeWirkungs-Forschung, Eppstein 2007
R. Mayer de Groot: Werbewirkungstests, in : Pflaum, D. u. a.: Lexikon der Werbung, 7. Aufl. München 2002, S. 588 ff.
R. Mayer de Groot u.a.: Lug und Betrug bei der Recall-Prognose?, Eppstein 2007 R. Mayer de Groot: Werbe-Abverkaufswirkung pretesten! Auf jeden Fall!, planung & analyse, 3/2000, S. 38 ff.
J. Salomon, R. Mayer de Groot: Innovativ, traditionell oder lieber schräg? Wie unser Unterbewusstsein die Werbewirkung beeinflusst, markenartikel 9/2007