As marketers, we are always conducting research to verify the perfect target audience for a product or service. We are experts at knowing the target audience – what they do and how they think. It is our knowledge of the demographics and psychographics of the target audience, that allow us to make strategic media placements in order to create the most effective, integrated campaigns. In a perfect world, all of these placements would fit like a glove and perform exactly as we expect them to, but of course we don’t live in a perfect world. There are no special formulas that tell us how a particular audience is going to respond to the campaign in each media and vehicle.
Until someone cracks that code (and makes millions of dollars) test campaigns are extremely important. Unless you are one of those companies who likes to toss your cash in the trash (yeah, that rhymes!), a test campaign is crucial in order to get that coveted ROI.
A properly tracked test marketing campaign will allow you to analyze the results and get a clear understanding of how your target audience responds to your campaign. Maybe Facebook ads don’t get through to your “social butterfly” target audience like you thought they were going to, but the placements on ad networks have created tons of leads. Instead of wasting money on Facebook advertising, after analyzing the results of your test campaign, you can now reapportion your budget to the vehicles that are giving you the biggest bang for your buck.
While it takes some investment (both in time and budget), test marketing will ensure a well optimized campaign, without wasting away your budget. Even if you don’t have the budget for formal test marketing, be ready and willing to change your original plans as the campaign results come in. The best research is taking your big ideas for a spin, while you still have time to tweak them and make them the best they can be.