Testing Advertising Online

The internet is a ruthless medium that exposes mediocre content by its insignificance in a sea of online content. On the upside, truly engaging campaigns get spotted quickly as they gain traction and can then be rolled onto relatively expensive media with greater confidence.

In this respect, the net is a low cost, efficient medium to pre-test ads. A video advertisement uploaded on online platforms like YouTube can be tracked on success measures such as click-through-rate (for those with call-to-action), completion rate and viewer comments. These behavioural engagement measures are covered in more detail under the section Advertising Engagement.

A/B Testing could also be performed to evaluate two or more options, or test for different approaches to the execution.

The prime advantages of testing advertising online are that it is real time, employs accurate web analytics-based success measures, and yields unsolicited feedback.

Online testing provides hard measures that advertisers will find hard to refute. It is however weak on diagnostics and would therefore combine well with copy testing, which is strong in this regard.  

The main drawback of conducting testing online is the potential for exposing advertising strategies and tactics to competitors. The risk of divulging sensitive information to competitors can hinder a company’s competitive advantage, making it crucial for marketers to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of testing online before making a decision.

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