5 tips for conducting research for ad campaigns

No matter the medium, research is a critical piece in every campaign. It can help you better understand what creative and message will be most effective in an ad and increase the likelihood of your team making good, informed choices. 

Your research findings should inform every part of your plan from whether you use TV or print to who your target audience is. Research should help ensure that you do the best job possible of planning, preparing and placing your ad.

Keep reading for tips on how to best conduct research for upcoming ad campaigns.

  1. Before you get into the nuts and bolts of looking at competitors and prospects, it’s time to look in the mirror and talk to your friends in marketing and sales. They’re your internal sources. Conduct interviews with them to find out how they are talking about your product or service. How do they market and sell it? Examine your company’s past ad campaigns, which can allow you to use ad elements that have been effective in the past. Further, the performance of these campaigns can help you determine a benchmark and come up with ideas for improvement.
  2. Next, research the market. Who are the big players in your field that you’re up against? If you run a local business, who else sells the same goods in your neighborhood? How can you differentiate yourself? What makes your business, service or product unique? This research should help inform your advertising message and creative.
  3. Examine your target audience. Who specifically are you trying to reach with this campaign? Demographic data, including age, gender, location and household income are critical. Then examine psychographic data. What motivates your prospects to purchase products and services? Don’t skimp on this step either. If you do legwork, you may be surprised at the research that has already been conducted on your target group. Also, if it’s possible, create your own survey and poll individuals who have already purchased your product. You can also use SRDS Local Market Audience Analyst, an online consumer market research service built to provide sophisticated demographic, segmentation and targeting data for media planners and consumer marketers. Better understand target audiences, their behaviors, and lifestyles: view data on 200+ Experian Simmons lifestyles and industry-standard Nielsen PRIZM segments.
  4. Critically analyze your competitors. How are they talking about their products in advertisements? What is their call to action? Are they limiting their campaigns to print? Check out their social media pages. Go to their website and read through each page to determine what their value proposition is. That will give you the knowledge needed to communicate how your business is unique and hopefully, better.
  5. Understand your advertising options. Using a service like SRDS.com, you can easily find ad opportunities in any market, media type or geography.  The SRDS.com database gives you access to everything you need to evaluate media brands and connect with the people behind them. One integrated search gives you essential planning data on more than 125,000 media properties. Print or digital. National or local. In or out of home. Direct or broadcast. It's all there.

Now that you know the steps, it’s time to execute! Start your research now for your upcoming ad campaign.

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