Testing Advertising Online

The internet is a ruthless medium; it exposes poor content by its insignificance. On the upside, truly engaging campaigns get spotted quickly on the web and can then be rolled onto the relatively expensive conventional media with greater confidence.

As such, the net is a low cost, efficient medium to pre-test ads. A video advertisement uploaded on online platforms like YouTube could 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 are strong in this regard.  

The main drawback of testing online is that it exposes advertising to competitors. They get information about products, strategies and tactics, prior to the launch of the advertising campaign. For this reason marketers are wary of using online platforms for testing purposes.

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