As marketers, we know that a business is worth nothing if it can’t communicate with its customers. But with marketing taking up such a chunk of business expenditure — U.S. companies alone spent around $240 billion on advertising in 2020 — it’s important to know to maximize your return on investment. The best way to do this is through media testing.

What Does Media Testing Do?

Essentially, media testing helps businesses understand what kind of marketing works best for their target audiences so they can achieve their marketing goals. It does this by measuring the performance of different media plans before rolling them out. An effective media test relies on goals to be set beforehand, and measures four key areas.

Incremental Sales: This type of test measures the difference between your estimated business sales without marketing and the sales to be gained from a marketing campaign.

Halo Effect: Another measure testing looks at is the “image” portrayed by marketing materials. Halo effect is the unconscious positive (or negative) bias that marketing/media may have on a brand. Ideally, the media you put out in advertisements will quickly convince consumers that your brandy is exactly what they need.

SOM/Competitor Impact: The impact of marketing on the people who will realistically become your consumers, as well as understanding the impact of marketing on competitors.

Market Penetration and Brand Loyalty: A successful media test will help you understand how different marketing options will impact your business’s market share and the loyalty of your consumers.

What Is the Benefit?

The key offering of media testing is a deeper understanding of how your customers behave, including how they react to your marketing. There are many benefits, including:

  • Higher marketing performance
  • Real-time insights from digital media
  • Specific data to your organization, rather than general data that comes from researching industry benchmarks
  • More inspiration for creativity in marketing

What Kind of Media Tests Are Out There?

There are three main types, all of which work in similar ways but for different goals.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is used to measure the performance of two almost identical versions of media but with a variance in one element. For example, flighting two Instagram ads with the same graphics but different captions.

Split Testing

Similar to A/B, split testing is used for bigger variations in media. Split testing can test a couple of variations at a time, for example utilizing two different CRM lists to craft targeting strategies depending on the response of each list. We recently conducted this type of test for one of our cornerstone clients to understand if we could add on to our retargeting pool and find more potential customers as they do their online content browsing.

Multivariable Testing

If you need to evaluate numerous variables simultaneously, multivariable testing allows for this. It compares the performance of very different versions of marketing materials to allow you to identify the best combination. For example, I could use multivariable to analyze changes to the caption, image, and CTA of a social media post to understand what audiences respond to.

Ok, How Do I Do It?

While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer options for media testing, they’re limited to each specific platform. For the best results, you should work with an agency with in-house experts.

As a full-service marketing agency, Marketsmith can boost your business’s growth with AI, predictive modeling, CRM, and creative solutions for producing your marketing material. Contact us today to learn more.