Five ways data can help inform your next marketing campaign
August 7th, 2023, Jen Garside

Five ways data can help inform your next marketing campaign

Market research plays a crucial role in shaping, delivering and measuring the success of marketing initiatives. With the right data, advertisers can reach their audience at the right time with the right message, intimately knowing their desires, aspirations, and pain points.

How does data inform your marketing strategy at the moment? If the answer is not at all, then we’re happy to help educate you on how to use data to inform your marketing decisions.

If you’re still guessing what your audience thinks in 2023, you’re a step behind your competitors. Worse still, you might be placing your hard-earned budgets behind the wrong messaging, or the wrong audience. Thankfully, there are many ways to work with market research data to ensure you’re not making decisions on a whim.

Identify your target audience

Market research helps in identifying and understanding the target audience for your advertisement. You might already know some elements of who your target audience is I.e. ‘vegan snack eaters’ - but data can help tell you who these people are, and where to reach them.

There are several audience intelligence platforms available to help you with always-on audience understanding, or you can run a survey or focus group. Through surveys, focus groups, and zero-party data, research plays a vital role in understanding and connecting with your target audience. Researchers can gather demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data. This information enables advertisers to create targeted and impactful campaigns that resonate with the intended audience.

For our example, research might show that in your target audience of vegan snack eaters, there are a higher percentage of 18-24 year-olds. To know where to best reach them, you can look into more granular detail about where they tend to live and shop, whether they commute to work, what social media and news apps they consume and more.

Test your ad concepts

When developing ads, it's essential to evaluate different concepts before finalizing them. This evaluation process, commonly known as ad concept testing, allows you to gather feedback and make informed decisions.

At this stage, knowing your target audience is really important – it allows you to test concepts with the people that really matter to you. By conducting focus groups or online surveys, you can collect valuable insights on various approaches: creative ideas, visuals, messaging, and taglines. This feedback guides you towards refining and optimizing your ad concept so you can land your message with your target audience.

Message effectiveness assessment

Market research helps in assessing the effectiveness of different messages or value propositions within an ad – you might have several ideas on the table that go in different directions, focusing on one key element of your brand or another.

Through surveys or interviews, researchers can gauge how well the message resonates with the target audience and if it effectively conveys the desired brand image or benefits. This feedback enables advertisers to make informed decisions about which messages should be emphasized in the final ad. Testing your ad messaging before you finalise your creative can help save time and resources spent on design and ad channels.

Test your ad format and channels

Finding the right ad formats and channels to reach your target audience is crucial and understanding consumer media consumption habits and preferences plays a significant role in making informed decisions.

By conducting surveys or analyzing zero party data, you can gather valuable insights on how consumers engage with different media. This information empowers you to select the most appropriate channels (such as TV, social media, or print) and ad formats (such as video, banner, or native placements) that are likely to capture your audience's attention. 

You will want to consider channels where your target audience is most engaged and present – if you know they listen to podcasts a lot, that could be the place for you. If your target audience adores a specific TV show, and there’s a clear audience affinity, you might identify an ideal sponsorship opportunity. If you want to reach people who drive on motorways... well, you get the idea.

Measure your ad performance and ad recall

Once your campaign is live, there are a range of research tools and techniques that help you understand its impact and effectiveness:

Qualitative feedback from focus groups:

Focus groups of your key audiences can help to gauge the effectiveness and influence of your ad – these will give you qualitative responses and feedback that is individual to each respondent. Qualitative research can help you dig deeper into the ‘why’ behind an audience response, allowing you to ask more open-ended questions.

Brand health tracking:

Focussing on brand health tracking measures can also allow you to understand how your campaign has shaped perception consumer behavior. Important tracking metrics for your ads are overall measures like awareness / ad awareness which dictate how visible your brand and campaign have been. You can continue to track the impact of this through your customer journey/the funnel by investigating how your ad has affected other revenue-related metrics like purchase intent, and any other metrics which you identified at the outset of the campaign as your key objective – this could be overall perception of your brand value, quality, etc. With forethought and the right tools, brand health tracking can provide you with impactful, quantifiable measures of success.

Measure ad recall:

Additionally, you might want to consider a survey measuring ad recall to give you insights into your campaigns’ memorability and long-term effects. These types of data mean you can assess your campaign's performance, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions for activity.

Market research companies can help you to test your ad with target or nationally representative audiences to understand what individuals recall from our ad, in either online or offline focus group survey formats.

You might also want to consider trialling ad formats that actively promote recall; interactive ad units like YouGov FreeWall can target your advert to users reading online publications and quiz them on the message before they unlock the content they want to read.