In this article we will discuss about the effectiveness of advertisement and its evaluation.
Advertisement is a costly affair, but very seldom serious attempts are made to judge how far it is effective, how many benefits the costs of advertisement yield, how the benefits, if any, are related to advertisement and so as. Till recently, the effectiveness of advertisement has been measured in relation to sales. This is what is known as quantitative way of measurement.
This measurement emphasises whether an advertisement was acceptable to consumers and whether they digested it and remembered it. This is known as “stimulus response function”. There is no dispute about the fact that the most objective way of measuring an advertisement is through sales. Sales in turn are influenced by complexity of forces which fall into qualitative type of advertisements.
Therefore, the measurement of quality is an indicator of the index of the quantitative type of measurements. The advertisement should first appeal, that is, it should stimulate the demand for a particular type of the product. Only then can some results be expected from it. The success of an advertisement can be analysed only with the help of some survey data relating to consumer response and sales.
Evaluation of Advertising Effectiveness:
Good planning and control of advertising depend critically on measures of advertising effectiveness.
From the standpoint of evaluation, methods may be broadly divided into two classes:
(i) The reach and reception of the communication, and
(ii) The results of the communication.
Again on the basis of its training, a test can be classified as:
(1) Pre-testing, and
It means testing the potentiality of a message or copy before printing.
There are three types of pre-testing and they are:
The draft of an advertisement along with some relevant questions is sent to a group of target consumers or advertising experts and their opinions are collected and analysed to find out whether the proposed advertisement is satisfactory or not.
A group of respondents is shown a number of alternative advertisement drafts giving as much time as they want to read them. After the specified time, they are asked to recall them and to reproduce them as much as they can. The responses are analysed to find out how far the advertisements are impressive, which ones are more impressive and so on and so forth.
The potential effect of an advertisement may be judged with the help of certain instruments which measure heart beats, blood pressure, pupil dilution such as stethoscope, psychogalvanometer, eye observation camera, etc. These reactions provide case to its power to get attention and produce other psychological or nervous effects.
After an advertisement has appeared tests may be undertaken to judge:
(i) The impact of communication, and
(ii) The ultimate results in the form of sales.
There are two methods used for this purpose and they are:
(i) Recall, and
Regular users of the related medium may be asked if they can recall a specific advertisement, including the name of the advertiser and the products referred to and if so, how much of the advertisement they can play back. Their responses are studied and graded to see how far the advertisement was successful in attracting notice or being retained.
In this case, a particular issue of a medium is shown page by page to a sample of its readers and they are asked to point out which advertisements they recognise as having seen and or on the basis of the replies, evaluation is made of the receptiveness of the advertisement.
Sales Method Test:
Advertising’s sale effect is generally harder to measure than communication effect. Sales are influenced by many factors besides advertising, such as the product’s features, price, availability and competitors actions. Sales impact is easier to measure in direct marketing and hardest to measure in brand or corporate image-building advertising.
Two different methods are generally used for this purpose and they are:
(i) Historical method, and
(ii) Experimental method.
(i) Historical Method:
In this method part sales are analysed in relation to past advertisement either on current or lagged basis. If an advertisement has been followed up with more sales it is considered to be more effective.
(ii) Experimental Method:
In this method the entire sales territory is divided into three or four sub areas, more or less on the basis of some uniform criteria. In one group, an advertisement is inserted involving a certain amount. In another group; the amount is doubled; in the third it is tripled; in the fourth, it is quadrupled. The results in the form of sales are measured and compared with a view to finding out the impact of increased advertising effort.
Importance of Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Advertising:
The importance of evaluation of the effectiveness of advertising is listed below:
(i) It is generally opined that much of advertising expenditure is wasteful. Proper evaluation would help in finding out whether it is really wasteful and if so how much of it is so.
(ii) Evaluation reveals the strengths and weaknesses of different media and thus provides useful guidance for future media planning.
(iii) Through suitable methods, the draft of a message or a copy can be tested beforehand so that preventive steps may be adopted and waste reduced.
(iv) The whole process of evaluation leads to a body of recorded experience which may be useful not only to the improvement of advertising but also to better planning.
(v) Evaluation shows not only which advertisements are less productive but why they are so. So it indicates the sources for greater effectiveness.
Difficulties in the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Advertising:
There are many difficulties in the evaluation of the effectiveness of advertising and they are:
(i) Good researchers who can successfully measure the impact of advertising are difficult to get.
(ii) It is difficult to say how much increase in advertising resulted in how much rise in sales.
(iii) The primary aim of advertising is to increase sales. But it cannot be concluded that the entire increase has been due to advertising. In reality, many factors influence sales, advertising is just one of them.
(iv) Advertising has many goals, one of them is to build goodwill. But measurement of goodwill is not possible.