Getting feedback from your target audience can be valuable at various stages of the development process – and creative testing is one of the best methods. So, let’s look at the different options for creative testing. Most importantly, please refer to the questions on the back to help you determine if, and when, testing is right (or wrong) for your project.


Choose the Right Direction
Concept testing tends to be an early-stage development technique that provides insight before a direction has been decided. The focus of this testing can be a product, campaign, positioning, tagline, design or other comparable materials.


Get a Gut Check
Association testing is a common technique that reveals the nature of how an ad or campaign is received by the target audience. It’s often done on behalf of a campaign to help refine or sharpen the final creative elements.


Evaluate Real-World Effectiveness
Competitive testing is used to determine how an audience will react to a finished ad in real-world scenarios. These tests place the finished ad alongside other existing ads to see if it can break through the noise.



Your budget doesn’t have room
While the value of creative testing is undeniable, it does come at a cost. You should weigh the impact of spending budget on testing vs. putting those resources towards additional placements or creative.

You don’t have a plan in place
You should always have a defined strategy for why you’re testing and what you’re going to do with the insights. That actionable plan will help you determine if creative testing is a necessity.

Your creative is too similar
The emotional response to advertising is a strong indicator of success, but if you’re testing creative that’s too similar, it will be difficult for the average consumer to identify nuanced differences and provide meaningful feedback.


You’re about to go where no brand has gone before
From bold statements to radical new directions, creative testing can eliminate some of the risk involved in pushing the limits of client or market expectations.

You can’t decide what to do
Sometimes it’s difficult to commit to one concept, especially when there’s more than one that might work. But creative testing can help determine which concept will better connect with the audience.

You’re selecting a spokesperson
This investment is a long-term proposition that needs to be carefully vetted. Creative testing should be part of that process to make sure the spokesperson connects with the audience and feels like an authentic representation of the brand.

Your client said so
Some clients will simply have a culture or leadership team that demands additional research – and creative testing can certainly help clients sell concepts internally or feel more comfortable in general.

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