Pre-testing tops blog charts

29 December 2010

The most popular posts on the Warc Blog over the last 12 months covered subjects including pre-testing, the evolution of a new communications paradigm and the future of planning.

Taking pole position was a piece by Peter Field, a marketing consultant, discussing the weaknesses of qualitative pre-testing in determining which creative ideas will provide a real payback for brands.

Based on an analysis of 880 case studies from the IPA Effectiveness Awards, Field found just 4% of campaigns subjected to qualitative pre-testing delivered "very large profit growth", rising to 24% for those that were not.

These figures stood at 45% and 58% respectively regarding the "effectiveness success rate", seemingly showing that pre-testing tends to underperform as a predictive tool.

In second place was an entry from Chris Stephenson, strategy director for PHD, which discussed proposals from the Australian government to crack down on firms "cold-calling" as part of their marketing campaigns.

Stephenson said this move demonstrated the importance of embracing a new "comms paradigm", characterised by consumers moving away from traditional media and towards digital in the "post-broadcast age".

He added: "Telemarketing was born out of a broadcast age, and as that age wanes so too will the lazy, inefficient and unwarranted presence of brands that start one-way conversations that the vast majority of people will never want to have."

A brief summary of the 2010 Global Advertiser Conference, held in Istanbul, claimed third place, offering concise details of presentations from Facebook, Hewlett Packard and Nokia.

Elsewhere, a think-piece assessing the future of planning written by Waqar Riaz, a strategist at Rapp London, also proved of interest.

Riaz suggested that the advertising industry should learn lessons from industry pioneers such as William Lever and Steve Jobs.

"Planning, in its true form, must answer all the business challenges and therefore create a sustainable connection between people, organisations, markets and channels," he said.

"Unfortunately, this is not what's happening today."

Data sourced from Warc