A revolution in ad testing

Ken Roberts
Forethought Research

Communications should change a business outcome, such as increasing market share, but strategies need to be measured on both buyers' rational and emotional drivers.

A generation ago, global brands needed consistent metrics for comparison of communications across categories, products and time. These metrics were reported to executives, who became trained to understand them. At the time they were the best available tools, becoming generally accepted practice.

But these measures have now been superseded by advances in understanding how decisions are made. We now know that to activate a consumer's intention to choose your brand, communications efforts must activate the implicit and explicit actors of behavioural change required to create consumption decisions. The trouble with the existing metrics is that the drivers of behavioural change are rarely measured. Instead, advertising effectiveness is measured by an array of attention-based measures anchored to normative databases that are devoid of implicit emotion-based insight or performance on a category-specific hierarchy of rational drivers of consumption.