An advertising measurement is adopted both before and after an advertising campaign is launched. After a campaign has been launched, it is essential to know how far the advertising plans, strategies and programmes are successful in achieving the objectives so that they may be modified and redesigned for better performance if needed. This process is known as evaluating advertising effectiveness.
Some advertisers do not bother to measure advertising effectiveness. They expect that the sales will ultimately increase by reason of advertising. But, recently, problems and difficulties have compelled them to measure advertising effectiveness. The producers also adopt a measuring device because they incur a sizable amount of expenditure on advertising. The effectiveness of media and message are also assessed for their use in future.
The results of same amount of advertising budget vary for several reasons. Only through the measuring of advertising effectiveness the success of a particular campaign can be known. Various measuring techniques have been developed to measure effectiveness at every stage to isolate the effects of advertising from those of other promotional and marketing activities. The copy, media and other advertising components have been tested. The factors like readership, consumer opinion, belief or disbelief, recall, attention, comprehension, attitude, etc are taken into consideration for measuring effectiveness. Positive relationships are established between these factors and sales. The best read and highly rated advertisements are determined by consumers under an advertising research programme. There are different methods of measuring audience response.
Two important aspects of measurements, viz., sales and communication objectives are measured to judge the advertising effectiveness.
- Sales Measurement: Where advertising is the predominant contributor to sales, the sales response is immediate and when internal and external factors affecting sales are held constant or are ineffective. Measuring effectiveness in terms of sales only is not very logical or scientific as advertising is not the only contributory factor to sales. A non-linear relationship exists between advertising and sales. The advertising effect is not always immediate. There are the adverse effects of competition too. While measuring the advertising with the yardstick of sales the measurement of advertising effectiveness becomes easy if the controllable and uncontrollable factors are taken as constant.
- Measurement of Communication effects: Advertising is basically a communication process. The effectiveness of advertising can be measured by how much the communication process has been useful in motivating consumers. The communication objectives, i.e., establishing brand awareness, improving recall, increasing brand recognition, bringing about an attitude change, etc., can be measured because these are realistic. Advertising effectiveness is measured by its direct and immediate impact on consumer behavior.
The measurement of objectives in terms of sales is not scientific. The measurement of attitude is not logical. If image building is the objective of advertising, its effectiveness should be measured in terms of image building and not in terms of sales or in terms of the attainment of any other communication objectives.
The measurement of advertising effectiveness can be done at any time from planning stage to final stage. If advertising is tested before it is run, it is known as pre-testing. It helps to develop more effective communication and exercises control over costs. The effectiveness of advertising activities is generally examined when the campaign has been run and advertising functions have been performed. This is known as post-testing because the effectiveness is measured after the final stage of the campaign has been reached. The advertising effectiveness can also be tested when the campaign is under way with a view to modifying it, if necessary. While adopting a particular test, the cost of testing should be borne in mind.
Pre-testing is adopted to measure the effectiveness and accuracy of an advertising plan before its implementation. Post-testing is done after the advertising activities have been completed to examine the effectiveness of these advertising activities. A mid-test involves a test before the completion of advertising functions and after the implementation of the advertising plan.