4 FAQs to Help You Navigate Agile Research for Creative Development

Creative Development Process

In our recent webinar, GutCheck and Millward Brown discussed the changing advertising landscape—and the impact of more creative content, faster development timelines, and smaller research budgets. Getting consumer feedback early and throughout the creative process can help you optimize your campaign for in-market success amidst this new fast-paced creative dynamic.

Here are some of the most popular FAQs from the webinar:

Q. Are you confident that when people look at early-stage execution, like a storyboard, they understand how this translates to an ad?

A. Providing development-stage context to respondents is important so they can effectively evaluate the stimuli. Language in the introduction can describe what they’re about to see in a palatable way and provide foundation for appropriate feedback.

In addition, it’s critical to set learning objectives for scripts and storyboards at the strategic question level, where respondents are able to assess. For example, in the sketch or script stage, it’s fitting to explore the articulation of the creative idea—“Is the brand messaging coming across?” or “How well does the story resonate?” versus executional details, such as “How well does an image or cut effectively communicate brand equity nuances?” Those learning needs should be clearly identified in the research objectives for effective analysis.

Q. You mentioned combining quant and qual. How do they each work? How do you integrate both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to gain creative insights?

A. By interspersing qualitative and quantitative insights throughout the creative development cycle, creative teams can understand through the consumer voice what executions to move forward, and how to best resonate with the target audience. Consider those moments when creative teams are debating the best strategy to move forward. By doing a quick consumer read, key success criteria can be assessed, taking the guesswork out of those critical decisions. Depending on your creative question, you might need to answer both the “what” (quant) and/or the “why/how” (qual).

Since both LinkNow quant and Pre-LinkNowTM qual allow you to access consumers in real time, you can learn in parallel with development. The qualitative can flesh out the quant validation, or stand alone for in-process learning. So rather than adding to the timeline, it can in fact speed up the process by eliminating costly rework later.

Q. How is the research different for digital ads versus more traditional ads, like TV?

A. The objectives of the research are similar, in that learning needs remain focused on the 3 core pillars of Link—engagement, brand associations (messaging), and brand predisposition (impact). All advertising development also has custom creative questions, which you’ll want to address in qualitative early and often. The needs differ in the digital space related to engagement amidst the competition for attention. If you can, therefore, we recommend showing your ad in a mock website environment that will be representative of the actual environment once the ad is live. If that’s not possible, however, it’s still super important to assess engagement in the creative early so that you can make it as powerful as possible before going live.

Q. When is the best time to use Pre-LinkNowTM?

A. Any time is great for Pre-LinkNowTM. In the early stages of creative development, consumer insight can have a more dramatic impact by influencing the creative idea and articulation of that idea. In the later stages, qualitative is equally important to ensure that the message is coming through via the details that make the difference between creative and effective. Finding a solution like Pre-LinkNowTM, that is agile, gives you the flexibility to conduct research at any stage of the process without missing deadlines.

With the ever-changing creative landscape, it is important to find solutions for fast and quality consumer feedback throughout the creative process. Watch the full webinar with GutCheck and Millward Brown to see

  • More detail on the changing creative landscape and the increased pressures CMOs are facing
  • Challenges of conducting iterative copy research and what to look for in a solution
  • A case study with Braun, a division of Procter & Gamble, to see how they used Pre-LinkNowTM to improve advertising effectiveness
  • Specifics on how Pre-LinkNowTM, an asynchronous discussion board led by an expert moderator and analyst, works
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