Pulse Pod 44 – Dr. Frederick Barber

On this week’s episode of the Pulse Pod, Chris and Brent are joined by Dr. Frederick Barber, President of Response: AI, a full service and self-service market research firm which is a current partner of Cygnal’s. Together, they take a close look into Ad Testing–its advantages over other research methods such as Focus Groups, and its differences from standard polling.

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Key Takeaways:

  • The fact that a particular ad is well remembered does not necessarily correlate with a high number of sales. Ad Testing aims to discover the persuasive ability of a specific ad, looking for whether it’s impacting people’s subconscious and putting through a clear message that resonates with the public.
  • This thinking mentioned above belongs to the commercial realm, but can certainly be applied in the political and public affair states as well. At the end of the day, an election is actually a purchase event, in which the candidate is a brand and the campaign is just trying to sell a product.
  • When it comes to analyzing the metrics involved in Ad Testing, likeability – meaning how much people like an ad – has very little correlation with sales. Other metrics like relevance, clarity and effectiveness are definitely more important, being persuasiveness the most relevant.
  • Ad Testing has proven to be better than quantitative research methods such as focus groups, which demand more time and money, and where people are placed in artificial environments in which a couple of strong personalities can have quite a substantial impact in the final say.
  • A standard poll shows which message actually makes people lean towards a particular candidate. However, it cannot tell whether version A of the ad vs. version B of that same ad actually got the message across to influence the voter. Also, standard polling has a pretty smaller margin of error compared with Ad Testing.
  • Even though Ad Testing can be applied in different fields, it comes through as a very powerful tool in politics, given that in this sphere there are no do-overs. If your ads aren’t hitting, then your name ID is not increasing, your favorables aren’t going up, and your donors will not be too willing to write you that next check, etc.

Cygnal · Dr. Frederick Barber, President of R:AI – Pulse Pod #44