Sunday, 18 November 2012

Measuring Promotion

Need for measuring Effectiveness of the Promotional Program

Promotion of any product/company is carried out with a distinct objective in mind. Although companies plan a great promotion strategy, they tend to neglect the most crucial element of the same. They forget to measure the achievement that is achieved through the strategy. Every company should remember that measuring the effectiveness of the promotional program is a critical element in the promotional planning process. Research allows the marketing manager to evaluate the performance of specific program elements and provides input into the next period’s situation analysis. It is a necessary ingredient to a continuing planning process, yet it is often not carried out. It is important to determine how well the communications program is working and to measure this performance against some standards. 
Reasons to measure effectiveness:

·         Avoid costly mistakes
·         Evaluate alternative strategies
·         Increase efficiency in general
·         Determine if objectives are achieved

Some of the critics have also pointed out some reasons for not to measure the effectiveness. They are as follows:

·         Cost of measurement
·         Research problems
·         Disagreement on what to test
·         Objections of creative
·         Time

All the above arguments possess weak logic and can be negated easily. The cost of measurement could be negated when compared to the loss that is caused if the advertisement is unsuccessful. Similarly the research problem can be negated by having a presence of a proper plan for the evaluation and measurement. The disagreement can also be taken care by the same.
After the above discussion we can come to a conclusion that the measurement will provide us with extra benefits only. Hence, adopting the process would merge batter with the company’s strategy.
In order to understand the complete mechanism we will try to answer the complete mechanism using the framework of:

·         What
·         When
·         Where
·         How

What to measure:
Marketers need to determine how the communications process is being affected by the different promotion programs. Other decisions made in the promotional planning process must also be evaluated. But Primarily the components of the communication plan is to be evaluated. The components are:

·         Source Factors
·         Message variables
·         Media strategies
·         Budget decisions

Where to measure:
Test Measures can be classified on the basis of when they are conducted.

·         Pre-testing
·         Post-testing

The testing methods can be further classified as:

Where to measure:
In addition to when to test the managers need to take decision about the place where the test should take place. Ideally the test is taken at two places:

·         Laboratory
·         Field

An important trade-off between the control the test offers and the realism it offers is made. In the first place control is high while the latter provides high realism.
How to measure:
The first three testing factors were general and designed to establish a basic understanding of the overall process as well as some key terms. At this stage it is important to know how these test are conducted. In order to conduct these tests two primary requirements are :

·         Testing guidelines
·         Appropriate tests

Twenty-one of the largest U.S. ad agencies have endorsed a set of principles aimed at “improving the research used in preparing and testing ads, providing a better creative product for clients, and controlling the cost of TV commercials.”14 This set of nine principles, called PACT (Positioning Advertising Copy Testing), defines copy testing as research “which is undertaken when a decision is to be made about whether advertising should run in the marketplace. Whether this stage utilizes a single test or a combination of tests, its purpose is to aid in the judgment of specific advertising executions.”15 The nine principles of good copy testing are shown in Figure below:



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