What’s copy testing?

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Copy testing is a marketing research process where companies review advertising material to determine its effectiveness and make necessary changes before releasing it to the public. Techniques include showing the ad to a small group and analyzing their response. The goal is to weed out ineffective ads and ensure that they are appropriate for the target audience.

Copy testing is an aspect of marketing research in which a company reviews advertising material before releasing it. The company wants to determine the effectiveness of the material so it can decide if it needs tweaks before it’s ready for prime time. Businesses can save a lot of money by testing copy as the ad will perform correctly the first time. It can also prevent embarrassment or a black mark on a company’s reputation by allowing it to catch a potentially offensive ad before members of the public see it.

Companies can use a variety of techniques in copy testing. One option is to show the ad to a small group of individuals and gauge their response. This is usually done through a marketing company that regularly conducts marketing research and has the necessary tools to present materials and evaluate responses. Advertising research firms can also submit materials for review at their own facilities, with analysts who will determine whether an ad meets a stated goal or needs work to be functional for the company’s needs.

Concerns with copy testing include whether consumers will understand the ad, whether it successfully targets the right demographic, and how consumers feel about it. In tests where the ad is shown to small groups, analysts often videotape the response and ask group members to complete a survey. Analysts can examine real-time responses such as changes in facial expression during a video ad, and research can provide more insight into how consumers felt while watching the ad.

One goal of copy testing is to weed out ads that just don’t work. If consumers don’t seem to get the ad, are confused by the content, or get the wrong message, the company knows it needs to work. This can be as simple as changing the flow to make it more logical. In other cases, it may require more extensive restructuring. Sometimes an ad makes sense in development but doesn’t work in nature. A company might realize, for example, that an ad contains content that consumers might read as racist and find offensive.

The process may also include assessing whether it is appropriate for the target audience. Copy testing can show that people who should get something from the ad find it not to their liking or experience conflicting emotions. The target audience may be bored or uninterested in the material. Changes can change the presentation and focus consumers to pay attention. This can be especially important when a company branches out into new countries. Consumers in different regions of the world may respond differently to the same advertising material, and the company needs to make a good impression when introducing itself to a new market.

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