POV: Longitudinal Testing and Experimental Design Yield Dividends for New Creative

At SLRG, we’ve always been big proponents of experimental design as a means to isolate and measure the impact of new products or new marketing executions. Whether it’s a brand launching a new SKU or line extension, a hotel or resort property that is introducing an expansion, or a sports property coming out with fresh ticket marketing creative, we are able to start with a zero baseline and minimal awareness or preconceived perceptions of how the launch aligns with the desired positioning. By initiating testing before the launch, properly designed testing opens a unique window into how the new campaign’s unique selling proposition resonates and accumulates over time, while simultaneously seeing the market impact on relevant competitors that may enjoy initial first mover advantages.

A relevant current example can be drawn from work we are conducting with a brand that is introducing a line extension in a horizontal category to its core products. With virtually no prior track record for the SKU, an initial benchmark wave of awareness and perceptual tracking is totally void of any pre-existing consumer biases or demand. By tracking the new brand over time and against multiple specific touch points, we can see both the accumulated impact of the marketing efforts, as well as look at the relative short term impact of particular activations and executions, by oversampling in those markets receiving the heavier, incremental marketing weight.

This type of approach can also be quite valuable for highly seasonal offerings like ticket renewals or vacation bookings. Looking to work we’ve conducted in the cruise industry space, the phenomenon known as “wave month,” where a highly disproportionate amount of media and marketing weight is applied during a limited but prime exposure window, this type of longitudinal testing affords the researcher opportunity to apply key awareness, perceptual and transactional metrics against relative GRPs or other reach variables. Such an approach can allow for reasonable calculation of impact per impression, while collectively assessing the effects of heavy advertising and marketing periods, relative to other times when the marketing isn’t as prevalent.

Regardless of where a product is in its lifecycle, the benefits of a longitudinal approach, allow for brand managers to examine incremental impacts of various executions and seasonality. Doing so, first prior to the launch of new creative and then as the marketing rolls out, affords an even purer ability to observe incremental impact at particular junctures of a campaign. See how SLRG can do this for you, today.