How Marketers Use Research to Create Effective Advertising Campaigns


The marketing industry is waking up to the reality that an effective advertising campaign requires strong research to back it up. Today’s consumers know what they like. For an advertiser to change their mind they have to present a memorable message that the message recipient just can’t get out of their mind. If they can do that, they can create strong brand recognition that boosts sales.

Some of the best advertising campaigns may look effortless, but the team behind that message spent a lot of time on it. They identified their target market and probably conducted both quantitative and qualitative research along the way. That simple advertisement you love so much, took hours of work to produce. We’re going to take a closer look at some of the most important findings of marketing research and how they are applied in effective advertising campaigns.


Avoiding Simple Distractions

When we’re watching a commercial, we don’t really give a lot of thought to the elements of the message. If a cute baby’s on the screen, we focus on the baby. That may seem like a good idea for the advertiser, but it isn’t always. Research has shown that if that baby’s looking right at us we tend to focus on their face and that can distract us from the real message. If there’s a message written on the screen, chances are we won’t give it more than a cursory glance.

If on the other hand the baby seems to be looking at the writing, our gaze naturally follows the baby to see what he/she is looking at. This type of subtle change to a commercial may mean the difference between a memorable ad and one that doesn’t last in our mind.


The Importance of Presentation

If we take a moment to think about some of our favorite products, we’ll probably see an image of their packaging in our minds. In many cases, the packaging had a part to play in our purchase decision on the subconscious level. The world’s leading manufacturers are well aware of this and use it to their advantage.

Why do we choose one bag of potato chips over another? Flavor certainly plays a part, but what if we’ve never tried that flavor before? Powerful packaging can be a difference maker in our decision. Companies such as Procter & Gamble and Frito-Lay have researched the importance of packaging and they’ve used those results when creating their final product.


A Colorful World

Research has found that colors can have a strong influence on our perception and emotional response. That’s why marketers pay close attention to the colors being used in their products. Bright colors like pink, yellow, and orange usually put us in a positive mood, but black and grey may have the opposite effect. Marketers help manufacturers to identify the best colors to use with their products.

One of the best examples of the effective use of color in an advertising campaign was Apples use of bright colors in the launch of their iPod and iPod Nano product lines. They wanted to create an image of a fun product that everyone wanted and they succeeded.


Too Many Choices

We’re taught to believe that choice is a good thing, but too much choice can create problems. A research by Columbia University found that consumers could be overwhelmed by an overabundance of choice. This can actually cause us to put off our purchase decisions until a later time, or bypass the decision all together.

Coors is a popular beer manufacturer and their success is partially the result of a strong focus on their flagship product Coors Light. They do have other products in their line, but they understand that presenting the consumer with too many choices will not result in increased sales.


The Art of the Sale

Another key finding of marketing research is that those last chance sales really do work. Furniture resellers and car dealerships love this approach to marketing. When you’re thinking about purchasing a new car and you see a commercial that says the last chance to take advantage of a sale is approaching, there’s a good chance you’ll act. The local car dealership is counting on that reaction.

This may sound like a cynical way to advertise, but there’s nothing wrong with creating a sense of urgency for a product. As long as the offer really is a deal it can benefit both the company offering the product or service and the consumer. The great thing about these last chance sales is that they can be of benefit to everyone involved and that’s why they’re so popular with consumers.

Good Marketing Needs Good Research

There’s a good chance that your favorite advertising campaign began with a lot of research. It’s become an essential part of the marketing industry. Through research, marketers can identify the most effective way to advertise their product to the world.