If you own a company or head an organization with a tight advertising budget, you might be wondering if you ads are really effective. Perhaps, you've been running the same ad for more than a few months and you're not sure if it is having any impact. If you have the feeling that your ad may be losing its effectiveness, you may be right. However, the best way to know if you ad is really working is to perform ad tracking research.

Ad tracking research, also known as post-testing, measures the effectiveness of advertising campaigns through interviews or surveys. It is an excellent way to know how well a given campaign is doing at any given point in time. Ad tracking includes periodic measurements gauging the impact of ads. Its value lies in the use of data to determine the ROI, or return on investment.

Ad Tracking

There are a number of data points that ad tracking can capture. Top of mind awareness, aided and unaided message recall and ad awareness can all be measured via such tools as online surveys and focus groups. At the same time, demographic data and other market segment characteristics can be collected. Other important data can be gathered such as purchase intent, price perceptions and ad wear out, all of which help marketers adjust campaigns appropriately. Much of the ad tracking done presently is done online due to cost savings and quick feedback.

Any organization that advertizes can benefit from ad tracking research. In fact, it's the best way to understand the true effectiveness of each ad campaign is to perform such surveys periodically as long as the campaign is running. In this way, organizations are able to identify the relationship between brand and ad awareness and dollars spent. It is important for marketers to distinguish between the effects of advertising on sales versus the effect of price, competitive pressures or lack of pressures, or other marketplace variables.

Ad tracking is part of market research and it is one of the many ways companies to gain a competitive edge over their competition. By tracking advertising effectiveness, management can halt or alter campaigns as they wear out, the point where ads begin to lose their audience's interest, or even start boring the audience creating a potential negative effect. Most importantly, companies can manage their advertising utilizing real data which provides valuable insights that will ultimately save valuable resources.