Quant online pre-testing is very popular; in the week 25th to 31st January 2012 I was invited to take part in at least 29 pieces of research from just 3 research panels:
- 4 Ipsos Surveys
- 7 MySurveys (Millward Brown)
- More than 18 Survey Network surveys
I don’t have the time to take part in these studies as each one takes around 45 minutes to complete but I did have some down time between Christmas and New Year and did a few:
I concept tested a product innovation in butter that is simply brilliant, I hope makes it to market as genuine innovation in a category that is over 3000 years old is truly impressive! I also pre-tested an animatic for a 2012 Christmas ad for a popular soft drink that was distinctly reminiscent of Ghostbusters.
Aside from the confidentiality issues of using online panels to pre-test concepts and ads there are other significant problems:
- Ads that have been Quantitatively Online Pre-Tested are 50% less effective
- Subject Expectancy Effect makes any results suspect
- …the methodology is baffling (at best) or utterly pointless (at worst)
- Quant online pre-testing culls big ideas
So Why is Online Quant Pre-Testing Popular?
I’m reading The Warren Buffett Way and a single sentence made sense of why:
“An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she avoids big mistakes.”
On reading this sentence it all became clear: Confidentiality and effectiveness are being sacrificed to minimise the risk for shareholders. Quant online pre-testing exist to serve the shareholder’s needs, not the marketing manager’s.
There is certain irony in the fact that the investment bankers and pension fund managers who benefit most from these tests are not even aware of their existence or the problems they cause.
The rules have changed, if you want to make advantage of ‘free’ online impressions you need a big idea. By their very nature big ideas are inherently risky and are culled by online quantitative pre-testing.
So What Now?
We combine eye tracking and facial coding with depth interviews to find out what people really do, NOT what they think they do. Our behavioral economics approach is big idea friendly and produces actionable insights:
…my learning from working with THiNK Eye Tracking is that eye tracking is different, it can lead to very specific actionable results that lead to business benefits.
Dan White, CMO Millward Brown