Whitepaper: Validating the effectiveness of digital ad pre-testing

Pre-testing ads validation whitepaper

To date, little evidence has existed to validate the effectiveness of pre-testing digital ads.

In this white paper, we explore the impact of ad pre-testing digital campaigns, drawing on the findings of dozens of in-market case studies.

The result is irrefutable evidence of its merits. More importantly, this paper highlights to digital marketers what they can expect from their investment.

The message is a simple one: pre-tested ads are more effective and efficient than those that are not tested.


About the study

Working with a large consumer client, we analyzed results from 36 in-market Facebook campaigns.

Our objective? To understand whether pre-tested Facebook campaigns achieved better in-market effectiveness measures than non-pre-tested campaigns.

We wanted to answer two key questions:

  • Are pre-tested campaigns more likely to see significant lifts in KPI’s versus control compared to non-pre-tested campaigns?
  • Are KPIs higher for pre-tested versus non-pre-tested campaigns?

Campaigns were split into two groups: those that were pre-tested and those that were not.

Results were weighted to consider factors that influence in-market outcomes such as brand awareness, market share, and reach of the campaign. For example, brand awareness varied significantly across the campaigns.

The higher the brand awareness the higher the likelihood of high Brand KPIs for exposed results.

At one end of the spectrum was a market leader with brand awareness in excess of 99%. At the other end was a relatively unknown brand with an awareness score of just 16%.

By weighting the campaigns, we created a level playing field to clearly show the impact of digital ad pre-testing.


Analysis of Fall/Winter 2016 campaigns

Ad pre-testing drives lifts in KPIs

Results from our analysis show that ad pre-testing is three times as likely to generate a significant lift in purchase intent and about 2.6 times more likely to achieve a significant lift in brand awareness.

For this study, we classified “significant” lift at 90%. The average of the four KPIs for the pre-tested campaigns are 1.3 times as likely to generate a significant lift compared to non-pre-tested campaigns.


Our key findings show that pre-tested ads:

  • are 3 times as likely to generate a significant lift in purchase intent.
  • are more than 2.6 times as likely to create a significant lift in brand awareness.
  • have a message association 1.5 times significantly higher than non-tested ads.
  • are 1.2 times more likely to be recalled.

Understanding the effects of ad pre-testing

This first analysis clearly establishes the rationale for pre-testing digital ads.
The results demonstrate that ad pre-testing can lead to more effective use of media spend than experimenting…

Want to read more and download the whitepaper?
Please let us know more about you:

Yes, I’d like to receive news and marketing communications from MetrixLab by email.No, I don't want to receive any additional marketing communications from MetrixLab.

Email sent popup