Building Advertising Surveys
When creating an advertising survey, the researcher will focus on the comprehension, effectiveness, and results of the ad message. Ads involve five key messaging elements: Who (Spokesperson), Says What (Advertising Message), To Whom (Target Audience), How (Which Media Channel), and With What Effect (Desired Outcome).
When any advertising research is conducted we must have in mind the Advertising Effect or desired outcome. If we can determine the Effect, we can answer the other four questions. When creating a survey to measure the effectiveness of an advertisement, a series of ad components are evaluated. The following are a sampling of items from different advertising evaluations based on a hierarchy-of-values approach.
Communicating Messages About a Product
What attributes or features does this ad communicate?
- Taste: This drink has great taste.
- Energy: This drink provides an energy boost.
- Reliability: This computer is reliable and trouble free.
- Features: This computer has the features I’m looking for in a laptop.
- Cost: This computer is less expensive than most major brands.
- Style: This coat is attractive and stylish.
What benefits does this ad communicate?
- Comfort: This car is comfortable to ride in.
- Value: This car is a good value for the money.
- Origin: This car is superior to most imports.
- Quality: This car is a quality vehicle.
What personal values does this ad communicate?
This ad reminds me of…
- Need Fulfillment: This car will meet my driving needs.
- Caring: This company cares about my needs.
- Trust: I can trust the car I drive.
- Understanding: The company understands the needs of the buyers of this car.
Higher Order Values
Higher order values are the over arching values that drive behavior and give meaning to life. Products and services are more likely to be purchased if they are consistent with these values. Measures of these values should be included in advertising studies.
This ad brings to mind…
- Accomplishment: The good feelings of personal accomplishment.
- Peace of Mind: The good feeling of having peace of mind.
- Personal Satisfaction: The good feeling about myself and what I do.
- Security: The good feeling of personal security and well being.
Behavioral and attitudinal goals will vary by ad and include such factors as:
- Realism: This ad shows a realistic view of President Obama.
- Entertaining: This ad is entertaining to watch.
- Relevance: This ad provides relevant information about the products.
- Ad Reinforcement: This ad reinforces positive feelings about this product.
- Information: This ad makes me want to learn more about this product.
- Purchase: This ad makes me more likely to purchase this product.
- Attention: This ad really holds my attention.
Brand Awareness Measures
Brand awareness research is the key to creating brand equity. Awareness equates to traffic and prospective buyers showing up at the store. Without awareness, little happens. Qualtrics measures brand awareness using both aided and unaided recall items such as the following:
- Which single company comes to mind first in the laptop computer market?
- Which other companies come to mind?
- Which company do you view as the leader in the laptop computer market?
- Which factors led you to mention [Piped Text Company Name] as the leader?
The following example questions measure different aspects of aided awareness and perceptions:
- Are you aware of XYZ Computers’ offerings in the laptop computer market? If so, to what extent?
- Please list the types of services that you know XYZ Computers offers in the laptop computer market.
- What three words best describe XYZ Computers’ position in the laptop computer market?
- What is your perception of XYZ Computers’ services? Technology? Account Management?
- Based on your understanding of XYZ Computers’ products, strategy and execution, how do you view its market position a year from now?
Brand Attributes and Associations Measures
Brand attributes and associations provide the fabric of loyalty and equity research. Loyalty and equity are largely the result of the associations and attributes of the brand. These brand evaluation attributes may be functional, physical, financial, social or psychological in nature. Researchers at Qualtrics are experienced in developing a comprehensive perspective for your brand loyalty and brand equity evaluation.
Qualtrics Brand equity measures include basic product features and attribute measures, as well as more advanced attribute-personal image congruence measures:
- This laptop is reliable and trouble free.
- This laptop has features that I’m looking for in a laptop computer.
- This laptop is less expensive than most laptop computers.
- This laptop is attractive and stylish.
- This laptop is a good value for the money.
- This laptop is a high quality laptop computer.
- This laptop is a dependable computer that I can count on.
Brand Loyalty and Equity measurement is accomplished with multiple attribute and association inventories that focus on quality and craftsmanship, and key component areas such as design and package, keyboard, processing power, ease of use, performance, and graphics and sound.
Associations include such areas as how the customer thinks and feels about the product and personal viewpoints about the product class.
- Security and safety
- Trust and confidence
- Dependability and freedom
- Peace of mind and calm
- Self esteem and success
- Congruence and compatibility
- Power and control
- Psychological and psychographic associations with the product
Perceived Quality Measurement
Quality is king and as such is a key component of all loyalty and equity measures. Quality is not, as many researchers perceive, a uni-dimensional construct. Quality effects are the consequence of attribute performance. Key areas of quality are the focal point of in-depth elaboration techniques to find out what makes quality and what quality improvements can be made to enhance brand loyalty and brand equity.
For example, overall noise level of the laptop may be measured on a standard satisfaction delight scale and then probed to indicate the source of this quality (positive or negative). Noise level may be due to cooling fan noise, power supply noise, disk drive operation, monitor hum, or keyboard clicking. Alternatively, quietness may be associated with having a quiet cooling fan.
Customer Brand Loyalty Measures
Brand loyalty has been examined at great length by academics and practitioners alike as one of the most important factors that can influence a brand’s success or failure in the marketplace.
From the re-evaluation of a fledgling product to the extension of a mature brand, effective marketing strategies depend on a thorough understanding of the core brand loyalty.
The Brand Loyalty program can have a dramatic impact on the success of your brand. Trust, quality, pride of association and identification with the brand’s concept and image influence loyalty and what consumers buy.
The Loyalty Tracking Program provides an ongoing measure of loyalty to your product or service to guide your business. Contact one of our project consultants to find out more about this service.
- Overall, how satisfied are you with XYZ Computers?
- How likely are you to continue to choose/repurchase XYZ Computers?
- How likely are you to recommend XYZ Computers to a friend/associate?
Trust in the Brand
- XYZ Computers is a name I can always trust.
- XYZ Computers always delivers on what they promise.
Quality of the Brand Relationship
- XYZ Computers always treats me fairly.
- If a problem arises, I can always count on XYZ Computers to reach a fair and satisfactory resolution.
Pride of Association
- I feel proud to be a XYZ Computers customer.
- XYZ Computers always treats customers with respect.
Identification with the Brand
- XYZ Computers is the perfect company for people like me.
- I can’t imagine a world without XYZ Computers.
Brand Equity is the summation of brand awareness, brand attributes and associations, brand quality, and brand loyalty. Brand Equity is the set of brand assets and liabilities linked to the brand. It also includes the brand name and symbol that adds to or subtracts from the value provided by a product or service. Each of these factors is considered explicitly or implicitly by the company or customers that evaluate your product or service offering.
The Brand Equity and Loyalty programs use custom designed processes to measure the strength of awareness, attributes and associations, quality, and loyalty. Increasing brand equity and brand loyalty will increase your ability to attract and retain customers. The seven goals of marketing are consistent with this promise and are realized through brand equity research.
- Attract and retain profitable customers.
- Turn problem customers into profitable customers.
- Attract new customers.
- Find a target, product, place, positioning, and price that maximizes revenue.
- Maximize emotional value as well as rational (attribute) value.
- Use the marketing mix to strengthen the bond between the core product and the physical product.
- Use the full product-service experience to strengthen the bond between the core product and the physical product.
Customer Satisfaction Defined
Customer satisfaction is “the state of mind that customers have about a company and its products or services when their expectations have been met or exceeded. This state reflects the lifetime of the product or service experience.”
The “Best” Approach For Building Customer Satisfaction Surveys
The best approach to measuring customer satisfaction and building customer satisfaction surveys depends on the kind of product or service provided, the kinds of customers served, how many customers are served, the longevity and frequency of customer/supplier interactions, and what you intend to do with the results.
Three very different approaches can produce meaningful and useful findings:
POST PURCHASE EVALUATION
Satisfaction feedback is obtained from the individual customer at the time of product or service delivery (or shortly afterward). This type of satisfaction survey is typically used as part of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) and focuses on having a long term relationship with the individual customer.
PERIODIC SATISFACTION SURVEYS
Satisfaction feedback is obtained from groups of customers at periodic intervals to provide an occasional snapshot of customer experiences and expectations.
CONTINUOUS SATISFACTION TRACKING
Satisfaction feedback is obtained from the individual customer at the time of product or service delivery (or shortly afterward). Satisfaction tracking surveys are often part of a management initiative to assure quality is at high levels over time.
Satisfaction surveys are developed to provide an understanding of customers’ expectations and satisfaction. Satisfaction surveys typically require multiple questions that address different dimensions of the satisfaction concept. Satisfaction measurement includes measures of overall satisfaction, satisfaction with individual product and service attributes, and satisfaction with the benefits of purchase. Satisfaction measurement is like peeling away layers of an onion-each layer reveals yet another deeper layer, closer to the core.
All three methods of conducting satisfaction surveys are helpful methods to obtain customer feedback for assessing overall accomplishments, degree of success, and areas for improvement.
General Satisfaction Measures
Customer satisfaction usually leads to customer loyalty and product repurchase. But measuring satisfaction is not measuring loyalty. The following are typical satisfaction questions asked:
- Overall, how satisfied are you with (brand name)?
- Would you recommend (brand name)?
- Do you intend to repurchase (brand name)?
These satisfaction survey questions can be asked in a number of different ways, focusing on different reference points:
- Expectations and their Confirmation or Disconfirmation (was worse, better than expected)
- Performance of the product or service
- Emotional measures of satisfaction (good feelings, bad feelings, happy, sad)
- Willingness to repeat behavior (assumes satisfaction)
- Direct measures of overall satisfaction
In addition, the scales used in customer satisfaction surveys vary from a simple 5 point “Very Satisfied to Not at all Satisfied” scale to graphical scales targeted at special groups such as children (smiling faces scale).
Some of these satisfaction scales are demonstrated in the following page. Note that there are many, many variations of each of these scales, that might reflect slight wording changes or different numbers of scale items.
For determining the size and relative market share of the market. Such studies provide key information for determining market growth, competitive positioning and tracking share of market. The CEO usually wants to know this information. Industry consortia often commission this type of study.
Directed at identifying who the customers are, who they are not, and why they are or are not your customers. This is often a descriptive market segmentation and market share analysis.
Stage in the Purchase Process/Tracking
Where the customer is along the purchase process. The aggregation of this information provides information about the diffusion of innovation process for the market and product as a whole… What are the levels of Awareness–Knowledge–Intention– Purchase– Repurchase?
Customer Intention–Purchase Analysis
Directed at understanding the current customer. What motivates the customer to move from interest in the product to actual purchase? Understanding this process and how it can be improved is the key to customer conversion, commitment, and loyalty study.
Customer Trust–Loyalty–Retention Analysis Surveys
This is especially appropriate for the study of shopping goods (and other high priced goods) because of the magnitude of the decision process for the customers, the long purchase process (time from need recognition to purchase), and depth of consumer attitudes formed about the product and/or company.
New Product Concept Analysis
Concept test studies are appropriate in the initial screening of new product concepts. Likes and dislikes about the concept and evaluation of acceptability and likelihood of purchase are especially useful measures.
New Product Acceptance and Demand(Conjoint)
Conjoint analysis studies are implemented primarily for the estimation of demand for new products. Typically, these products can be described or have been developed in drawing or concept, but have not yet been developed physically. Conjoint analysis allows the manager to develop market share estimates to find which of the alternative potential products offer the greatest market promise.
Habits and Uses
Habits and uses tests are directed at understanding usage situations: how, when, and where the product is used. Habits and uses studies sometimes include a real or virtual pantry audit.
Product Fulfillment (Attribute, Features, Promised Benefits)
Products contain bundles of benefits (both tangible and image) that are promised to the user. The product fulfillment study determines if the expectations created for the product by advertising, packaging, and the produce appearance are fulfilled when the product is used.
Test Market (Product Use and Acceptability Evaluation)
Test markets are conducted to determine the actual buyer response to a new product offering. Test market evaluation is most often concerned with evaluation of the product purchase process, evaluation of the product and marketing materials used in the test market.
Product Positioning (Competitive Market Position)
Product positioning analyses are for comparisons of a product or brand relative to the competition. These comparisons or “competitive positioning” analyses often compare the attributes and benefits that make up the product. The analysis associated with this type of study is often a multidimensional preference analysis (Multidimensional Scaling).
Product positioning analyses are sometimes termed “Best Practices” studies and focus on the question of “How does the market view us relative to the competition?”
Brand Equity Analysis
Brand equity analysis focuses on the measurement of the psychological value that a brand carries with it. Brand equity is described in the marketing literature as being a composite of brand awareness, brand quality, brand associations, and brand loyalty. Each of these concepts can be measured. There is no formal procedure for combining all items into a single overall “value” or “score” that measures brand equity.
Advertising Value Identification and Analysis
Advertising value analysis focuses on the hierarchical attributes, benefits, and values that are associated with and portrayed by an advertisement. Means-end analysis is often part of this type of study.
Advertising Message Effectiveness (Media and Message)
Advertising testing for message effectiveness is directed at identifying the impressions, feelings, and effectiveness of the ad in moving the respondent to a desired goal (increased awareness, more product information, trial, repeat purchase).
Sales Force Effectiveness
Sales force effectiveness evaluation is a combination of measures that focus on the activities, the level of performance associated with those activities and the effectiveness in terms of producing the desired and measurable effect or goal. Often sales force effectiveness is measured as a multiple part survey completed by the sales person, the client (evaluating the sales call), and the supervisor responsible for evaluating the sales person.
Sales Lead Generation
Sales lead generation surveys are an effective online tool for (1) assuring timely use and follow-up of sales leads, (2) qualifying sales leads (thereby saving valuable sales force time), and (3) providing more effective tracking of sales leads.
Customer service surveys are akin to customer satisfaction surveys, but focus in detail on the actual customer service that was received, the process involved in receiving that service and an evaluation of the participants in the service process.
Customer Service Representative (CSR) Attitude
Employee attitude surveys are particularly important when employees are involved in customer service. Employees hold attitudes about benefits, passion for the job, and the general feeling that they are valued and contribute to the lives of others.
CSR attitudes are a function of many job related activities and interfaces including (1) the allocation of time (percentage of time on the phone, doing administrative tasks, etc.). Comparisons are made between the time spent with customers with the value of those customers (is too much time with unprofitable customers?); (2) what type of information or tool is most helpful/least helpful when solving customer needs; (3) is there missing information or tools that would most help improve their job; (4) what information and best practices can be identified and shared; (5) the evaluation of internal departments to find which are most/least helpful when seeking to answer customer questions.
Customer Service Rep.(CSR) Burnout, Turnover and Retention
Customer Service Representatives must conform to corporate policies and at the same time deal with problems that are sometimes unsolvable. The result is that customers unload on the CSR, making them prime candidates for frustration, burnout, and high turnover. Surveys for retention analysis can be helpful in reducing costs and increasing the quality of customer relationships. Measures for this type of survey include frustration measures, career goals/aspirations, motivations for choosing this current employment, desires to move to other positions/departments, and measures of sources of frustration, such as other CSRs, managers, interfacing with other departments and specific customers.
Sales Forecasting and Market Tracking
Sales forecasting and market tracking studies can take a number of forms and methodologies. Survey approaches to sales forecasting typically are applied when expert forecasting (experts estimate the market), judgmental bootstrapping (rule based decisions derived from experts that describe how to use available secondary market information), conjoint analysis (estimation of consumer intentions based on product attributes that are important in the decision), and intentions evaluations (consumer self-reported intentions of future purchases) are to be made. These approaches use judgmental data.
Price Setting Surveys and Elasticity of Demand Analysis
Pricing surveys that estimate the elasticity of demand are directed at showing optimal price points, if perceptions are that prices are too low or too high. Pricing surveys are often designed to show the demand for the product or service for different segments of the market, but may also include different usage situations.