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FAST AND SOLID AD TESTING RESULTS FROM SELECTED TARGET GROUPS IS A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT

March 7, 2022

Testing marketing material before it goes into production and is launched is becoming increasingly important, especially among leading pharmaceutical companies. Anna Burrows, Account Director at Up There Everywhere, a Stockholm-based global digital advertising agency handling marketing campaigns for Galderma, specializing in dermatological injectables and skin care products, believes that this is a model for the future.

In less than 3 weeks, Opticom and Up There Everywhere, organized advertising concept tests with hundreds of consumers and several treating doctors in different countries. The results from the market research were clear and with some amendments, based on respondent feedback, two ad concepts got the green light. Anna Burrow concludes that the main benefit of the market research project was getting solid answers from the right target audience really fast.       

Anne gives a background to the latest joint project together with Opticom and Galderma: “We were to test a number of advertising concepts for this client’s product and my team and I had to find a fast way to do this because it came out of the blue, it was not in the original scope or time plan for the project.”

They needed fast results on how three campaign concepts around an injectable dermal product were perceived by the target audience, update the chosen designs accordingly and still be able to deliver on time. The product itself had been in the Galderma portfolio for 12 years but had not received that much market attention over the years, and now it was time for that to change!

Another reason for testing the concepts was the decision of Galderma’s new management team to test all marketing material pre-launch.

According to Anne, this new approach was surprising to the team at UP, as a client usually comes with a brief and they develop a campaign based on that and launch it. Now the task was to design different campaign concepts, test them with specific target groups and adjust based on the market research results.

Anne says that the main reasons for choosing Opticom in the end were that she and her team were introduced to Opticom’s CEO, Carl Michael Bergman and appreciated his energy. Making enquiries on how fast Opticom could deliver on this project, the team got an encouraging response. They also got to know some of the staff and getting acquainted to Opticom’s market research skills and their ability to conduct a project within a very tight timeframe, which was a deciding factor.

Even though UP has their own team working with market research, Anne acknowledges that it is not their core specialty, they needed external expertise and here Opticom was the obvious choice. UP appreciates having a trusted and reliable partner, especially when things are to be executed fast but where the market research supplier still needs to show flexibility when requirements change, sometimes suddenly, she says.  

The project meant testing the concepts with hundreds of potential customers in the UK: “And we don't have the setup to reach 350 consumers fast, where your team does, so it was just a natural thing” Anne explains and continues: “Then the client wanted to add interviews with treating doctors in different markets, which was not in the original scope, so I think that the Project Manager Mats Nygård and his team were extremely flexible and accommodating”.

The crucial decision here was to make the final choice on which ad concepts to go with. One of the concepts was a clear internal favourite in the agency team, i.e., the creative director and photographers and well as among several of the client’s marketing staff. In the end, it turned out that this specific concept received the most negative feedback and poorest ratings of the three, both in the consumer web survey as well as among the treating doctors interviewed.

With these clear results at hand, it was an easy decision to go ahead with the other two similar concepts, although with small but important adjustments, based on respondent feedback.

Anne appreciated having the responsible market research agency presenting the results and as the Project Manager had conducted the qualitative interviews with the doctors himself and was familiar with all the results, the client reps could ask him anything directly: “It kept us neutral, so we didn’t throw our opinion in there, so we didn’t skew the results!”

She believes that the project was an investment well worth doing, but admits that in hindsight, the research should have been done earlier in the process, as a lot of work and money had already been invested in developing multiple concepts: “I would say there is definitely ROI, because we stopped one of the concepts completely, so we saved money on the final stages of the production.”

The main benefits of the project were getting solid answers from the right target audiences really fast: “It's really a consumer campaign, however, it is to be presented by the doctors, by their clinics, on their websites, on the walls of the clinics and in promotional leaflets… So, it's important that we heard from the doctors as well – what they would use and present in their clinics and communicate to patients”.

Anne believes that the model for the future is testing ideas earlier in the form of sketches and less elaborate design work, to know what the target audience feels about the messaging, for example in smaller focus groups, and then refining the design based on the market research results.

To listen in on some of the doctor Zoom interviews live together with other team members involved, was also greatly appreciated: “Yes, I sat in on several of these discussions! And I found it really fascinating, and I had to keep quiet and just listen!“

She says that it was very interesting to hear the doctor conversations, get their views and associations to the different images and models, which differed somewhat from the consumer web survey results and indeed from her own views.

Water and swimming were prominent themes in the winning concepts and where most consumers linked it to freshness and purity, doctors had a clearly more negative opinion on what swimming pool water does to the skin: “Several really disliked this concept!”. Anne explains that it surprised them and made them update their material: “I think it helped me and the team to keep things in balance because although the consumers were “all Gaga” about the first two concepts, we learned from the qualitative [doctor] interviews that we still needed to refine the visuals so that the models appeared in water, but you could not see it was a swimming pool.”

Anne and her team picked up on what she calls “important little things” too, like comments on reflections in the photos and on model looks and expressions, for example, which was very valuable feedback for the final outcome, concluding: “By listening to the conversations, listening to their voice, we’ve learned things that would not have been possible to learn by just reading a report.”

So based on this project experience and having explained the benefits of this type of market research, combining quantitative and in-depth qualitative market research, Anne says that she and the team would absolutely work with Opticom again and would recommend the company to both colleagues within advertising as well as to clients: “I'm super pleased with the response, the timing, the quality of the work, the value of the research data and also the fantastic energy of the team!”