Winning Ad Campaigns Are an Art & a Science

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Jun 03
View of someone from behind sitting at a computer with headphone on. The image is in black and white.

Everyone knows that great creative is essential for a successful ad campaign. But less understood is how data and analytics can inform creative to guide marketers toward winning campaigns. According to a recent article on Inside Radio, “Data and insights play a vital role in audio advertising –well beyond mere media planning and audience targeting. More and more, science is mixing with the art of creative to ensure the message is in synch for the different audience segments being reached.”

The article referenced a brand lift study for a major tech company that revealed two of its key consumer segments were responding very differently to a campaign. “The lesson learned for the brand was the importance of using different creative approaches,” Inside Radio reported. “Now the tech client uses different creative approaches and views audience segmentation differently.”  

We at Strategic Media, Inc. have long known that building and scaling an effective audio strategy is truly a mix of art and science, and our scientific approach has been the backbone of our business for 20 years. “Capturing every data point available is a critical piece to success in all audio campaigns,” said CEO Jeff Small. “At SMI we’ve invested in technology and built relationships with third party media attribution platforms to ensure the performance of each channel is managed thoroughly. The data capture is analyzed and is critical to each creative and media decision made throughout a campaign. Our Creative Team uses these performance metrics (science) to guide their craft of skillfully writing ads (art) that speaks to each target demographic as well as the most responsive audience segments we learn about throughout the testing process.”

According to Vanessa Verrillo, Senior Account Manager, Client Services, “Ongoing creative testing and execution is the bloodline to any audio campaign, and we’ve found the most effective way to do so is by A/B testing.” A/B testing, also referred to as ‘split testing’, is a strategy in which the same media set airs over two weeks and rotates creative. Creative A airs in Week 1 and Creative B in Week 2. “It’s a simple yet efficient methodology,” says Verrillo. “By Week 3, we are able to directly compare creative performance at the station or format level, depending on tracking. We generally find there is clear creative winner, at which point we are able to also conduct an in-depth creative analysis by reviewing the various language and elements that we believe worked or didn’t work in each ad. We then use those learnings as a sounding board for new concepts, and begin the process over again.” 

“What works for one channel or audience doesn’t always resonate with another,” says’ SMI’s Director of Client Services Christina Baeten. “Really effective messaging for the streaming audience often doesn’t translate to terrestrial or satellite, and vice versa. When launching a brand in audio, we know that casting a wide net creatively with multiple ads that each highlight different customer benefits or address different pain points will get us the learnings we need the quickest.” Baeten adds that conversely, a mature brand with substantial exposure already in audio sees a better return when the message is more consistent. Regardless of approach, Baeten says, “maintaining familiarity with the audience is important so that when the need for your product or service becomes immediate, your brand is top of mind.”

SMI knows that a combination of creative and analytics is the best way to ensure the success of any audio campaign. To advertise on radio or podcasts with an agency who has spent years using science to optimize performance, contact SMI today.

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