How Do You Test a Creative Concept?

bad creative data

One of the most overused concepts in digital marketing is “Let’s test this messaging/image in digital before we launch…” It’s not a bad idea, it’s that hardly anyone follows through on it properly. Companies requesting this sort of report generally fall into two categories:

  1. A company fires up a messaging test in digital to help guide creative direction of something more expensive like a TV spot or packaging. They think about testing too late in the game (eg. when they’re in post-production of their TV ad). A lot of good the testing will do them now. Why did they request the test in the first place? Likely to check the box that they tested and hope the data support the video that’s already made.
  2. A company wants to test 12 items at once with $20/day budgets and would like that to fit into a box of their choosing – and they’d like this box filled in each week. This is equally dangerous. Your analyst is now pressured to fill in the blanks with potentially non-significant data. Now they may be spending millions promoting a message based on a misleading result.

What if there’s another way?
Any demand generation professional worth their salt is going to request or create a multitude of creative assets, get significant data on each, and optimize out the assets that don’t drive value. If they’re really worth their salt, they’ll request a handful of templates, organize isolated message testing within each target audience, and serve ads evenly to drive clean results. As your demand gen pro (Don’t have one? Reach out.) optimizes to get you the best result, have them log statistically significant creative learnings in a repository with the data and link to the asset and practical applications for your wider business.

A message shows a 2x conversion rate versus other messages in a your retargeting campaign. The media person or analyst logs the learning and notates some areas where you should repurpose this message. Since it closed better in retargeting, you may want to consider adding it to a product page on the website, email creative, packaging, point-of-purchase displays, or anywhere where someone is close to purchasing (the bottom funnel, if you’re into that.)

The same would go for a message that drives high click through rates in a prospecting banner suite. Perhaps this is a candidate for use in your next video, TV spot, billboard, elevator pitch, etc.

Example of a simple creative playbook readout.
It doesn’t have to be beautiful – it just has to be useful and effective!

This is a slower process than machine-gunning media to get a result fast, but it drives a more valuable asset for your startup. It creates a playbook for your creative team (or person) to reference when they’re making assets across all areas of your business. It’s time to make creative testing an “always-on” competency of your demand generation program.

Want to get started with your own program? Email

Flywheel Demand