How to measure advertising effectiveness using custom research

| March 7, 2023

Knowing how to measure advertising effectiveness underpins successful marketing strategies. You need to show how your B2B ad campaigns are successful and justify the corresponding ad spend.

You know this. But do you know how to measure advertising effectiveness beyond your current metrics? Go deeper than your results from anecdotal client stories, syndicated reports and marketing analytics tools?

Getting personalized intelligence straight from your clients, potential customers and competitors gives you high quality answers to specific strategic questions. A quality B2B research partner asks the right people your questions, using the best combination of research methodologies.  

This granular level of research helps you build a deep foundation to your strategic thinking and have full confidence in your decisions – before, during and after each ad campaign. These decision quality insights help you increase the impact of your campaigns, even if your budget’s unexpectedly reduced. 

You can measure your advertising effectiveness using custom insights to empower you with confidence in your strategy. This knowledge becomes your compass as you navigate the challenges and opportunities of wider economic uncertainty, competitive marketing landscape, and a constantly evolving multi-media environment.



What makes an advertising campaign successful?


Everyone’s trying to break through the noise and be top of mind. The general pillars of campaign success easily roll off the tongue. A quick search for ‘great B2B advertising campaigns’ will find many brilliant examples. But you need specific success criteria that apply to your marketing strategy.

The real measure of your ad campaign’s effectiveness is how well it met its own objectives. There’s an innumerable, diverse range of possible objectives, for example:

  • Shifting perceptions of current clients to see your brand as being more innovative
  • Increase brand awareness in a new target market
  • Ensure memorability, so that you’re top-of-mind when your customers are in market


You’re targeting your audience, solving their – and their clients’ – problems. And for that you need reliable insights into your potential customers. Knowing how to measure advertising effectiveness properly means you get a specific assessment of how successfully your campaign reaches its precise objective. 

If you’re measuring a campaign against objectives it was never designed to meet, then failure’s inevitable. 



Why you should know how to measure advertising effectiveness using custom insights


Evaluating advertising effectiveness gives you actionable insights to inform your future marketing strategy. It highlights strengths, weaknesses, unexpected roadblocks and surprising opportunities. You can be confident in the conclusions you reach, the campaign’s impact on your audience, and the connections it strengthens or creates.

Investing in how to measure advertising effectiveness pays off when it comes to the ROI of the whole project. Research pre-launch, during and post-campaign maximizes your marketing budget. Because it answers your questions, with 100% verified, decision quality data. Questions like:

  • How do our current customers feel about our brand, services, and products?
  • Are potential clients aware of our brand? How do they perceive it?
  • How does our brand track against others in our industry?
  • How can we optimize all levels of the marketing funnel?
  • Which paid media channels deliver the highest ROI?
  • Which campaigns are the most effective for retention, recall, and conversion?


The NewtonX Knowledge Graph scans over 1.1 billion people across 140 niche industries to find the exact professionals that can answer your question. This decision quality data is used by winning brands to build success into their marketing strategy and individual campaigns.



Why is measuring advertising effectiveness so difficult?


There are several challenges involved in knowing how to measure advertising effectiveness, commonly:

  • Sheer volume. With a multimedia strategy in place, there’s just so much to measure. Different platforms, publishers, intended audiences – you’ve already got all the basic metrics. But what about the soft data that gives you the edge?
  • Changing legal landscape. New regulations that affect your ability to measure targeted and personalized ads.
  • Bad data. And the acceptance that this is the norm. This isn’t just a financial cost. The normalization of bad data reduces any faith in the decisions made using this evidence.
  • Sources of research. Lack of custom findings based on high level insights.
  • Groupthink. Traditional, closed panels of experts produce limited results only based on current customers.



How to measure advertising effectiveness in 4 phases


1. Embed previous success

As you start the research design phase, don’t forget to apply the lessons from your previous advertising effectiveness research.

Go back to the evaluations of your previous campaigns to optimize the next one. Explore the surprising new market it uncovered. Rectify a misperception of your brand. Focus on the paid media channel that you now know gives the best ROI.

Using NewtonX’s brand health tracking capabilities gives you an instant competitive advantage. 

As technology industry insights executive Jason Talwar notes: “NewtonX’s platform gives us continued confidence that [Tableau is] sourcing the highest quality data to drive critical business decisions.”


2. Set clear objectives

At the start of every ad campaign you need to get clarity on 3 things: objective, how you’re going to measure that objective, and when you’re going to take those measurements. Pre-launch testing, during the campaign at timed intervals, after the campaign closes – it’s important to know when you’re evaluating advertising effectiveness from the outset. And a clear objective means that everyone is clear about what ‘successful’ means in this context. 

Our ‘voice of customer’ insights helped a top financial services company create a successful advertising campaign that resonated with their target market because they invested in custom B2B research first. Crucially, we advised on the relevant job titles that would be the best targets of their survey and we fielded 500 highly specific respondents in 28 days.

Their conclusion, from the Head of Marketing: “Thank you so much for helping us dig in and define our target audience from the start. Having that kind of granularity made such a difference in our results compared to how we had done this in the past.”


3. Test and adjust

Conduct pre-launch research on your proposed campaign, making any tweaks before you invest in taking it to market. Be certain.

For example, Adweek partnered with NewtonX in order to test the prevailing theory that new data privacy policies would lead to more ad spend with publishers. After surveying 80 senior marketing decision makers in just 5 days, NewtonX delivered a 2023 advertiser spending report,  pinpointing where they intend to prioritize their advertising spend, their budget allocation divided between platforms and publishers, and the true size of these changes in ad spend.

Mark Stenberg, Adweek Senior Media Reporter, said: “What excites us the most about publishing this information is the opportunity to turn anecdotal insights into empirical data. There is often a wide gulf between what you hear and what you can report on, due to the difficulty of finding objective evidence to back up casual insights; with these findings, I am excited to be able to do that.”


4. Evaluate advertising effectiveness

To what degree have you met your campaign objective? It’s that simple. Correlate your results with your initial success criteria. If you’re doing this at data review checkpoints during the campaign, optimize your advertising effectiveness according to your results. And at the end of a campaign you’ve got all the reliable data you need to answer the really interesting questions:

  • Did they notice and remember it? 
  • Did they have the emotional response you intended and did this make them act straightaway? 
  • Did they get it? Did you connect with them?
  • How do they see the ad sitting within your brand identity?
  • Are their perceptions of the company altered in any way? 


And you’ve got evidence-based knowledge that illuminates your next campaign’s success.



Evaluating advertising effectiveness with a reliable B2B research partner


Measuring advertising effectiveness with NewtonX means that you have access to 1.1 billion high quality, pre-vetted experts across 140 niche industries. So you’re getting your answers from exactly the right people, with 100% reliability.

NewtonX custom insights are key to the analysis of your advertising effectiveness because they provide the depth and breadth you need to make business critical decisions. We quantify the soft statistics of customer sentiment alongside the hard data to give you robust, actionable insights. Using the correct research methodologies is key: quantitative surveys, qualitative 1:1 consultations, or a combination of the two. We’re completely responsive to your specific needs.

If you want to make better decisions with B2B research, get in touch

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