As digital marketers, everything we do is driven by the research we perform, continuous and rigorous testing of tactics and messaging, and the regular optimizations we’re able to perform based on our deep analysis of the massive amounts of data collected. Sound familiar? The words “scientific method” are probably popping into your head right now. But in the data-driven digital marketing industry, we have another name for it: creative testing.

Benefits of Creative Testing: Digital vs Traditional
The digital space provides a slew of benefits for data-driven marketers, especially when performing creative testing. Unlike traditional advertising channels, creative testing within the digital space, regardless of the medium used, is easy to perform. With everything done online, there is no need for intense focus groups or other setups. Plus, depending on the marketing method, creative testing can oftentimes be done free of cost or at a minimal cost, making it much more affordable to clients than print and TV, which both can require substantial investments. Furthermore, it’s quick. There’s no need for printing, filming, etc. like in traditional methods.

Benefits of Creative Testing
Without creative testing, you’re basically managing your clients’ marketing campaigns blindfolded. There are three key benefits to incorporating creative testing into your marketing strategy:

1. Can identify the creative and messaging that resonates best with different market segments: By now, you’ve narrowed down your target audience so you’re only reaching the most relevant consumers. And chances are, you have more than one market segment included in that audience (if you don’t, you probably should). Creative testing gives you the ability to test various creative and messaging with different lifestyle groups to pinpoint and utilize the best performing variations for each of your audiences. For example, which image resonates better with car enthusiasts vs boat enthusiasts? Similarly, it’s possible to gauge which products/services are resonating with different groups of consumers. Also, creative testing is a great way to leverage minimal dollars to gain crucial insight prior to launching your full marketing investment.

2. Can weed out any creative that consumers may find jarring, unpleasant or offensive prior to release on a large scale: By testing your creative and messaging prior to the full scale push, you can minimize any damage done to the brand due to creative that resonates negatively with consumers.

3. Can utilize message and creative testing done through digital means to provide feedback to “traditional” agencies: It’s not uncommon for large brands to work with more than one agency for different aspects of their marketing efforts, especially when it comes to digital and traditional. In the best interest of the client, digital agencies can provide feedback to traditional agencies, sharing their findings and underlying trends which can then be applied to improve existing marketing campaigns through the more expensive traditional media methods and executors.