Consumer Insights Is My Advertising Effective?

How many times has your ad agency told you that they are “Image Building” with your advertising campaign, and you cringe, because you can’t ensure the payback on that?  The fact is, most CFO’s love to invest company resources on sales – but they will HESITATE to spend it on marketing.  Why?  Because you can more easily plan and track the effectiveness of your sales team – determining how a marketing program will be received can be time consuming, and how maximize effectiveness can be downright baffling.

Engagement Goals

Dacor Appliances was rolling out a new national advertising campaign to its customers.  The new ads were presented to the management team, with an increase in the budget to $3.5M, annually. There had been “challenges” during previous ad campaigns, and the company wanted to determine if these ads would truly be well received by the public, before increasing the budget.

The goal was to understand how both the consumer and the professional community responded to the new design, concept, and message; while testing the possible effectiveness of the proposed new advertising campaign, submitted to the company by its advertising agency.

The Proposed Campaign


In past advertising campaigns, the advertising agency had developed and used single page advertising layouts for all of their magazine advertisements.



twopageadFor this campaign, the agency proposed an expensive two page layout. They recommended using a full page customer testimonial on the left side, to “connect” with the audience and infuse the element of warmth; while on the right side, they proposed a close-up photo of the appliance.  As a color scheme, they planned to use pastels, instead of the bold blacks of the previous year


The initial ad layout is shown below.  GeoStrategies was engaged to test the market appeal of the new 2-page layout, its pastel colors, strength of using a testimonial, and the photographic handling of the kitchen appliances.



Round 1: Testing the New Campaign

For market research projects, GeoStrategies has developed Epiphany Analytics, a cloud-based Enterprise Business Intelligence Platform.  One of Epiphany’s features is the ability to create custom-skinned data collection forms that can be intelligently delivered on schedule, to any mobile or desktop device.


GeoStrategies classifies, maintains and manages five different silos in Epiphany for our clients. Each silo contains critical contact data for key constituents.  We utilize these silos to ask mission-critical questions of key constituents on an ongoing basis.  In this case, we reached out to three of the Dacor contact silos:  Customers, the Professional Community, and Channel Partners.


Our first finding was that girlCustomers were confused by the spokesperson, wondering who she was and why they should listen to her.  They did not connect with her in a way that would cause them to consider the products she was recommending



The Professional and Channel Community (designers, resellers, specifiers) wanted to see more of the setting that the appliance was in, not just the appliance itself.  Seeing the appliance within its environment was more important than the technical aspects of the appliance, which was surprising to Dacor.  They also really disliked the pastel colors and the camera angle on product.


CONCLUSION:  The full page testimonial did not provide additional emotional connection and benefit. Based on these results, we recommended that they ditch the 2-page layout.  We recommended that they reshoot the product photography, using a larger picture of an attractive “kitchen shot” instead of product shot.  We also told them to go back to bolder black colors, and away from pastels.

Round 2: Adjusting the New Campaign

The agency reverted back to a single page format, and developed two draft designs.  They reincorporated the black colors that had been used.  However, they wanted to continue to use a spokesperson and testimonial message, but greatly reduced in size from the two-page layout.


We again used the Epiphany platform to reach out to Customers and the Professional community.  The Customer community still didn’t connect with the spokesperson, but that they liked the black colors and the larger kitchen photo.  The Professional community liked the larger kitchen photos as well, but really disliked the design of the kitchen.

CONCLUSION:  Ditch the spokesperson and testimonial copy and instead, sell the Kitchen experience. Use a large photo of a kitchen, and continue to use the black color theme.

For the photo of the kitchen, we recommended that they utilize the expertise of the professional community, and have them help design the perfect kitchen set for the photo.  We recommended that they submit the “red kitchen” photo to a group of interior designers, and give them full leeway to comment on the elements.

Round 3: Enhancing the Photography

We submitted the photograph of the kitchen to 200 professional interior kitchen designers, and allowed them full access to critique the photography.  We asked them to comment on flooring, paint colors, countertops, room detail – pretty much everything.  We then asked for their suggestions on how they would redesign and enhance the kitchen set to make it visually stunning.  Their general comments fell into these four areas:


The Final Results

After creative input from 200 interior designers, this was the result:

beforeAfterAnd when put into the final layout that both the customer and professional communities recommended, this was the final result:  A beautiful, vibrant advertising campaign, prepared to be hugely effective.

finalfinalFor more information this case study, or on how your organization can validate the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, contact GeoStrategies at (800) 738-4GEO