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When you have a big idea that you want to get right, it can save you a lot of time and money to concept test it before you bring it to the world. Whether you’re working on a product concept, an ad campaign, a new logo, or a landing page, getting feedback from your target market can pay big dividends down the road.

Concept testing can be simple and quick or iterative and sophisticated. Here are some ideas to help beginners and pros get it right.

How concept testing with surveys works

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How and why to perform concept development tests

As a quick concept test definition, think of testing as placing the abstract ideas you’re toying with in front of concept testing focus groups, to learn whether your ideas resonate with them.

As an example, say a marketing team holds a day-long brainstorming session to come up with ideas for an advertising campaign. When the session is over, there are dozens of options on the table, and a few seem like real winners. Here are some questions that a marketing professional might want to know the answers to before launching a campaign:

  • Does this ad stand out against my competitors’ ad?
  • Does this ad capture viewers/listeners attention?
  • Do you recognise this brand?
  • Would you trust this brand?
  • Which button would make you buy?

The answers to these questions make it easy to choose a concept to go with, and they help hone the final product. These methods are increasingly popular. To get a closer look at how people use concept testing, we surveyed advertising pros, marketers, and product managers.

In our poll, 72% of advertising professionals said it’s important to test an ad before it’s launched. Doing so can make the ad more successful, they said, because effective ads stem from an in-depth understanding of what consumers really want (and what they really don’t).

Product-focused managers agreed: 85% said that felt that testing is vital to their success at work.
Despite the importance they all place on testing, less than half of those we polled actually conduct concept tests, so creating your own test may be a big opportunity to get a leg up on the competition.

Looking for other marketing testing tools?

Chances are good that your work won’t stop when your product or campaign launches. SurveyMonkey can help you stay close to your customers. Adding surveys at different customer touchpoints will give you the data you need to come up with even more good ideas for your clients and your company.

Ways to use concept testing questions

How can you apply these concept testing methods? We’re glad you asked! All sorts of business challenges can be solved with the right testing. Here a few examples:


Logo testing.

Do you need to understand how customers might respond to your new logo? Or are you trying to work out whether your new logo communicates a benefit (like trust, innovation or fun)? Online surveys are a great way to test different creative concepts and designs – to ultimately come up with a logo that best visually communicates your brand.


Website design and feedback.

Are you redesigning your site or launching a new one? Sharing your design concepts with people who will one day interact with them is a great way to see what a sample of your target population thinks – and, of course, to make sure you get everything right.


Ads, landing pages and conversions.

Many online marketers test headlines, images and content on their websites to identify winning combinations of messages and creative. Which ad tends to attract the most attention, and is the ad compelling enough to get visitors to click, convert and become customers? This method of testing can give your conversion rate optimisation efforts a real boost.


Pricing and upgrades.

Are you planning to offer consumers an incentive for upgrading to a new product or service? Are you thinking about a new pricing system? Use migration path tests to assess initial reactions and spot the key features and benefits consumers are looking for. Then develop upgrade tests to see whether your new product line will result in a boost in sales.


Social media campaigns.

With the increasing importance of social media in the marketing mix and the brand experience, online surveys can help you work out which social media channels you need to pay attention to. For example, do your customers expect to see you on Twitter? Or do they prefer to find out about you via a blog, on LinkedIn or on a Facebook newsfeed? Use an online survey to find the answers you need.

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Ad concepts.

Does your marketing messaging resonate with your target audience? Use online surveys to test ad copy in print and web collateral, or to identify which subject lines or creative concepts compel your users to click through from a banner ad to the product detail page.


Product and concept development.

Find out which features a product should include and which ones will add nothing to your bottom line. Determine what the packaging for a product should look like, right down to the size of the logo and the colour of the wrapper. Use product concept and usability tests to ensure that it meets customers’ expectations.

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3 quick tips to improve survey response rates

Here are some ideas to ensure that respondents will answer your surveys.

1. Be quick

If your survey is short and sweet, there's a greater chance that more respondents will complete it.

2. Offer incentives

Little incentives like small discount or an entry into a drawing can help ensure respondents complete your survey.

3. Buy a targeted audience

With SurveyMonkey Audience, you can purchase access to an audience who meets specific demographic criteria for your survey. It's a great way to get targeted responses from a specific group.

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