Association Connect

Harnessing the Dual Benefits of Ad Studies

By Carmen Lamb | April 22, 2024

Looking to drive print advertising revenue? An ad study is an effective tool for your sales team to leverage quantitative metrics on print advertising. Your members represent a targeted audience for advertisers and the responses from the survey help those advertisers demonstrate ROI. Ad study formats range from simple surveys to more complex initiatives that involve member focus groups.

Benefits to Advertisers

An ad study typically has a mix of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The former provides data points that help demonstrate the ROI of print advertising. The latter provides each advertiser with direct feedback about their ad and even lead generation from their target audience—your members.

Benefits to Your Association

Your association may already perform member and reader surveys that provide you with a deep understanding of how they prefer to consume your content and what topics are of most interest. If not, you can use an ad study to include questions that provide insight into print versus digital reading preferences, time spent reading your publication, and more.

How to Get Started

  1. Select an upcoming issue to perform the ad study on. The more paid advertising that the issue contains, the better. However, keep in mind that one objective of performing an ad study is to draw new advertisers to that issue. They will receive the bonus of direct feedback from readers as well as metrics on their print ads. If you have a “conference issue” that typically draws more paid advertisers due to bonus distribution, we recommend not choosing that one, as there is already an incentive to advertise in that issue. The ad study can be leveraged to lift sales for another issue.
  2. Promote the ad study on your media kit and other marketing. Your sales team should be including the ad study benefits in their pitch.
  3. Produce survey questions that provide your association and advertisers with valuable insight. Click here to download a sampling of 10 questions and the reason behind asking each question.
  4. If your team has the bandwidth to perform the study internally, you may already have a survey platform you may use to execute the survey. SurveyMonkey is a cost-effective solution that YGS has used. You simply structure your questions in the platform and upload your list of recipients.
  5. It’s helpful to send the survey out multiple times over a few weeks. Platforms typically have a feature that will allow you to send reminders only to recipients who haven’t responded.
  6. Once the survey closes, it’s time to analyze the data received. Be sure to update your media kit and other marketing materials when the trends discovered are positive and provide measurable ROI for advertisers. It’s best practice to also provide advertisers that participate in the study with customized results by vertical and feedback on their ad specifically.

In Conclusion

Ad studies can strengthen relationships with existing advertisers as well as attract new business. They also provide fresh data points to use in your media kit and other marketing, making it a win-win for the association and advertisers. Contact YGS Association Solutions to learn more!

Carmen Lamb is the senior vice president of YGS Association Solutions. 

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