How Concept Testing Delivers Better Results, Quicker | DMA

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How Concept Testing Delivers Better Results, Quicker


All customers are equal, but some are more equal than others.

How do you ensure that your investment in marketing strategy will deliver? What can you do to improve the chances of your marketing campaigns working successfully?

In fastmap’s recent webinar ‘Marketing & Database Insights – tips for increasing your response rates’, David Cole, MD at fastmap, and I discussed how combining quantitative research and database segmentation provides marketers with a better understanding of their customers, and the ability to better target their marketing campaigns.

Concept testing combines the best elements of database marketing and market research to provide marketers with a robust platform from which to test new approaches, minimising risk and delivering better performing campaigns.

Let’s use data from a recent fastmap research project to illustrate how concept testing works.

concept testing table

The above table is an example of the results of concept testing. In the example, the planning team have developed 10 initial concepts for an upcoming marketing campaign. These concepts were presented, via a quantitative research survey, to a sample of 1,000 customers selected from the customer database. In the table responses are categorised green to red with green being the most positive and red the least.

The research sample indicated their preference for concepts 5 and 7, thereby enabling our marketers to focus on those concepts that will perform best at launch. Without concept testing the costly alternative would be to test each of the 10 concepts via a live marketing campaign.

So far, so good; we now have insights into which campaign concepts are likely to be successful, based on the views of actual customers.

But to return to my shameless paraphrasing of George Orwell – all customers are equal, but some are more equal than others – how will the different concepts appeal to different groups across the customer base? And how do we ensure we are not wasting marketing investment by contacting segments with the wrong message?

Let’s see how concept testing can overcome that challenge.

Combining database segmentation with research allows us to break down results by various factors, in this case gender, age, presence of children, income, home ownership and occupation.

The example above shows that, for most customer segments, concepts 5 and 7 are equally well received. However, when looking at age and income we see some important differences:

  • Concept 5 has particular appeal for the under 34 age group
  • Concept 7 has a broader appeal, including 35-54 year olds
  • Concept 7 resonates with all income groups
  • Concept 5 has particular appeal for customers earning over £40k p.a.

Based on these findings we can develop better targeted and more personalised marketing campaigns that resonate with our customers, ultimately delivering improved response and engagement rates.

I hope this example demonstrates how concept testing provides a cost-effective and speedy way to test how your marketing campaigns will perform with different audience segments. To learn more about the process take a look at fastmap’s Creative Testing Guide which and how to test, learn and optimise for better results!

This article was written by Lee Witherell, fastmap Associate and Founder of independent, data-driven marketing consultancy Wise Owl Marketing. To find out how fastmap can help you with your marketing campaigns, visit or get in touch with David Cole, Managing Director, fastmap on +44 (0) 20 7242 702 or

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