Suzanne Grayson, president of Grayson Associates, marketing consulting firm, announces the launch of TheAdAudit, which she reports is destined to recast the way print ads are developed and approved. The new audit is modeled after its TheBrandAudit introduced late last year. That proprietary weighted evaluation system for new product concepts has been adapted for print advertising - now with four (4) categories of analysis:
Headline - Visual Impact - Copy - Consumer Appeal. Within these categories there are thirty-one (31) points of analysis to determine the effectiveness of the ad, and its score.
The print media scene is more daunting each day; the plethora of magazines fighting for ad budgets, marketers competing for the most advantageous positions and editorial coverage, the stunning number of magazines themselves, and the advent of so many fragmented media choices for the consumer. Every dollar spent in print media simply has to work harder to stimulate trial. In this new era for advertising, print ads are being approved in the same old way. Presentations, revises, copy testing, focus groups, and so on. The process is long and costly, and then, eventually time runs out - resulting in many ads which are very short in excitement and persuasive power, said Ms. Grayson.
theAdAudit can dig into each of the thirty one segments early in the development stage of an ad to come up with an impact score. As with theBrandAudit, a score of 80 plus translates to an effective communication vehicle; i.e., successful. The key here is that even an 80 plus score can be improved, as the weaker points demonstrated by the audit can be corrected. Scores less than 80 should not be run without an overhaul.
The system, developed in conjunction with her partner, Dr. Robert Grayson, takes into account just about everything known regarding cognition, motivation, dissonance, context, semiotics, imagery, buyer behavior, and visceral emotional appeals, and distills them into weighted percentages to culminate in the score. The significant benefit is being able to target the specific strengths and weakness of each ad, so that the agency is able to focus on improving total impact. And, if a competitive ad is a reference point, the audit can put that ad through its paces for comparison purposes.
Used at an advertising agency, she said, the audit will help to make each ad in a presentation series - stronger, tighter, clearer, and more compelling - all in keeping with the brand image, before it goes to the client. Or, a marketing company will use the audit to evaluate the agencys presentation. Here, the client can be on solid ground as it asks the agency to overcome the weaknesses noted by the audit. For the client, theAdAudit replaces, "I think" with "now I know and why", she added. If a company normally uses focus groups prior to approval, that step may be eliminated. Or, if further comfort is required, after going through the audit, the best ad possible will be put before consumers.
Suzanne Grayson's mantra for this new audit is, don't go to press without theAdAudit - the payback of a good score is worth its weight at the counter. An extra bonus. A great score makes a very competitive and super selling tool to the trade. She added, "Imagine Neutrogena going into the highly competitive sun care selling season with its theAdAudit score of 89.59, and a perfect 100 in the Consumer Appeal category!"