A strong concept is the cornerstone of marketing success because the idea sets the trajectory for what a marketing initiative can and cannot achieve. Although strong concepts can’t guarantee success, weak ones all but guarantee disappointment.
IMI’s approach to concept testing is “flexible solutions that deliver clear, decisive results”.
Here are some of the ways we develop strong concepts:
This progressive and flexible research methodology combines technology and experience to deliver more clarity than traditional methods can provide. Flagpole™ is for early-stage ideation and is perfect for high-volume testing or one-off projects.
Read more about Flagpole here.
It’s vital to avoid the collection of data that is misleading, irrelevant or both. The keys to success are to understand needs, foresee hidden dangers and provide workable solutions. This is where IMI’s experience is critical to a project’s success. You can count on IMI to give you the right level of detail for your needs.
Before you run a promotion, you want to know it’s going to work. We have the specialist knowledge and research methods to run a promotion test before you commit. No one does promos better.
Do you want to know if an idea is compelling enough to develop further but don’t have the action standards to back it up? Imagine you could have instant action standards for your brand, your category, in your country and among your target market – we can do it, ask us how.
The primary purpose of good creative is to bring an idea to life. To do this the ad needs to capture attention… tell a great story… generate emotion… seed a desire… activate the brand… and leave a memory trace. It’s no small task!
IMI’s approach to creative testing is to understand how well the communication is bringing the idea to life. We call this Creative Acceleration.
It might surprise you that industry benchmarks are not always the most fruitful path to creative success. That’s why we separate the creative from the concept and the brand.
How do we do this?
Affective (and effective) Ads
We try to make ads that are as relevant and engaging as possible by pinpointing what is working and what could be improved. Extensive R&D has taught us how to use facial coding data to generate deep insight, taking industry-standard dashboards to the next level.
We ensure all positioning insights are relevant. Our claims are believable and our call-to-actions are highly motivating. Experience tells us that a strong message strategy will speak to each of these criteria, providing confidence that you are moving ahead with a sound, creative brief.
There is often a right and wrong way to address PR issues, especially those that pose a potential threat to your corporate reputation. Corporate communication is about knowing how to speak proactively to your public by validating the message content and tone. The right tone depends on the specific issue at hand. We can provide you with the insight necessary to know how best to respond.
Sometimes the purpose of research is to “go deep” to understand why people behave as they do. Done right, it can be game-changing stuff.
Whether our focus is the consumer or the buyer, at IMI we start by understanding behaviour. We then layer in knowledge, attitudes and feelings to understand what is causing or preventing a person from behaving as desired.
How do we do this?
It’s about understanding whether a concept has reached its potential and why? Our analysis starts by setting realistic expectations for campaign performance and then pinpoints “What Worked Well” and “What Could Be Improved”.
Needs & Drivers
These are difficult to uncover. More than any other type of research IMI’s approach is a collaborative effort with the client built around a mix of hypothesis testing and data mining techniques. If sufficient time and care is taken this can be very rewarding work for everyone involved (but doing it too fast or cheap is a recipe for disappointment).
Choice modelling gives you a simulated environment to play the ultimate game of ‘what-if’. What if we charged $5 more? What if we added a money-back guarantee? What if we added a “a bit more” button (we see you, Breville!)
The statistical modelling is actually the easy part. The most important thing is whether the output – the market simulator – actually answers your business questions. That’s why we begin the conversation with the simulator: what do you want to be able to simulate? What other (real-world) information should we incorporate so that the simulator “speaks your language”?
Consumer research can be a little like air travel… the goal is to reach your destination but sometimes the ride is a little bumpier than desired.
At IMI, we focus on the journey as well as the destination. Imagine an on-time departure, minimal turbulence, and a soft landing (with some good in-flight entertainment along the way). An important part of the research journey is Insight Technology: the use of technology to deliver faster, better insight while making everyone’s life a little smoother.
What technologies do we use?
Project Management Tools
We have in-house built tools (eg apps) for the easy transfer of information, upkeep of tracking studies, or other routine, repeatable tasks that need frequent coordination between us and our clients.
Live Dashboards and Simulators
Interactive Respondent Experiences
We mimic real-life decisions and situations within a survey environment in order to improve data quality. Our interactive respondent experiences help us evaluate every survey we launch to ensure we live up to our own high standards.
Promotions are a brilliant way to drive trial and short-term volume but are rarely given the love and rigour they deserve. They often fall victim to the gut-feel of the marketing department. This is why over 50% don’t return a positive ROI. We can eliminate overspend on prize pools, cluttered & complicated mechanics and retail requirements that can quash the ability to attract incremental users.
When it comes to promotions, process matters. Significant R&D dollars are directed toward new product development and advertising efforts. However, precious little is dedicated to ensuring that consumer-based sales promotions (that can bring about an immediate change in behaviour) are relevant, compelling and well communicated.
With over 30 years’ experience in the pre and post evaluation of promotions, we have the knowledge, expertise, best practices and process to improve your promotional effectiveness – guaranteed.
How do we do it?
Promotrack and Best Practice Workshops
These are a great way to gather inside learnings, upskill your team, and make better decisions. PromoTrack is a syndicated report with comprehensive customer insight on prizes (themes, size, and number), mechanics, communications, and how they mesh together to maximise the chance of success. Workshops bring this 120-page report to life, with relevant category examples, videos, and the do’s and don’ts of promotional marketing.
Read more about Promotrack here.
We use concept testing to remove the gamble. It gives us the knowledge of where to invest time and money. It removes your gut feel from the equation. We can help with not only selecting the promotional concept with the greatest potential but also help optimise for ROI. We know once a behavioural tipping point is exceeded, overspend is imminent. Run volume driving, award-winning promotions without giving the CFO a heart attack.
Best Practice Communication
We facilitate this by determining a simple, relevant and compelling concept. The key is to understand the core participation drivers and usually comes down to landing three core messages: what can I win, what do I have to buy and how do I enter?
Evaluation isn’t about closing the gate after the horse has already bolted, it’s about ensuring the pressure points stood up. We analyse things such as what was the media’s role in awareness, was the message understood, did the competition beat us up and should we run it again? Then we determine why or why not the promotion succeeded. Learn-Execute-Learn.
We'd love to hear from you!
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