Trying to quickly understand how well an online advertising campaign is doing is important.
There are a lot of factors to look at, to make sure that it is working, and a lot of methods to use to test those ads.
A patent application from Advertising.com describes one method they are using:
Systems and methods of achieving optimal advertising
United States Patent Application 20050289005
Inventors: John B. Ferber, Scott Ferber, Mark Hrycay, and Robert Luenberger
Published December 29, 2005
Filed: May 18, 2005
A system and method for achieving optimal advertising is disclosed.
In Internet advertising embodiments, small quantities of experimental advertising banner designs are tested to extract valuable information from the experiments.
One or more embodiments can also incorporate array mathematics to help select and analyze the ad design elements that improve the results (e.g., click-thru-rate, revenue-per-impression, etc.) of the overall advertising campaigns.
Embodiments of the present invention can also utilize a process of identifying influential design elements, selecting and testing banners representative of such design elements, obtaining feedback, and analyzing it to extract information from the experiments about which design elements are most important and which combination of design elements lead to the best overall banner.
By providing substantive results via fewer test banner designs, the present invention decreases the costs associated with running advertising campaigns and otherwise improves the efficiency and success rates of an advertising provider.
The patent application includes the use of the Taguchi methodology to test ads. The method was developed in Japan more than fifty years ago as a means of optimizing the manufacture of products.
Here’s a handful of articles I found on using the Taguchi method in advertising:
There’s also some discussion on the Taguchi method in this I, Cringely article titled Seeing is Believing, in which the method was applied to optimizing an advertisement with Adwords, with less than satisfactory results.
Another Robert Cringely article, from a few years ago, also discusses the method used in advertising: What’s Next: Better Methods
How do you test your ads?