© 2016-2019 by Surveys & Forecasts, LLC

Weighty Choices
Surveys & Forecasts, LLC was retained by one of the most widely recognized and heavily used diet programs in the country, and asked to design a study to assess the effectiveness of media up-weight in a set of small secondary markets, markets that do not necessarily lend themselves well to up-weight testing.
 
Through a combination of intelligent sample selection, combining of sample providers, and post study de-duplication efforts, we were able to achieve readable samples in markets such as Nashville, Wichita, Kansas, and Memphis. Because of relatively small populations and limited media choices, we utilized a variety of different approaches to construct samples that could read local differences.
As in most up-weight tests, one of the key issues is to communicate effectively to the client the need for a significant increase in media spending in up weight markets (post-test period). As a general rule, at least 2X spending is required in order to demonstrate the potential efficacy of up-weight spending.
In this particular test, there were a number of mitigating factors, in two of the three test markets, which resulted in a muted response to up weight spending. When we were able to tease out these effects, the up weight spend demonstrably improved key measures of awareness, brand perceptions (attitudes towards the brand), future willingness to recommend, and willingness to purchase.
Based on these results, the client implemented a significant increase (more than 2X) in both television and radio broadcast advertising, specialty magazines, and point-of-sale advertising. The brand is highly responsive to advertising and learning from this particular study was applied to other sub-brands within the franchise.
This particular test is demonstrative of the need to significantly spend at levels that will be noticed by the consumer in an up weight environment, because smaller, incremental increases in media spending do not allow marketers the opportunity to observe whether the brand is truly responsive to up weight spending. Subtle changes, while more cost-effective, do not test the elasticity of response of the brand to significant increases in support. If we had unfortunately discovered a lack of responsiveness, the brand would have been justified in reallocating it spending away from traditional broadcast messaging and focused it more on promotional activity, such as temporary price reductions, point-of-sale offers, couponing, shelf talkers and display position, etc.
Surveys and forecasts LLC has worked with a number of brands to test up weight potential, and has developed a number of innovative approaches to assess the effect of up weight spending when budgets are tight and markets are narrow.
 
Give Surveys & Forecasts, LLC a call to discuss your next advertising initiative. We are very confident that we can find a great solution for you.