We’ve all seen them, the ads that make us cringe and leave us wondering, “how was this allowed to be made?” Sometimes they are offensive, sometimes they are tone deaf, sometimes they just don’t make sense. These bad ads come industries of all kinds and companies of all sizes. The one thing they all have in common is that they failed to resonate with customers in a big way.

Over the past several months, everyone has seen the Standard Pandemic Ad. You know the one – slow, melancholy piano music over desolate, empty streets followed by an increase in tempo and shots of people finding ways to get through this, completed by text across the screen stating that “We’re all in this together.” This format became so ubiquitous that a compilation video of them rapidly went viral back in April. Instead of consumers identifying with the commercials, they were laughing at them.

In times such as these, being intimately familiar with the behaviors and opinions of your consumers is critical. Consumers have more time on their hands, and any misstep is going to be noticed quickly. According to the Gustavson Brand Trust Index 2020, “the average brand trust scores for all brands surveyed in [the] 2020 brand trust surveys are at an all-time low.” So how do you protect your brand from this trust crisis?

First, you need to test, test, and test again. Getting feedback from your consumers early and often allows for a truly agile marketing process and enables you to make changes on the fly and pivot quickly before investing too much into any given idea or concept. There are many ways to do this, but in order to execute quickly the use of research technology becomes vital. For instance, by using Virtual Panels to test early-stage ad copy, product concepts, or messaging you can understand what real-life consumers will think of your ideas – but in a matter of hours instead of weeks. Plus, you can easily re-test your materials to see if the changes have helped to improve the interest level of your target consumers.

Qualitative research also plays an important role in gaining a more nuanced understanding of what consumers think and feel. Traditional methods for gathering qualitative data can be time-consuming and difficult to scale. By employing a virtual moderator, such as CRIS by Delvinia, you can interview more participants, faster.

Finally, you can utilize an automated research platform, such as Methodify by Delvinia, to gain reliable, high-quality feedback on any of your ad concepts. The automation speeds up the field process for quantitative studies from weeks to hours, and allows your team to focus on the high value tasks of interpretation and insight development. Armed with better data garnered in a shorter period of time, your brand will be able to ensure it hits all the right notes with its advertising.

In short, it is imperative to bring your consumers into the equation early and often to avoid guessing and potentially drastic advertising misfires. The world is changing rapidly these days, and consumer sentiment and attitudes shift right along with it. Employing various research technologies will allow your brand to keep up, and maintain that most precious of treasures – consumer trust.