The Missing Step for Developing Stronger Campaigns, Faster


Powerful marketing campaigns are vital to growing world-class brands. But developing a campaign successfully across platforms – traditional media, digital, social, in-store, PR – is more challenging than ever. 

There are many varieties of Insight Research to generate inspiration at the beginning of campaign development, and several options for Validation Research at the end. Yet there are precious few methodologies for providing input on the best directions and improvement opportunities in the middle of Campaign Development, where more Predictive Qualitative™ input can help campaigns soar.

Our case studies across three industries with brands as large as $2 billion have uncovered great new insights to improve the process. What’s the best approach to Campaign Development to deliver stronger campaigns, faster? 

Watch our Advertising Research Foundation webinar to see our approach and several case studies, or read below if you’d prefer.


Focus Groups give Campaign Research a bad rap

While Insight Research is welcomed, and Validation Research is often necessary, Campaign Research is often under-utilized due to bad experiences. What agency creative wants to see their client throw out a good idea or require major changes because of random comments in a focus group? Focus groups face significant challenges with:

No wonder many agencies and marketers stress over using focus groups for Campaign Development: there is significant risk of killing good ideas or sending campaigns off-course.

ACUPOLL Live with Predictive Qualitative™ for Stronger Campaigns, Faster

We’ve transformed the ACUPOLL Live qual-quant methodology we pioneered in 1991 to be more nimble and cost-efficient, creating Campaign Development Research to propel clients and agencies toward stronger advertising, faster.


“Real” respondents are recruited by random-digit dialing – not focus group facility lists – and participate in our sessions at hotels and conference centers all over the world, with a moderator leading them through both closed-ended questions (answered on our proprietary keypads or iPad system) and open-ended questions. Unlike some suppliers, we usually conduct both quant and qual with the whole group, as it enriches discussion to have divergent views.

ACUPOLL’s revolutionary approach provides important benefits in 8 areas:

  • BASE SIZE: Sessions of 30–50 consumers provide more reliable conclusions (and multiple, iterative sessions can aid optimization).

  • CONTROLS: Quant measures are usually collected before qualitative reactions to each stimulus, preventing any group bias in ratings.

  • RESPONSIVE: Clients watch results in real time, allowing them to probe deeply with follow-up questions on the fly.

  • PREDICTIVE: In our unique Predictive Qualitative™ process, consumers' answers to open-ended questions are collected, then the whole group rates how much they agree with each comment. This allows clients to hear consumers’ own words and understand group agreement across a reliable/predictive base size.

  • HIGH CAPACITY: Fast consumer input, without "over-think," provides enormous potential for learning, with up to 300 questions in just 2 hours.

  • CONTEXTUAL: Input is provided on a wide array of campaign vehicles all in one quantitative test. This highlights strengths and weaknesses across executions in the context of a multi-platform campaign.

  • EFFICIENT ALIGNMENT: Very efficient use of client and agency time in a forum that brings teams closer together on next steps.

  • SPEED: Two weeks from screener to session (adding only 2 days to your development process if planned ahead).


Poor ad test scores in Validation Research are avoidable!

How many times have you conducted Validation Research only to discover that creative fell short of objectives, leading to long delays, to fix something that consumers could have told you earlier? While consumers can’t develop great campaigns for us, good Campaign Research like ACUPOLL Live can answer important questions:

  • Do consumers understand the overall idea? What does it communicate to them about the brand? Is it relevant? Is it engaging? Does it attract attention?

  • Does the execution communicate the insight? How does the campaign make consumers feel? Is this the intended emotion?

  • Does the language communicate as intended? Is the situation appropriate? Does the benefit visualize something desirable? Is the product expected to be effective? Are any executional details distracting from the story or turning consumers off?

ACUPOLL Live with Predictive Qualitative™ Success Stories

Ask us about these examples:

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 A methodology clients and agencies love:


Brands can obtain a tremendous amount of actionable learning during Campaign Development. Left unexplored, these clients would have had to decide among campaign directions and executions to put in Validation Research purely on gut, and missed valuable opportunities for improvement ... all at great cost.

ACUPOLL Live with Predictive Qualitative™ provides the predictive reliability of quant, with the flexible probing of qual, to help you better understand what’s most relevant and motivating, but also how to bring it to life in the most meaningful way.

Whether or not you use this approach, we recommend you conduct research for Campaign Development that gives you both quantitative and qualitative feedback, so there are no missing steps enroute to your campaign success.

Contact us today to learn more about our success stories or better understand how ACUPOLL Live applies to your needs.