Ad Testing Methodology: Our Approach to Creative Testing and Measuring Results

Looking to boost your results with paid media or hit your ROI targets while increasing your budget? You’ve got a few options.

At Tuff, we believe the four biggest levers to pull are:

  1. Optimizing Paid Media Campaigns
  2. Testing and Refining Audience Targeting
  3. Experimenting with Different Creative Assets and Messaging Strategies
  4. Designing Intentional User Flows and Testing Landing Pages

In this article, I’ll zoom in on experimenting with different creative assets and strategic messaging strategies and our approach to measuring their impact.

But here’s the thing—what’s the point of testing creative assets and messages if you aren’t measuring their impact? And how do you do that effectively?

For many brands, regardless of size, measuring the impact of great ad creative can be elusive and inconsistent.

I’ll dive into the ways you can measure the impact of performance creative, how we do it at Tuff, and why your brand should be doing it too. Plus, I’ll touch on who should be accountable for justifying the investment—the creative team producing it or the media team implementing it across different paid channels.

Let’s get into it! 

Established Ad Creative Testing Methodology

At Tuff, we don’t believe there’s one “right” approach to testing. Instead, we believe the approach should be dependent upon the specific question you’re trying to answer, what goals you’re working towards, and the platforms you’re using. Even small improvements in CPC  and CVR can add up to drastic business growth. 

At a high level, when we set up an A/B or multivariate test, we start with this approach: 

Ad Creative Testing Methodology

To put this into perspective, if we were aiming to set up a performance creative test on Meta (Facebook, Instagram), we would focus on minimizing variables to produce accurate and replicable results. 

creative testing plan

This methodology aims to create an environment poised for constant testing, iterating, and scaling – If you’re not building on your findings, you’re losing learnings.

Begin by Assessing Potential Performance with Tuff’s Creative ROI Calculator

Here’s an example of how we measure those results with our Tuff: Performance Creative ROI Calculator Template

This template is a real-life calculator that you can use to plug in your monthly budget, average cost per acquisition, and lifetime value per conversion to forecast how you can maximize your media spend with performance creative. 

While performance creative may not solve all your revenue challenges, we are confident that with the right testing methodology and measurement tools in place, you will see results after a few weeks of testing. 

Tuff’s Approach to Ad Creative Testing and Measurement

Measurement is undeniably crucial for effective and replicable tests, but let’s talk about ownership, shall we?

Who should be responsible for measurement? Should it fall on the ad creative team to track measurement, or should the media team bear the accountability for justifying the investment?

In our experience, tight integration between media and creative teams is essential. They need to collaborate closely to plan, measure, and enhance results. This integration is something that sets Tuff apart from many other agencies. From day one, our in-house performance creative team has been trained to understand media intricacies, including platform allocation, top-performing ad creative, and client-specific KPIs. This advantage, having a creative team that works hand in hand with our media team, is pivotal in creating winning ad assets and campaigns that deliver results.

While we rely on the performance creative team for insights, hypotheses, and recommendations for creative asset and message testing, we count on the paid media team to establish structured testing environments across various ad platforms to effectively manage and scale creative performance.

This is a quick snapshot of how Tuff collaborates across teams:

Real-Life Examples

We’ve done a lot of testing at Tuff – It’s kind of our thing. We’ve worked with a variety of brands at different stages of growth from early-stage to established – We’ve done it all. 

So before we part ways, let’s dive into a specific case study for a brand we worked with, soona.

  • Case Study: Here!
  • Background: soona, the home of the ‘virtual photoshoot’. soona is a self-serve content creation platform that helps brands create professional, high-quality photo and video content for e-commerce and digital marketing. They aim to satisfy the growing demand for digital content by providing a fast, affordable solution to traditional content creation methods.
  • Strategy: Build a repeatable formula for winning ad creative.
  • Results: Large scale, quick-turn gains! We achieved an average increase of 60% in total conversions MoM with a CPA below target by $200+.

A key takeaway that is transferable for almost any brand at any stage of growth – Big budgets don’t always equal big results. While having a larger budget can certainly help achieve more significant results, it’s not the only factor determining success. A well-crafted campaign with laser-focused messaging and targeting yields high-impact learnings, no matter the budget.

Interested in learning more about Tuff’s approach to testing and measuring the impact of performance creative? Reach out to us directly here!