How To Leverage Creatives To Learn About Your Audience

graphic showing two people interacting with two versions of an ad to illustrate A/B testing

Before running any digital campaign, aligning the brand’s messaging with the overall strategy is so important. The goal is to ensure the brand is portrayed in a way that is appealing to prospects and also encourages engagement to drive them towards the bottom of the funnel.

The difficult part is often determining what that looks like—finding the right angle in content or value proposition. In many cases, this is data-driven, and it is always recommended to consider data from previous campaigns, consumer trends, your own consumer database, or even expert reports. But what if we could just ask the audience? It’s possible—using creatives!

When a consumer chooses to interact with an ad, they’re sending a message that they’re interested in something the brand has put out there, whether that be the product, the value or even the brand itself. They have taken the extra step of engaging with the brand—having a virtual conversation in a way—to tell the advertiser “I see you, and I’m interested”.

With a little bit of strategy, these consumer interactions can provide marketers with a whole host of insights and help shape future campaign decisions. Since this data is being collected directly from a brand’s target audience, it is less impacted by outside factors or considerations, as data and insights collected from third party sources may be.

Let’s explore how advertisers can use their creatives to gather actionable insights about their audiences.

A/B Test Value Propositions

The first tactic that advertisers should consider to gain consumer insights will be very familiar—A/B testing. However, instead of testing elements such as CTA colour or images, we suggest testing value propositions or conversion factors. This means considering different types of psychographic profiles and what they may value. For example, some consumers are driven by low prices, while others value reliability.

Decide which values best highlight the brand’s offering, then run the campaign with all message variations. The audiences will show you which value message is most appealing to them with their clicks and engagements. 

By running creatives with differing messaging simultaneously, a brand can understand what factors influence their audience the most. And more importantly, they can leverage this knowledge to align future messaging with this insight.

Example of an ad for a car rental company
Example of a car rental ad
Example of a car rental company ad

In this example, the brand knew that people may choose them over the competition based on either price, prestige, or safety. By running all three of those messages in a single campaign, they will discover which of those factors influences the most action.

Discovery Ads

The second tactic is to leverage discovery ads, an HTML5 format that allows for the tracking of user responses to questions or surveys. This format can capture audience responses by way of buttons, a checklist or a dropdown menu, meaning there are countless insights an advertiser could gain. The mechanics are pretty straightforward, so let’s dive into some examples of how different brands could leverage this unit across a range of verticals.

In the example below, an insurance brand wants to understand which product their different audiences are most interested in. If they ran the creative across their prospecting and retargeting campaigns, they could see which products appeal to users based on where they are in the funnel. These insights will then determine which products future campaigns will focus on.

This example shows how a beverage brand could implement a discovery ad to gain data they can use to inform decisions about new products that will resonate with their audiences.

And finally, this example highlights how an elder care brand could determine which factors are most likely to influence a prospective consumer’s choice.

There are many sources of data and insights for marketers to explore when building a campaign strategy. Leveraging creatives as a source of insight into your audience is a scalable way to gather data that can be put towards future campaign messaging, promotions, product development and more. Do your prospects value cost or user ratings more? What product or offering do they wish you had? Ask them and you’ll find out!

Want to run exceptional programmatic campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

Jessica Uttley
Jessica Uttley

Senior Director of Creative Services


Jessica is passionate about helping brands get the biggest bang for their media buck by utilizing innovative and data-driven ad design. She is a keen and rapid learner, thriving on challenges that call for fast, creative solutions.