Campaign pre-testing made easy and accessible


If you live in the Netherlands, chances are you have read, or at least have heard of one of the following media outlets: AD, de Volkskrant, Independer or Tweakers. What you might not know, is that all these and many more, are represented by DPG Media: the biggest media company in the Netherlands. In fact, DPG Media, produces and publishes for over 40 brands including newspapers, magazines, websites/apps and radio.

Towards the end of 2020 Henrike Reinhardt, consumer insights lead at DPG Media, came across and started experimenting with AI powered predictive eye-tracking. Henrike’s role involves advising all relevant stakeholders on tools and innovations relating to market research projects within the marketing department.

“ was presented during one of our ‘Marketing Stand-ups’ and the reactions were overwhelmingly positive.”
Henrike initially started on a Core subscription to test Not long after, she presented to the rest of the marketing team: “I presented during one of our ‘Marketing Stand-ups’ and the reactions were overwhelmingly positive. After the meeting I had about 30 emails from people asking me how to get an account”. Eventually, DPG Media upgraded their subscription to a Pro plan to accommodate the additional users and include video processing.

“We've done traditional eye-tracking studies before the pandemic, so I was curious to see if would give the same results, and it did!”
“Before the pandemic, we had acquired eye-tracking glasses. We didn’t manage to do a lot of research so, of course, we don’t have hundreds of studies, but I was curious whether would give the same results. So, I took the few we had and used to generate results. This helped convince me of’s scientific validity.”

Developing campaigns to increase subscriptions is also within the scope of the insights team. These campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, but they typically start with developing an idea, sometimes in collaboration with an external agency.

After working out some of the campaign details, an initial draft is created by the team’s visual designers. This initial design is then tested with to check e.g., whether the CTA’s draw attention and if the logos get noticed enough. The results are then used as input to optimize and streamline the campaign before it heads over to pretesting.
"For smaller campaigns it's not efficient to run expensive pre-tests with respondents, so for these campaigns we use” 

“We have different types of pre-testing for campaigns. For example, with respondents we check if they understand the message and if they find it captivating enough. But this cannot be done for all campaigns because DPG Media manages 40+ brands. Therefore, there is not always enough time and budget to pre-test every campaign. However, delivers results so quickly that for these smaller campaigns we often only use to ensure that the right elements are standing out".

For larger campaigns is used first to optimize a design before pre-testing with respondents. Finally, it’s also used for A/B testing: “Sometimes, is used just for confirmation for testing 2-3 versions of the same design to find which version draws attention to the most important elements.”

 “Our hypotheses are not always true and we sometimes get surprised by the results, but that’s also good to know”
The insights team introduced to DPG Media a bit over half a year ago. Now, the team’s main role is to empower the primary users and help interpret’s results. The regular users now include campaign managers, email, and social marketeers as well as UI/UX designers and brand managers. Every user finds his/her own way of using, whether it’s testing ads, landing pages or email layouts.

“With we test more because it’s so accessible. It has become a vital part of our processes.”
DPG Media have now been using for just over half a year and have seen significant changes in their processes as a result. One of the most apparent ones relates to testing urgent campaigns. “For these campaigns we did not do any pre-testing either because it was too expensive or because there was not enough time. With there is more testing and it has become a more vital part of our processes because it’s so accessible. Now, I dare anyone to say that they don’t have 2 minutes to test a campaign!”

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