Advertising Readership Research Helps Companies Improve Connection with B2B Target Audience

“Identifying what Designers and Architects See & Read Produces Positive Results. “


A B2B publisher was looking for a value-added service they could offer their existing advertisers or potential advertisers to enhance the benefits of their advertising program.  In today’s crowded marketplace with so many communication channels available, creating and implementing the “right” message to grab the target audiences’ attention is not always easy.  The publisher was interested in helping advertisers create better ads to not only get “noticed” but also read and ultimately drive the audience to take some level of action.

For example, Interline Creative Group, a sister company, developed a successful advertising campaign titled  “Sinfully Beautiful”  using feedback from the design market. Not only did this ad series grab the attention of the advertiser’s audience, but it created a new awareness and appeal for the product.  Studying what professionals look at and how they read, helps companies create ads that work.


In order to provide advertisers with the ability to “test” their creative ads at different times of the year, AIM worked with the B2B publisher to set-up two ad readership studies, one in the spring and one in the fall, for two of their key publications within the building construction market.

AIM designed an ad readership survey that would measure if designers, architects and building owners saw the ad and whether they went on to read it. The online survey showed a picture of the ad and asked the respondent what elements they saw (i.e. the color, graphics, subject, heading, etc), how much of the ad they read and why they read it.  To give an advertiser additional feedback on the design and content of the ad, respondents were asked to rate the ad in terms of interest, information provided and the overall effectiveness of the ad.

Since advertisers often have difficulty measuring the success or ROI of a particular ad, AIM designed the ad readership study to indicate what action if any the respondent took as a result of seeing and reading the ad.  Did they visit the advertiser’s website? Did they call a rep or specify the product? Did they pass it on or make a purchase?  In addition, to capture direct feedback from the advertisers target audience, AIM included a question to get honest verbatim open-ended comments from the audience.

Understanding the Target Audience is Key to Succes

Often, it is difficult to know exactly what information a particular audience is looking for and even more complicated what channel or method will be most effective in communicating the message (s) an advertiser may need.  By conducting advertising and communications research, companies are in a better position to provide the information the audience needs in a format that works best.  In a campaign Interline Creative Group designed for a prominent association in the building construction industry, for example, they used a “testimonial” ad campaign Customer Profile Ads Validate Association’s Mission based on their research and  knowledge of the market and the information the audience needed.

By profiling key professionals in the industry, the ads provided specific cases where the product was successfully used to meet specific project goals. By providing the market with live examples and success stories, the ads were able to increase awareness and use of the client’s product. It was one of the most successful campaigns to date for that association.


AIM successfully ran an ad readership program for two publications in the building construction industry for over 5 years. The research provided the publisher’s advertisers with direct feedback on their ads in terms of visibility and readership.  In addition, every advertiser received a 20-page customized report with their ad’s specific seeing and readership scores.  The reports also provided advertisers with a comparison of how all ads, ads within their product category and ads with similar page size performed.  Each advertiser also received information on how the “top” ads performed and verbatim feedback about what the audience liked or didn’t like about their ad.

To assist the publisher’s sales team with presenting the advertisers with their custom report, AIM ran a customized sales training session to show the sales team how to best present the results of the research. Not only was this a successful value-added benefit the publisher was able to offer to advertisers, but it gave advertisers feedback to design more effective ads. With the audiences’ verbatim comments and creative measurements, the publisher can offer the advertiser audience driven suggestions to help make their ad more successful.

With advertising spending approaching the $645B mark, it is more important than ever to understand how messages are received and actions taken (or not). Fortunately, such readership studies give the advertiser a “secret weapon” to help maximize the results of a message to an audience.

For more information on how AIM can assist you with studying and measuring any advertising program, including ad readership, communications channel preference, messaging studies, or any other type of market research, email or call 847-358-8558.