Message Testing: Are You Getting Your Message Across?

Have you ever visited a horrible website and wondered about its purpose? Have you ever been turned off by a website’s color, music, or design? Chances are the company didn’t employ message testing. Message testing for online media allows companies to understand who is reading their content and how people are reacting to it. Indeed, this tool is critical to creating a successful media campaign and strong identity online. Further, how a company markets itself online is extremely important, especially for attracting new customers, and keeping current ones, so message testing is something that all companies should consider.

Survey research can help companies understand precisely how its message is being received by users. It involves deciding on a range of different ideas for how to market a company and helps them to dwindle it down to one that best gets the message across.

Message testing can be conducted several ways, however, there are a few key goals. The first aim of message testing is to ensure that the message is sticking with users. Is it memorable? Next, message testing should help companies understand if it stands out among competitors. If the company doesn’t stand out, it then knows where it needs to improve. The third goal of message testing is to help companies decide on a message that is an accurate reflection of its vision. The message should be all encompassing and broad enough target all potential audiences. Lastly, message testing should help companies develop a message that makes customers react positively—whether it’s a call to action or a conversion of some sort (buying a product or service).

While I haven’t had the opportunity to carry out message testing research on a grand scale, I can agree that it has the potential to help companies create campaigns or an online identity that will help them accomplish their goals. I think that one company that consistently has the same strong message each time I visit its website is Apple. The message is consistent, clear, and attractive and I always leave the website wishing I could upgrade to the latest iPhone or iPad (I’d say the message is a success!).

Questions to readers:

-What website has a strong message? 

-Have you carried out message testing? If so, how did it help improve your message?

-When is message testing most appropriate?

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6 thoughts on “Message Testing: Are You Getting Your Message Across?

    • Chris, some companies don’t have common sense or the right capabilities to form their message and establish their value proposition correctly. So I think sometimes message testing comes in handy.

  1. I think it’s important to test when delivering a completely new message than what you’ve done in the past or heading into a completely different market – like internationally. I think otherwise, listening to the social echo may be enough to guide and tailor the message.

    A website with a strong message is one I recently came across is Uncreate (http://uncrate.com/), a gadget site for guys. It is a site with a very strong male identity, that completely caters to men and their gadgets. There’s no touchy-feely messages or articles outside of it’s intended site.

  2. I haven’t had the opportunity to do message testing on a grand scale either. If I could, I would do it when launching a new campaign or website. Otherwise, for my purposes, I use social media analytics and smaller scale surveys.

  3. I have a client that is a resort out in the Turks and Caicos that is dearly loved by their visitors and fans. I often have to test what messages we send out via social media get the most traction. A lot of it is like what Chris said, trial and error. Seeing who it is that is posting on our photos… are they sharing them?… what are they saying? Usually they really enjoy seeing photos on their mini-feed of their favorite resort and the pictures get them excited for their next visit.

    We’re currently updating the website and launching their mobile app so we spent a lot of time on their google analytics finding out how people are navigating their way through the site.

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