Vocab for Marketers: What is Creative Testing?

what is creative testing?

Definition 

Creative testing is pretty much what it sounds like: Testing variations of one ad concept (whether that be different ad types, color schemes, assets within a completed composition, etc.)  to determine which performs best for a target audience.

How Marketers Use Creative Testing

Creative testing is a way of life when using creative strategy for paid ads. Every ad is essentially a test until it’s proven to be a winner or a loser. Marketers utilize creative testing as a benchmark to continuously learn which elements of their ads are effective and where improvements are needed.

When you’re running a test, you’re essentially forming a hypothesis, finding the results, and then implementing them. Here’s an example: Let’s say our customer in the apparel industry asks us how to get the most engagement for a specific tennis shoe paid social ad campaign. We decide to test two ads of the same composition, but in varying creative formats, before you give them a definitive answer. 

The general composition of the ad showcases the following:

  • All colors the shoe comes in
  • A bold headline
  • General company branding


The control is a standard static ad, the variation is a stop-motion ad (seen below, side-by-side).

ad 1: static
ad 2: animated


Although we initially thought the stop-motion ad would perform better because of past test results, we actually saw more engagement from the static ad. After delivering this information to our customer, we continue testing other campaigns that use motion assets to ensure our customer’s budget is spent on ads that deliver ideal results.

Additional Resources

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