Every year Sunkist Growers market their fresh oranges and lemons in a number of Asian countries. Marketing efforts are partially funded by the USDA under its Market Access Program. The use of these funds carries a requirement to assess the effectiveness of the programs using the funds. Each year, we make this evaluation via consumer surveys in the various countries – Canada, Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia.
The most precise way of making these evaluations is with a –pre-test, post-test design where marketing outcomes are measured before the campaign is run and after it has finished.
Ideally, these are tailored to the specific campaign being run. So, for instance, if the program is a retail promotion in a grocery store then the best way to evaluate it is to interview shoppers before the campaign runs and then survey another group of shoppers after the campaign has finished.
However, in many Asian countries it is not possible to do this for various logistical reasons, such as not knowing where the campaign will occur exactly, or when, and also because it is not always possible to get permission to do the evaluation on site. So, we have to get creative because the evaluations still need to be made to comply with the use of MAP funds.
So, our approach always involves some flexibility – designed for pre-test, post-test but with contingency plans that involve assessing likely exposure to the campaign wherever it happens to run, and then comparing those likely to have been exposed to the campaign with those that are not likely to have been exposed.
The RIGHT Answer
Regardless of whether the campaigns show effectiveness or not (because they often don’t), we can be sure that the results of our studies are accurately reflecting the reality and are not due to an assessment method that is insensitive to the impact of the marketing campaign. In other words, the client can trust that what they hear from us is the truth.