Clear Thinking - The Business Experience



The Business Experience
Ideas Consultancy in Improving Organisation
and Team Performance

AdQA – Communications Pre-Testing & Improvement

The Need for AdQA?  Ten Reasons why communications go wrong.

"Why should I
need AdQA?"

Ask Gerald Ratner

One little speech cost him his £500million business

Examples from our ‘library' of Case Studies from our research into "Why communications go wrong." 

  • We asked Gerald Ratner if he’d pre-tested his infamous ‘total crap’ IoD speech. He said: “Well, I tested the speech on my board and they said ‘Fine, just add a few jokes’. … I didn’t see a need to test my jokes”.
  • A £3 million campaign - thoroughly pre-tested by conventional methods - had to be pulled because customers took a ‘wrong’ meaning after launch. One of our AdQA Tests (“Meaning?”) could have picked up the ‘obvious’ error … in just 10 minutes.

Everyone who communicates important messages would benefit from applying the AdQA system to those messages, ideally prior to publishing. For the simple reason that there are so many ways that your messages can go wrong.

Scroll down for a few examples of 10 Reasons why communications go wrong.

  why Communications GO WRONG

... a few examples



Our library of comms mistakes includes examples from Ad Agencies, Design Agencies, and other Marketing experts

... we all suffer from the same problems



1. Neuroscience
Few people in the marketing, selling, and communications industry realise that every individual has preferred 'ways of thinking' (Thinking Style Preferences) within Whole-Brained Thinking. To be really effective, your communications should match the Preferred Thinking Styles of your target/s - to be on the 'same wavelength'.

This is especially important is selling. But we see examples of advertising every single day which risk losing 50% of their audience because they are not designed to take these Preferences into account.

2. 'Iffyness'
All communications are inherently 'iffy' - you can't guarantee success. There are too many things that can negatively impact on your final message, despite seemingly having a great creative idea.

One cause is the "Too many cooks" trap: too many people getting involved; too many opinions. Another is "Time warp": the longer it takes to produce, the worse it gets.

AdQA is designed to identify any potentially negative results that inevitably creep in from these gremlins, and suggest ideas for solutions or improvements.

3. Subjectivity 
Just as everybody thinks they are clear thinkers, or are above average drivers, everyone believes that they can judge the effectiveness of their own communications. These are all delusions.

There is only one expert judge of your communications - your target customer. You are simply too involved, too knowledgeable, to be truly objective.

4. Conventional Pre-Testing is highly unreliable
We have a library of examples that (presumably) were checked by pre-tests.

To find out more ask for our White Paper on "Why communications go wrong". Email to ensure that your communications don't fall into these traps.

See our research:  Why Communications Go Wrong

  Four ways to apply AdQA to your communications to test/improve effectiveness.
Like more information?

Email us at for our White Paper on "Why communications go wrong" or more details of our AdQA services.