One of the nation’s largest health insurance firms


Test the effectiveness of advertising materials targeted toward C-level executives


Our client developed a new product for mid-sized companies. The advertising campaign for this new offering was targeted directly at CFOs. Our client believed that buy-in from top management was crucial for success.

But our client usually targeted its trade-press advertising at benefits managers. Promoting a product to CFOs presented the client with a new challenge: grabbing the attention of an unfamiliar audience of key decision-makers.


Epley contacted CFOs from 12 mid-sized companies and briefed them on the new product and the purpose of the study. Next, Epley sent the CFOs mockups of two advertisements and a brochure for the new product.

Within two days of sending the mockups, Epley researchers contacted each CFO and conducted an in-depth, hour-long, one-on-one interview through an online conferencing service. The conferencing technology enabled the interviewer and the CFO to look at the mockups together during the dialogue. It also allowed for video and audio recording of the interview, providing Epley with a rich body of data.

Epley interviewers walked each CFO through a page-by-page discussion of the mockups and encouraged them to talk at length about what caught their attention, what they liked or didn’t like, what they didn’t understand, and what they learned from reading the materials.

Epley created an edited transcript of each interview. This deliverable allowed our client to quickly scan the most informative segments of the discussion. We then coded and analyzed all data and delivered a final report describing our findings.


In our final report, we helped our client look deeply into the minds of CFOs to…

  • Assess whether the advertising communicated the details of the product concept
  • Determine if the advertising materials sparked interest in the new product
  • Discover what types of information (text, charts, tables, etc.) best caught their attention
  • Recognize practical questions CFOs had that weren’t answered by the materials
  • Learn how to make advertising clearer and more helpful for CFOs

Our client used these findings to refine and clarify its message and more accurately target CFOs during the rollout of the new product.