For clarity's sake, then, I'll use the term "evidence-based thinking." EBT for short.
EBT is a marketer's silver bullet. It lets you rise above emotion and speculation as you evaluate a marketing effort from a scientific standpoint. Rather than rate a campaign by how well-liked it is by you, your focus groups, the Board of Directors, and the Board of Director's spouses, you can rate it in terms of (1) if it's making or costing money; (2) how it compares against other strategies; (3) how it performs down to cost-per-sale; (4) how to make it perform even better; and (5) reliable, projected future performance.
(If it's news to you that you really can measure effectiveness to that level of detail, you're not alone. Most clients and agencies don't know how. How to do EBT is a subject for another blog, not to mention an entire chapter in my book. For today's blog, I want to focus on the benefits of EBT.)
Granted, with a scientific or evidence-based approach, you risk learning that the cute campaign everyone loves isn't making money. Worse, you may learn that the cheesy campaign you hate is going gangbusters.
There are two ways to handle that information. If you're stubborn or insecure, you can stop measuring results—stop gathering evidence—in order to stick with your pet campaign, free from inconvenient data. Sadly, I have seen more than one client do exactly that.
Or, you can bid a tearful farewell to the cute campaign and go with what your market has shown, with their wallets, to be the better one.
Learning to let the evidence lead you to the facts is a discipline of its own. It's not always easy to do, in marketing or, for that matter, in life. But if you're more interested in knowing than supposing, then skepticism or evidence-based thinking can be your greatest tool.