Whether you, I or anyone else thinks that a marketing program will work is irrelevant. Either the campaign will work, or it won’t. It is a question of fact, not of opinion. Trouble is, the revelation of the fact lies in the future. So, here’s a better question: How do we find out if the marketing will work, and to what extent, before we bet the farm on it?
With a bit of creativity, there is a way to find out, in advance, if a marketing effort will work.
Hint 1: Don’t look to traditional research like focus groups, mall intercepts, online polls, and direct mail and phone surveys. Such may yield perspective, but are unreliable when it comes to predicting behavior.
Hint 2: Instead, find a way to put a valid sample of your market in what is, as far as they can tell, the genuine situation. Then, watch in secret to see what they do.
OK, that requires more than a bit of creativity. It requires a lot of it, not to mention discipline, patience, an open mind, and a basic understanding of how to conduct a controlled experiment. In the next few blog posts, I’ll share some tips as to how to go about it.