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Of Testing
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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During our marketing class, we like to go over what marketing is, and what it isn't. There are many misconceptions out there about the world of marketing and advertising that are more popular than the reality.

So it goes.

The misconceptions we usually tackle are:

-marketing = advertising
-marketing is evil
-marketing is expensive

Now, as seasoned professionals (as many of you are), we can skip the first two. But we do think some light needs to be shed on the notion that marketing has to be expensive. Granted, most people would think that most of the expense comes from advertising, getting the product from A to B.

But we think people believe marketing and advertising is expensive due to the lack of testing activities before fully implementing them.

How interesting is it that from the 1910s to the 1980s, there were books by advertising and marketing giants who swore by doing the due research and tests before fully executing a campaign, and now in these days, we are trying to leverage technology to bring the consumer to us, and force them to see it?

Why do we feel the need to re-create the wheel?

Yes, the author of Scientific Advertising writes in his book that because of all the knowledge marketing professionals have left for the industry, there should be no reason why advertising these days should be ineffective.

Looks like we've proved him wrong. How?

Our industry has lost its love of testing and research. We rely too heavily on the flashy and the highly creative, and fail more often than not to actually have a conversation with the consumer. Testing doesn't have to take over the creative, but both need to work together.

One of the only pieces of information we've taken from one of our first directors is that it saves the client money when we put 90% of our effort in planning, and 10% in execution. If we plan well, then the execution of the idea is already a success. 

Testing ideas, testing copy, testing email headers, and so on, assist in making marketing less expensive.

And if you are working with a client or a brand that doesn't see the value in testing, then tell them that they cannot complain about the rising costs if they fail to take the appropriate steps in mitigating.

So please, let's start testing more. Let's save our clients some money.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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